In anticipation of the upcoming Lunar New Year, the demand for dragon tattoos is on the rise in Hong Kong. Renowned tattoo artist Marcus Yuen, owner of 59 Tattoo in Kowloon, has been creating intricate dragon designs for over a decade. The walls of his parlor are adorned with historical dragon drafts from earlier generations of Hong Kong tattoo artists, reflecting the significance and popularity of dragons in Asian culture.
The dragon is known for its positive symbolism, especially among Asian people. Its association with emperors and its representation as a superior creature make it an appealing choice for tattoo enthusiasts seeking self-confidence. With the Year of the Dragon approaching in the Chinese zodiac, Australian resident Evan McCarthy decided to get a large dragon tattoo on his left arm. Yuen estimated that the process would take three sessions due to the meticulous outlining and coloring required.
Dragon tattoos have shed their former association with gang culture and have become a popular choice among individuals from all walks of life. In Hong Kong, there is a vast array of tattoo studios offering dragon designs, ranging from small establishments with a single artist to larger studios with multiple artists. British-born tattoo artist John Dougall, owner of “Dragon’s Lair” tattoo parlor, has been specializing in dragon designs for over a decade. He considers dragon tattoos to be timeless and universally appealing.
The mythology surrounding dragons, especially in Hong Kong, was one of the reasons why customer Kathryn Cheeseman flew to the city to get a dragon tattoo. The rich history and fantasy context associated with dragons hold personal significance for her as she sought to honor her late father. The Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, marks the beginning of the lunisolar calendar and each year is named after one of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs. The Year of the Dragon follows the Year of the Rabbit.
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