In 2019, it is still illegal to perform the art of tattoo in South Korea without a medical license. Artists face large fines and jail time for their work.
Tattoo remains largely taboo, with connotations of crime and a departure from both Christian and Confucian values. Unsurprisingly, Korean gangsters can be seen proudly displaying ornate tattoos; But now so are university students and pop stars.
Tattoo remains hidden behind frosted windows, down dark stairways, and in private apartments.
When stepping into those "criminal" spaces, one finds artists determined to practice their craft.
Seoul and Busan, South Korea, 2019