Samui Bike Week
One thing that’s truly fascinating about the tattoo world, is how it translates across the globe. How it endures and evolves within different cultures, to different languages, how it embeds itself into such different and diverse lives. And nowhere is the tattoo influence more fascinating that what we found it to be in Thailand, while Gary was on his travels with his wife, Cathy.
Over the years, a whole bunch of popular references – from film, from music – have welded themselves together to create a truly unique Thai hybrid. There, the tattoo world collides with the biker world – perhaps no real surprise there … that, too, is quite a universal effect. But then the Hell’s Angel collides with the American Indian … which is when you find you’ve got yourself a cocktail with a bit of an unexpected kick to it.
But more than that, what is most surprising of all is the juxtaposition of that rowdy, hard-edged aesthetic you’d expect from a crowd of bikers and the incredibly polite, welcoming nature of the Thai people. All in, it made for quite the experience.
Between hunting for amulet inspiration, Gary went along to the Samui Bike Week, where 4000 bikers proudly parked their wheels and sat in neatly organised rows of chairs to enjoy some rock music and a few (ahem) beers. He shook hands with both the police and local Hell’s Angel leaders alike, everyone brought together by a love of bikes and tattoos … and the odd feathered headpiece.
It put a whole new twist on the culture Gary and Cathy travelled to explore and be inspired by, a complete departure from the markets they’d been visiting that are so richly steeped in history – yet all so relevant to our core influences as a brand.