The last year we have seen amazing tattoo collaborations all over India and Nepal. The experience is exceptional: Not only for the artists and the client, but also as a spectator, who is watching a specific kind of magic happening with two machines at the same time. Collaborations combine different styles and create a stunning mash-up of tattooists’ individual spirits and handwritings. Something you cannot predict and the more collaborations happen in different artist formations, we start to see a variety of infinite possibilities. Combining two very different and hypnotising styles, Rojan Shrestha and Avishek Vaidya from Tattoo Junction, Kathmandu stand out and promise a new visual experience in tattooing.

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Rojan has been tattooing for more than seven years now. He started off with a backpack full of equipment as a freelancer around India and came back five years ago to Kathmandu. He opened his studio Tattoo Junction in Thamel, which is reflecting his personality very much in itself: Climbing up some stairs you escape the hustle and bustle of the touristy streets and end up in a chilled and open space full with art.

Rojan Shrestha tattooing at Nepal Tattoo Convention 2017. Image Credit: Dipit Raz

This calculation of shanti-ness does not include his tattoo style: His unique patterns and unconscious mandalas are full of movement and energy. They catch the eyes and then, before you even know, you get lost in optical illusions and trace one dot after the other. In a previous interview, Rojan has stated that the competition in the tattoo industry seems nonsense to him and he refuses to be a part of this never-ending race, which, according to his opinion, leads nowhere. Rather than that, he acknowledges different tattooists and different styles and gets inspired by their works:

I believe everyone wants to be the best, but for me, I just want to survive. Be inspired and pass it on.

Rojan (left) and Avishek collaborating on a tattoo
Rojan (left) and Avishek collaborating on a tattoo

The power of we.

Avishek Vaidya fits perfectly in the setting of Rojan’s studio. He started off in art school and ended up being the apprentice in Tattoo Junction – luckily! Only after a few years of tattooing, he already has a great impact broadening the portfolio of the Nepalese tattoo industry with his distinctive characters and surreal compositions. When you meet Avishek, you will wonder even more about his style. As known, still waters run deep… and the meaning of his designs run even deeper. There is much more than an aesthetic dimension to them, but they give us the opportunity to keep wondering and find our own interpretations. Avishek will not give away his meanings that easily – or maybe never. Anyhow, it is more than legitimate to leave some work to the spectators, who will have to discover a personal meaning for themselves.

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Combining those skills, the results are mind blowing. The movement, dynamics and energy of those pieces are the outcome of a powerful geometric and figurative fusion, which results in a new visual experience in tattooing. Again the value and the connection of the counterculture comparing it with the means of so-called Fine Arts are more than evident: Not only within the imagery itself, but also seeing the work of the artists during the whole process from the sketch, the work on the canvas and the visual challenge of the final piece.

Tattoo by Avishek Vaidya
Tattoo by Avishek Vaidya

The tattoo industry, its framework and clients increasingly open up to a vast range of styles, which allows the artists to channel all creativity and work within their own individual handwriting. This diversity can only be embraced. The scene is flourishing in different directions, and we can only be excited and curious what is about to come out of the hands and minds of guys like Rojan and Avishek.

By: @av1s3k #tattoojunctionnepal

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