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The following story of two artists, and their insane collaboration was one of our highlights from the recently concluded Pune Tattoo Festival 2017.

It was fresh. Raw. Dynamic. It was a performance. A display of everything that makes tattooing so special.

Binay (left) and John starting off with the painting on Day 1
Binay (left) and John starting off with the painting on Day 1

On the 1st tattooing day of PTF 2017, John Ma and Binay Gurung, of Nepal, entered the convention grounds, slowly easing themselves into the groove. They set up their stalls/booths in minimalistic fashion, to say the most.

4_2With the crowd yet to present itself in significant numbers, John started scribbling with a pencil on a piece of chart paper. Simply scribbling. I saw, clicked a few pictures, and went for a round of all the booths at the festival. Some were still setting up, some were tattooing… I came back a full circle to John’s booth in about half an hour, and suddenly the scribbling on a piece of paper turned into an instant collaboration between him and Binay.

4_6The lines turned into waves, a surreal background started to settle in, as inquisitive heads started to surround the booth trying to figure the madness of these two artists. The crowd slowly turned into a sea of art enthusiasts treated to some masterful magic by these two tattooing genius. As the sun came down, the painting came to life, flashlights spitting fire all around.

4_8It took about 3.5 hours for the two of them to finish the painting, and by the end of it, they even had a willing canvas who wanted the artwork on his body. Tattooed.

4_9Day 2: After staying up the whole night to turn the painting into a bigger stencil for a top to bottom side leg piece, Binay almost missed breakfast before starting on a tattoo that turned out to be best the sight of Pune Tattoo Festival 2.0.

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Early afternoon, they started off the tattoo. In no time, the lines were done with, and after just about 5 hours of tattooing and smoke breaks, and selfies with the fans, John and Binay were done with what was the ‘Best of the Show’ tattoo. A full leg tattoo in 5 hours!!! Yes, not kidding.

4_29 4_28It. Was. Magical. This ingenious process of creating original art from scratch embodies the principles that make tattooing so special. It was organic. It was a coming together of different sensibilities and tastes. It was fresh. Raw. Dynamic. It was a performance. A display of everything that makes tattooing so special.

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Thank you, John Ma x Binay Gurung for taking us on this trip called tattooing.

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