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So, the subcontinent’s biggest tattoo convention, Nepal Tattoo Convention is back, up and running again for its sixth edition this year. On Friday, we witnessed a rather quiet day one, with low footfall, but filled with amazing artwork all around. With few of the most radical tattoo artists visiting the convention this year, the scale of tattoo art on display is diverse, to say the least.

6th International Nepal Tattoo Convention !!! Ready for 2nd day #nepaltattooconvention

A photo posted by JuJu (@kidtwistedjuju) on

But the most notable change from last year is the number of Indian tattoo artists in this fantastic line-up. Last year, the best of the best from the Indian scene had gathered for the same convention. But this year, there are barely few. Abhinandan Basu and Kevin Andrade (The Flying Lotus Tattoo Studio) have returned to Nepal this year, as well. You can also find Delhi’s renowned Alex Shimray (Devil’z Tattooz), along with lesser experienced artists like Mridul Bhutia (MW Tattoos, Darjeeling), Roni SarkarChitti Nagarjuna and the Nandi Tattoos’ team. While it is understandable that each and every artist has their own priorities, and cannot attend every convention, yet the lack of them in Nepal eats you up as an Indian tattoo enthusiast because of two simple factors. 1. The amount and level of black work in display:

  Good weekend#nepaltattooconvention# hotel Yak n Yeti   Kenji Alucky working on a chest piece, on

With artists like Kenji Alucky, Orge Kalodimas, Maika Zayagata, Chavo participating this year, you have to concede that Nepal Tattoo Convention 2016 is probably one of the strongest conventions to see and learn more about black work tattoos.

While, for an enthusiast, it is visual brilliance all over the floor, but for an artist, such a stage can be a great learning curve too. And as Kevin Andrade pointed out very wisely, more Indian artists should have visited Nepal this year because of the importance of black work on Indian skin tones. On our brown, tanned skin, colours are generally not the favoured option. Moreover, with the rising global popularity of geometrical tattoos, many Indian artists too work on a lot of geometric and dotwork tattoos. Talking to the likes of Kenji, Orge and others will simply help the Indian artists to further better their techniques of black work tattoos.

2. The only truly international convention we are exposed to:

While Heartwork Tattoo Festival 2015 was a giant success in first year, still Nepal Tattoo Convention is still the only truly international convention in the subcontinent. With a horde of artists coming from all over Europe, Asia and America, this convention exposes an Indian artist to tattooing styles, conditions and cultures of extremely diverse natures.

While you can simply stare in awe seeing Kenji work on a chest piece, if you simply turn around, you will find Dan from Holland working on exceptionally beautiful colour splash tattoos. That should give you an idea of how stylistically rich Nepal 2016 is.

As an industry, Indian tattooing is still at a very nascent stage, and it can only grow that much faster if it exposes itself to the rest of the tattooing universe. In such a scenario, small steps like attending such conventions become even more important for us. But that is just one side of the story. Come, talk to people attending the convention about Indian tattooing, and they only have good things to say.

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