BRUSSELS TATTOO CONVENTION 2011

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With  thirty euros pocket money , me and my best friend set off from Amsterdam heading to Brussels . Our trip turned out not to be as smooth as we had expected. The bus ride was supposed to take three hours to reach  Brussels but due to very bad traffic it took over six. After arriving at the station we headed straight for the Brussels International Tattoo Convention . It was 6 pm by this time and there were long queues snaking back from the entrance. The price of one day ticket was 15 euro and 45 euro for the 3 day pass, converted to Rupiah this was about 540,000 IDR for a day, which was quite expensive for students like us. But because I’m a lovely contributor to Magic Ink Tattoo Magazine Indonesia, luckily we got free entry…:)

This was a major tattoo event in Europe . Featuring 180 tattooists from around the world . It was dominated by European artists (Netherlands , Belgium , German , Switzerland , France , UK , Italy , Spain , Poland , Luxemburg , etc.) with impressive numbers from the USA and Asia ( Japan , Thailand , Korea , China ) . Unfortunately our beloved Indonesia wasn’t here.

There was a show put on by Andrea Afferni one of the world’s best realist tattoo artists. It was a discussion which covered a wide range of topics from photography, portraits and famous people to landscapes and sculptures. The event was scored by rockabilly, metal and punk music from live bands on the three different stages. A Miss Brussels beauty contest and an art expo also featured on the varied line up. The most exciting was the “Burlesque Show”  were sexy girls dressed in pin-up styles like Maryln Monroe or Betty Boop, waddle onto the catwalk and seductively undress while the captivated crowd went wild.

I often attend tattoo events in Indonesia and the major differences were that here there were no children under 16 years because they are forbidden to enter and IDs are strictly checked by mountain like bouncers. There is no smoking inside the event (as in all indoor venues in Europe, pubs and bars included) if you want to smoke you must do it outside the building. There were strict rules for journalists, we had to fill out some forms and to avoid copycats and protect the artists’ work, photographing artworks was also prohibited . Participants and visitors were disciplined enough to follow the rules, if not the security guards who are three times bigger than me will be happy to kick you out. After experiencing the fascinating festival atmosphere of the Brussels International Tattoo Convention , my friend and I decided to head off and wander the city centre , the weather was a bit cloudy as a cool breeze hinted at the coming winter and the tattooists hid in their studios busily preparing their work for their next convention … brrrrr …. Good bye Brussels ….

text&photos ; superf3nda

*This article has been published in Magic Ink Tattoo magazine Indonesia

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Dengan bekal 30 Euro, saya dan salah satu teman berangkat dari Amsterdam menuju Brussels. Ternyata perjalanan kami tidak semulus yang diharapkan. Seharusnya dengan 3 jam saja kami sudah sampai di Brussels namun karena macet yang sangat parah kami harus menempuh 6 jam. Akhirnya tibalah kami di Brussels International Tattoo Convention, jam tepat menunjukkan pukul 6 sore. Antrian terlihat di loket, saya melihat poster yang menunjukkan bahwa harga tiket untuk satu hari adalah 15 euro dan untuk 3 hari 45 euro, kalo dirupiahkan sekitar 540.000, jumlah yang cukup besar bagi saya yang hanya pelajar maupun teman saya yang putus sekolah. Kami berdiri sejenak sambil berpikir untuk tidak jadi masuk, lalu saya memutuskan untuk bertemu dengan salah satu panitia yang bernama Kim. Kim mendengarkan penjelasan saya dengan seksama bahwa kami adalah jurnalis dari Magic Ink Magazine , Majalah tato pertama dan terbesar di Indonesia, dengan raut muka yang sangat meyakinkan dan berbekal kamera butut yang sempat rusak kena tumpahan arak, Kim memperbolehkan saya dan teman saya masuk dengan gratis..Yaaayy!!!! Namun peraturan untuk jurnalis cukup ketat, dilarang memotret hasil karya para peserta dari dekat dan dilarang merekam event tersebut dalam bentuk apapun, hal ini untuk menghindari copycat yang berkeliaran.

Event ini merupakan event tato yang besar di Eropa. Diikuti oleh 180 tatoist dari seluruh dunia. Yang mendominasi adalah negara-negara Eropa ( Belanda, Belgia, German, Swiss, Perancis, UK, Italy, Spanyol, Polandia, Luxemburg,dll) dan diikuti oleh USA, Asia ( Japan, Thailand, Korea, China). Sayang negara kita tercinta gak ada di event ini. Selain tato show  ada juga seminar tato dari Andrea Afferni salah satu tato artis terbaik dunia untuk kategori realis semuanya tentang photo, portrait ,famous people, landscape, sculptural dibahas tuntas. Tak ketinggalan ada acara musik dari Rockabilly, Metal sampai Punk, Miss Brussels kontes, art expo, dan yang paling heboh adalah “Burlesque Show” yang isinya cewek-cewek seksi berdandan ala Maryln Monroe, Betty Bop, dll, berlenggak-lenggok di atas catwalk sambil membuka satu persatu bajunya hingga telanjang.

Saya sering menghadiri acara tato di tanah air dan perbedaannya di sini kita dijamin tidak akan menemui anak-anak dibawah 16 tahun karena dilarang masuk. Kita tidak akan menemui orang-orang yang merokok serta tidak diperbolehkan makan minum di dalam, kalau laper dan pengen merokok bisa keluar dulu. Terus untuk jurnalis cukup ketat karena harus mengisi beberapa lembar formulir. Para peserta dan pengunjung pun cukup disiplin dengan mematuhi peraturan panitia bila tidak, security yang badannya tiga kali lipat dari saya dijamin akan mendepak anda keluar. Setelah puas berkeliling, saya dan teman saya memutuskan untuk pulang, cuaca agak mendung di hari terakhir Brussels International Tattoo Convention…hembusan angin  yang dingin menandakan musim salju akan segera tiba dan para tatoist akan bersembunyi di studio masing-masing, mempersiapkan karyanya untuk tattoo convention tahun depan…brrrrr….Good bye Brussels….

text&photos : superf3nda

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