Nepal Inked 2018 ended just about two weeks back. It has yet to settle down in my individual system as I try to encapsulate here what it was like in another spectacular edition of this inexplicably beautiful tattoo festival. Like every year now, Nepal Inked took us out of the much-dusty city life of Kathmandu, and this time into the valley of Pharping, under the eyes of Guru Rinpoche. Just like the last edition, this year too, it was set up like it was almost blended with the natural beauty of the valley of Pharping. Nepal Inked is a vibe, it’s not a convention.
what made Nepal Inked 2018 so special and what gets us back to this festival every year is the mindset it caters to, the headspace it curates, and the atmosphere it creates.
Like every year, this year too the festival got together some great tattooing minds from all over the world. And like every year, it became an exhibition of everything that makes you fall in love with tattooing and the life culture values we associate with it. This festival is the most ideal set up for you to explore tattoos and the tattoo culture in all its beauty, without the embellishments. It’s almost a secluded three-day affair that puts you together with great minds and loving souls, and keeps the industry BS out of the reckoning.
For those who wanted to witness great tattooing – there was plenty on offer all three days. Raph Cemo barely put his head up, tattooing almost non stop with dedication unparalleled. The rad Gordo Letters was just stunning to see. He tattooed across the weekend, and always with a smile. Yogi’s coils could be heard from a mile, oh that sweet buzz! Young Pranish Poudel from Static Engravers and his canvas toiled away under the sun, rain and the chill of the night to produce the best of the show tattoo. The young and old, experienced and novices, churned out sleeves, heads, legs… tattooing was beautiful in its beautiful home. But as always, what made Nepal Inked 2018 so special and what gets us back to this festival every year is the mindset it caters to, the headspace it curates, and the atmosphere it creates. I am sorry, but none of the big wig commercial conventions, backed by the industrial bandwagon of global tattooing, can even come close to emulating Nepal Inked as a thought, as an ideology, or should we say as a brand.
In times when tattoo artists respond more to the call of sponsors, and the idea of family in tattooing comes under brand banners, Nepal Inked is the secret retreat you want to be a part of, because it is made by real people for lovers of true tattooing who are seeking a real experience.