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The traditional style of Korean art is seeing a rise in the tattoo industry and Korean Tigers Tattoos have been at the forefront of this trend. At Chronic Ink Tattoo we’ve had many requests for this style of artwork and wanted to shed some light on the artists behind this movement and the meaning behind some of these very powerful pieces.

Korean Tiger Tattoo Meaning

In most cultures around the world tattoos of a tiger represent power and strength to the wearer. Although this may be true to some wearers, certain (white) tigers in Korean culture may also be looked at as a guardian or protectors to the bearer. Tattoos can have different meanings to the people whom they adorn, and some people may simply just like the style of artwork.
Famous Korean Artwork featuring Tigers
Tigers are a popular subject in traditional Korean artwork and are a prominent subject in folklore and paintings throughout history. They can also be found on Royal Tombs where they are believed to protect this permanent home for the residents.

Tigers were a very prominent fixture in the Minhwa artwork movement of the Jaeson period in Korea. These tigers were given a somewhat silly appearance, and have since been given the nickname “Idiot Tiger”. Often juxtaposed with a magpie the tiger was meant to represent the authority and aristocracy of the period, while the magpie was a representation of the common people.

The famous painting “Jakhodo”, features the Magpie and Tiger theme. This painting and others in its style are believed to protect against evil presence. Because of this, it’s become a tradition to hang this artwork in a household during the first month of the lunar calendar.

Traditional Korean Tiger Tattoos at Chronic Ink


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