S(he) Got Inked!: Savage Ink International Tattoo Convention 2023

S(he) Got Inked!: Savage Ink International Tattoo Convention 2023

We take a look back at Savage Ink International Tattoo Convention that gathered over 2,000 tattoo enthusiasts in Cebu last month.

We have come a long way from discriminating against tattooed women to celebrating a 106-year-old tattooed woman, Apo Whang-Od, gracing the cover of Vogue Philippines. In the pre-colonial era, tattoos are the epitome of bravery, wealth, beauty, and honor. Women were tatted for beautification and fertility reasons.

Fast forward to today, we view tattoos as personal expression through meaningful symbols to celebrate a memory or a person in which we can be reminded of its significance. Savage Ink International Tattoo Convention in partnership with World Tattoo Events, made a comeback with a two-day event with almost 200 participating artists, judges, and guests from 15 different countries, including the Philippines, UK, Vietnam, South Korea, France, USA, Taiwan, Thailand, Sweden, Switzerland, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Italy, and Poland. Savage Ink is poised to become the country’s globally recognized and top-of-mind tattoo convention.

Joe Black, Ann Savage, Micah Almazan Canga, and Carlos Canga

Helmed by two veteran tattoo artists, Ann Savage and Joe Black, the event was well-attended with over 2,000 attendees and tattoo enthusiasts, including a handful of female Filipino and Korean tattoo artists, held at the IEC Convention Center last April 22 and 23, 2023.

This year’s convention hosted pocket events such as the Artist Alley wherein aspiring artists can display their works for sale, the auto convention for car enthusiasts, and live performances from local artists.

Ann Savage with the Savage Ink 2023 trophy

Trivia: the official artwork being used as shirts, posters, and trophy design, was sketched by Ann’s 14-year-old daughter, Rhiann Savage.

A slew of artists slayed the first day with the following categories:

  • Best Animal Portrait – Coimax of Climax Tattoo Studio
  • Best Asian-Inspired – Hieu Trunk Nguyen of QNeedle Studio
  • Best Lettering – Joon_Letters of Lost Soul
  • Best Black and Gray Medium – Daniel Lezama of Skullberry Tattoo and Supply
  • Best Tribal/Ornamental/Geometric – Le Duong Thanh of La Tattoo Family
  • Best Colored (Medium) – Raymond Care of Mond House of Tattoo
  • Micro Tattoo (On The Spot) – Zihong of Prism In
  • Best of Saturday (Open Category) – Tom Cabanesas of Musada Tattoo

Capping off the second day of the convention are artists who bagged the following awards:

  • Best Small Piece – Jon Zedrick Lucban of My Goodness Tattoo
  • Best Realism – Binh Nguyen of QNeedle Studio
  • Best Leg Sleeve – Hieu Trunk Nguyen of QNeedle Studio
  • Best Arm Sleeve – Lee Duong Thanh of La Tattoo Studio
  • Best Back Sleeve – Nam Huu of QNeedle Studio
  • Best Chest/Front Piece – Mr. Lee of La Tattoo Family

Savage Ink International Tattoo Convention 2023 is made possible in partnership with World Tattoo Events and brought to you by M&R Building Toledo and Asia Tattoo Supply; with the support of MDF Productions, Salve, AStee, Formybiotattoo, and Sullen Malaysia; and special thanks to Titay’s, Fortis Vinculi Eagles Club, and Diablos MC Philippines – Cebu.

Shoutout to media partners, Sunstar, MyTV, g.spot, and Black*Press, for helping spread the word about the event.

See our highlights here: