School bored Zhuo Dan Ting, she hated reciting facts and figures. Evenings were better, she studied drawing skills with her father. Her skills quickly surpassed her friends, then her teachers. After graduating from high school, she accepted a place in Harbin Normal University to study Art.
Ting entered Normal University with passion. She obsessed over every picture, regularly going through more paper and materials than her parents could afford. She was always interested in different things to her classmates. She listened to western Heavy Metal while her peers listened to sickly sweet pop music. She wore loose, messy clothes while her class mates wore Hello Kitty tops.
had a thriving underground live music scene when she began to study.
She met many friends there. Lot's were musicians, they played heavy
metal and punk music with friends, and scratched out a living playing
pop music at student bars and weddings. Many were tattooed, long
haired, messly dressed 'deviants', bian tai. Music was not her thing,
the next step was predictable.
Back then Harbin had one or two tattoo studios. They took Ting under their wing and began to show her some of the techniques that they had picked up from artists in the bigger cities like Beijing and Guangzhou.
Two years into her student life, her situation began to become more and more tense. A constricting environment where faculty dictated what was acceptable in your personal as well as your academic life, was not something that Ting could stand anymore. She left university to study tattooing full time.
After a couple more years of study in Harbin and Guangzhou Ting opened Wen Yi Fu Xing, a small studio in Harbin. Her striking looks insured local celebrity status. Her name spread, people came from around Heilongjiang provence to get tattooed by the new queen of the block. After 3 years her studio and Harbin began to feel too small. She decided to make a move and test her mettle in Shanghai.
In January of 2007 Ting opened Shanghai Tattoo in a tiny store on Zizhong lu. Right away word spread, Smartshanghai, That's Shanghai, Shanghai Talk, iD and many other local and international outlets started to notice her. Shanghai Tattoo took off. It wasn't long until Ting felt her Zizhong lu location was too small for her plans. She moved to an up and coming cultural are called the Cool Docks. Her studio flourished despite the out-of-the-way location. But again, her sights were set on larger things.
In September 2011 she opened her biggest, and final, studio in a loft location on 1 Maoming Nan Lu! Read more about it here.