I have lived on the island of Kaua’i for the past 20 years and have been tattooing for the same. I started my career apprenticing in Austin, Texas in the early 90’s. After moving to Hawaii I eventually opened my two previous tattoo studios: Hanalei Tattoo Co. in 1998 and Human Rites, from 2000-2008.
In 2010, after traveling abroad for 2 years I returned once again to the island of Kaua’i and opened Kulture Tattoo.
My tattoo work focuses primarily on Polynesian tattooing, and all tattoos relating to cultural influence and importance. My lifelong interest in ancient and indigenous cultures led me on my path, giving me a personal animistic view of the universe. The talismanic properties of tattoos have always been at the core of my interest driving me further into exploring the roots of tattooing culture and history. My intent in tattooing also stems from my personal views regarding the missionary/colonial conquest that nearly wiped out indigenous tattoo practices and the knowledge systems, not only within the Pacific but the world over. My passion is to help support cultural revival and to keep the indigenous cultures alive through this unique art form.
Please view my portfolio links above to see the various styles of tattooing I specialize in. Please remember that I also tattoo Japanese, Color, dot work, and various other tattoo genres. If you are interested in booking an appointment please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind that I am consistently booked for at least two weeks and concentrate on larger tattoo projects. Although it is rare, cancelations or rescheduling may happen so please double check with me. Timing is everything. I tattoo mainly freehand and discuss all meanings in person. I am sorry but I can not design tattoos for another tattoo artist to tattoo.
I also encourage my potential clients wanting Polynesian or any cultural tattoo to explore the history of the culture. I am a firm believer that there is an ancient root source within the symbology found in cultural motifs but there are important differences that need to be honored as well. Hawaiian is Hawaiian, Maori is Maori, Samoan is Samoan..etc. Take some time. Observe, Listen, and Learn. Something is missing in this instataneus internet age where everything is easily accessible, so dig deep. Every tree has deep roots. I don’t tattoo for the “look” I am keen on ones intent in wanting a tattoo from me.
The tattoos I create and show on my website are intended for the wearer alone and are never meant to be copied. They represent my client’s personal journeys and experiences. I honor your individuality in every tattoo I make. Please respect this by not copying my work. To do so would be disrespectful to the wearer, the artist and the culture.
Mahalo for viewing. I look forward to working with you.
Samuel Morgan Shaw