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Alena Chun

American, birthdate unknown

Initially working in a more illustrative, botanical style, Alena Chun now focuses on expanding the language and evolution of the iconic American Traditional tattoo genre.

The American Traditional style encompasses tattoo art popularized in the late 19th century and is defined by common subject matter including pin-ups and naval themes. It employs heavier shading, bold lines, and simple and bright colors.

Attracted to the foundational history and the strong imagery of this style, Chun refines what can be perceived as antiquated through a modern lens of inclusivity and diversity. Inspired by old school flash sheets of the 1920s, Alena Chun considers themselves just one of many in a line of tattoo artists who have evolved the style over the past century. Chun’s interpretation of the traditional tattoo flash sheet, seen in this exhibition, perfectly exemplifies the merging of their American Traditional influence and modern aesthetic.

I think that when you have a lot of tattoos it’s like you’re celebrating this way of personal expression that is fun or meaningful to you or whatever you take from it.