While many colorful tattoos sprawl across the skin, the work of South Korean tattooist EQ is contained in a small rectangle. Calling this approach his Frame, there are entire stories told in the long, thin format. But because of their size, only a sliver of the entire composition is revealed—evoking the feeling that we’re viewing these scenes through a crack in a door.
The inspiration for EQ’s Frames run the gamut. Many recall traditional Korean and Chinese motifs and styles and incorporate natural forms like rolling hills and crashing waves. They’re punctuated with elegant cranes, bold blossoms, and creeping tigers who break free from the rectangular format and onto the rest of the body. Although a majority of EQ’s tattoos tap into this aesthetic, many of his designs skew contemporary and include starry landscapes and even a bright bunch of balloons.
Check out a selection of the Frame tattoos below and then follow EQ on Instagram to see what he’s working on next.