S'pore, Malaysian artists in spat over copycat tattoo

S'pore, Malaysian artists in spat over copycat tattoo
Singapore tattoo artist Moon Pang claims that Ms Wong Wei Yin, a Kuala Lumpur-based tattoo artist known as Kinki Ryusaki, copied his work.

SINGAPORE - Is a tattoo design an original work of art that should not be copied?

That has been the subject of an ongoing spat between a tattoo artist here and one in Kuala Lumpur, with lawyers weighing in to say it might well be a question of copyright.

It was in June last year that teacher Shan Ho, 25, got Singapore tattooist Moon Pang to put an original design of a lacy black bow on her back.

All was fine until a few weeks ago when she discovered an exact copy of her tattoo on the photo-sharing app Instagram.

The photo was credited to Kinki Ryusaki, the pseudonym of Kuala Lumpur-based artist Wong Wei Yin.

Ms Ho was flattered at first, but later felt indignant. She told Mr Pang about the copy, and he tracked down a photo of his design on Ms Wong's Facebook page. Entitled "Tattoo by Kinki Ryusaki", it had garnered over 26,000 "likes".

Mr Pang, 37, who uploads his work onto Instagram, Facebook and his own website, confronted Ms Wong via Facebook, but his comments were deleted.

Reached for comment, Ms Wong insisted she had done no wrong. She claimed she worked off a picture provided by her client, modifying the design "a little".

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