A quiet residential neighborhood in Bangkok is home to the flagship Common Ground tattoo shop. Once you enter the unassuming storefront, which is nestled close to a small estuary, it feels kind of like a museum. Its walls are covered with vintage artwork from all over Asia, mixed with artwork by guest tattoo artists. A worn Edo-period Japanese drum sits right in the front of the greeting counter, which is full of vintage Seiko watches with Thai writing and old-school souvenir hats from Thai tourist islands. A stack of books about various Asian arts is packed tightly, featuring tribal Sarawak tattoo designs, modern Thai font books, and lama thangka cave paintings. It’s a mix of a tattoo shop and showroom for the Yellow Fever brand, which sells certified antiques, vintage, and special pieces from across the continent.
纹身店 Common Ground 藏匿于曼谷一处安静的河畔住宅区。踏入不起眼的门店，却仿佛置身于亚洲文化的迷你博物馆。墙壁上挂满来自亚洲各地的古早艺术品和特邀纹身艺术家作品；一个江户时代的日式太鼓摆放在前台，那里还放置着各种印有泰文的 SEIKO 古董表和泰国海岛上兜售的老式帽子；各类亚洲艺术书籍堆放在一旁，包括关于砂拉越（Negeri Sarawak）原始部落的纹身设计、现代泰语字体和唐卡洞穴壁画主题书籍等等。这里既是一家纹身店，同时被用来展示 Yellow Fever 品牌的各类产品。该品牌专注于出售从亚洲各地搜罗而来的古董和古早物件。
Fever was started by Dillon Fever, a foreigner who followed graffiti and tattoo artist friends to the country 16 years ago. The freedom and counter-culture leanings of their lifestyle left an impression on him. Asian design was another big draw and he had been collecting even before arriving, although at a significantly smaller scale. He was a graf writer, which left him with some legal troubles and a craving for anonymity, but never a tattoo artist. He still wanted to give back to the culture, and after a few years, he realized a lot of his friends were having trouble finding guests spots when visiting Thailand. So he launched his first shop, Six Fathoms Deep, with the express purpose of hosting guest tattoo artists.
Yellow Fever 品牌由外籍人士 Dillon Fever 创立。早在 16 年前，他便开始关注泰国本地涂鸦领域，这些艺术家身上无所顾忌、反主流文化的态度和精神对 Dillon 影响颇深。除了涂鸦，五花八门的亚洲设计也深深地吸引着他。在移居泰国之前，他就喜欢收集各种关于亚洲的周边设计，但数量并不算多。他曾也是一名涂鸦创作者，也为此招来了一些法律上的麻烦，因而不得不隐姓埋名低调行事，但为这个圈子作出贡献，一直是他希望去做的事。在泰国生活的几年后，他发现身边没有一个固定的场地来进行纹身设计。于是，他打算为其他纹身艺术家提供创作机遇，Dillon 的第一家店 Six Fathoms Deep 就这样落成了。
The first Common Ground opened 10 years ago, and they’ve brought on five Thai tattoo artists as residents since. “There weren’t as many Thai people working in American traditional style when we started, but it’s exploded globally and we’ve helped spread the message here in Bangkok,” Dillion says. “Everyone was already going in this direction themselves and we just tried to be there to help push it, host it, and improve it with reference books and guests. It started to catch on as a scene about six years ago.” Their original Thai artist was the late Miss Ink, who would adopt Thai subject matter to the classic style. He’s opened several shops with partners over the subsequent years.
十年前，Common Ground 创立之初，他一共邀请了五位泰国纹身艺术家常驻于店内。“那时候泰国并没有很多传统美式风格的纹身，但现在美式已经成为潮流，我们也为这种纹身风格在曼谷的推广出了一份力，”Dillion 接着说，“其实很多艺术家本身也已经朝着这个方向迈进，我们只不过是推波助澜，提供一个平台，并借助一些书籍和邀请，不断推动它的发展。大约六年前，美式风格在本地渐渐流行。”团队最初邀请的泰国艺术家是已故的 Miss Ink，她的作品曾将泰国元素与经典风格纹身相结合。在接下来的几年里，当地的纹身艺术家数量日益增多，Dillon 和合伙人一起又开了几家分店。
All of the vintage ware that Dillon sells and collects connects back to tattooing, whether literally or in a way that could be adapted to tattoos. Plenty of his books feature ancient and tribal tattoo styles and he’s always on the hunt for vintage tattoo merchandise. One of his favorite grails is a shirt from the 90s for the China Sea Tattoo, a famous shop in Honolulu. “I never expected to find it in Thailand, let alone some random, obscure market. It’s so rare, it blew my mind and everyone else’s mind,” he laughs. Eventually, he ended up trading it for a tattoo from a friend and a bit of cash on the side.
店内所出售和收集的各种复古单品，都是 Dillon 在纹身创作中所遇到具有启发性的物品。他有许多介绍古代和部落纹身的书籍，收集算是他又一大爱好。在他最喜欢的藏品中，有一件来自九十年代火奴鲁鲁 China Sea Tattoo 纹身店的 T 恤衫。“我完全没想过会在泰国淘到这件衣服，更何况是在一个不知名的小市场里，实在太珍贵了，身边所有人都觉得很不可思议，”他笑着说。
Dillon sells stuff that has certified value with a certificate of authenticity, but a lot of what he picks up is valuable only to his eyes and other like-minded souls. “If you push a certain style and enough people agree with you, you can make something valuable,” he explains. It’s old and vintage but valuable only because of the style and obscurity.
Vintage clothes are huge in Thailand because Western companies unload stuff here or on the borders, often under the name of aid. People will trawl through vast piles to find valuable pieces like cool band shirts which will end up making their way back to the West at very high prices. A lot of it gets resold here in Bangkok as well. But Dillon specifically seeks out Asian items, which are even harder to find. He seeks out souvenir tees, temple tees, and company tees instead of name brands and band tees. 90s Japanese reproductions of Hawaiian shirts are also always a good bet.
复古、古着单品在泰国很受欢迎，一些欧美企业经常以援助的名义把各种二手服装运往泰国或其边境地区。当地人们会在这些堆积如山的二手服装里挑选有意思的东西，比如很酷的乐队 T 恤、版型独特的上衣、九十年代日本制造的夏威夷 T 恤等等；有趣的是，这些挑选出来的二手衣服又会回流到欧美国家，并以高昂的价格重新出售。其中也有很多在当地兜售。但 Dillon 喜欢搜罗更为少见的亚洲古着，比如游客纪念 T 恤、寺庙 T 恤和品牌 T 恤，而不是其他名牌和乐队等流行于市面的 T 恤。
The shop also features custom pieces, like a vintage Japanese indigo kimono covered in Sak Yant hand-drawn with a Uni marker by a guest tattoo artist. Dillon has also started creating some of his own pieces as well. Sizing can make selling a lot of his finds difficult, so he’s started taking inspiration from vintage aesthetics and creating a brand out of it. So far he’s mostly making homeware, like recycled plastic rugs with Tibetan influence and pillows with embroidered East Asian-style skulls.
But Dillon will never give up on the hunt: “I look every day. I’m online, going away on weekends. It’s one of the few things that keep life enjoyable. It’s always something new.” It’s not just a business, it’s a passion. “Many people have suggested that I sell a lot of what’s on the walls here but some of it is very difficult because they have their place there now. Maybe if I find another piece that could replace one I’d sell that. I’m constantly building towards the next piece.”
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Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Krerkburin Kerngburi
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Krerkburin Kerngburi
英译中: Olivia Li