Fashion designer and entrepreneur Peter Mui relished the rich colors and cultural vitality of tattoo art, and he traveled the world to commission original pieces from masters of the craft. In 2004 he launched YellowMan, a high-end clothing line featuring these images. (The company name transformed a racial slur from Mui’s Oklahoma upbringing into a point of pride, according to a company blog post.) He also developed signature tattoo apparel for companies such as Marvel, Disney, Athleta, and Harley-Davidson.
Now, a collection of those images is on display at Northeastern’s Gallery 360.
Mui died in 2009, and his wife, Jenny, recently donated much of his vast collection—nearly 1,000 pieces, appraised at $2 million—of original tattoo art, as well as Japanese woodcuts and “flash art” comic book prints to the university. The Gallery 360 exhibit, which will be open into January, marks the first time these distinctive artworks have been exhibited publicly outside of New York City and Miami.
As part of Northeastern’s Public Art Initiative, a portion of the collection will also be installed at West Village H next week for Homecoming.
Photos by Matt Modoono and Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University.