Horisumi Horimono

Horisumi Biography

With his work Horisumi aspires to create highly detailed, richly coloured original horimono tattoos that are elegantly simple yet created to last a lifetime looking bright and sharp. He aspires to make each tattoo, whether a small flower on the leg or a dragon full bodysuit, a one-off masterpiece.

Kian Forreal works under the Traditional Japanese Tattoo name of HORISUMI and specialises in Traditional Japanese Tattoo also known ‘Horimono’, ‘Irezumi’ or ‘Wabori’. He makes his tattoos using the traditional hand poke method of Japanese tattooing called ‘tebori’ that he learned in Japan under a master of the craft.

Horisumi Client Experiences – click here

Horisumi Podcast – East to West – click here

Wait times for getting tattooed by Horisumi – click here

Kian Forreal was given the traditional tattoo master title ‘Horisumi’ in 2013 by legendary Japanese Tattoo Master Horiyoshi III from from Yokohama. Horisumi focuses on and specialises in Traditional Japanese Style tattooing (Wabori), with his desire being to create Japanese bodysuits i.e: large works such as full back, sleeve, ribs, chest and legs all joined together using seasonal and natural elements. He very much prefers starting with a full backpiece and building the bodysuit from that. That said, he does enjoy all Japanese tattooing and is more than happy to do a 1/2 sleeve with chest plate as a starter piece if that is what you are after! Horisumi loves it all so please don’t hesitate to contact him with your design ideas when you are ready to commit or just want to get some information!

He uses tattoo machines to make outlines only, and for his background shading and colours he works solely by the traditional hand poke method which causes much less pain than tattoo machines, produces brighter colours, less bleeding, less skin trauma and a much faster healing process. Tebori style also creates a very unique look to the tattoo when healed as compared to machine work, the hues and tones of the inks are much more rich and saturated in the skin and the tattoo looks definitively alive. There are only a handful of tattoo artists worldwide that can create beautiful and authentic tattoos in this way and most of them are based in Japan.




Whilst Horisumi began his path into tattooing in 1986 as a teenager, learning on his own and getting tattooed himself it wasn't until 1993 that he devoted himself to the craft by getting his career start with 'Crazy Ace' Daniels in Toronto, Canada, a well known tattoo master of the era. He worked professionally across North America, Europe and Asia for nearly 20 years plying his trade and learning from many leading tattoo masters across the world before settling in Australia in 2007 to open his own studio.

Authent/Ink Studio

When Authentink Studio was founded in 2013 it was the culmination of more than two decades of hard work, world travel/study, discipline and perseverance by its founder Horisumi - Kian Forreal, It has since become one of Australia’s most respected and highly rated Custom & Japanese Style Tattoo Studios located in the heart of Surry Hills Sydney.


Horisumi tattoos every day the studio is open and enjoys being the perpetual student of Japanese tattooing and also a mentor to younger aspiring tattoo artists. He has devoted himself to drawing all of his designs directly onto the skin and tattooing all of his work by hand and is constantly striving for perfection with his work.

Design drawn directly to skin

If and when possible Horisumi will  freehand draw the entire design on the skin with a brush pen or use a mix of stencil and freehand so that it contours and fits exactly to the body and is perfectly unique and authentic to each person whether it is a small flower or an entire backpiece.  A version of the design is always drawn on paper first for reference and client approval.


Tattoo Masters

Inspired by the greatest

 Horisumi is greatly indebted to all the great tattoo artists, craftsmen and painters, living and deceased, whose shoulders he stands on and is continually inspired by on daily basis;  The living legend himself Gifu Horihide (pictured) whom without whose efforts Japanese tattooing may have taken decades longer to reach the west. His good friend Asakusa Horikazu for staying true to the life and being a shining example of what real Japanese tattooing is based on, Horikitsune for being a great friend to him and a source of support and inspiration, Horitoshi (Family) for being as Traditional and real as it gets, and many others that are too numerous to mention each by name.

If anything, his work is a tribute to them.


When Horisumi is not drawing, painting, designing or tattooing he also frequently writes for tattoo magazines on current affairs, tattoo culture and tattoo history as well as opinion editorials. He regularly attends Japanese festivals and participates in the world renowned Sanja Matsuri Festival held every year in Tokyo, Japan. Another passion of his aside from art and tattooing is researching Japanese tattoo culture and he regularly gives lectures and seminars on Japanese tattoo art, history and culture and does public tattoo demonstrations to educate the public.

Horisumi has presented and demonstrated at the prestigious Art Gallery of New South Wales for the ‘Japan Supernatural’ Exhibition as well as his own unique talk on the history of Japanese tattooing, he has demonstrated traditional tattoo methods at the Japan Foundation in Sydney and at the Newcastle Museum of Art as well as many renowned tattoo conventions.