A tattoo is more than just ink on skin: It is a centuries-old art form. Peter Mui, a New York City-based fashion designer and entrepreneur, relished the rich colors and cultural vitality of tattoo art. As he co-founded and built Tungtex, a Hong Kong-based garment maker, Mui also traveled the world to commission original tattoo art from masters of the craft. In 2004, he launched YellowMan, a high-end clothing line that combined these tattoo images with proprietary fabrics. (The company name transformed a racial slur from Mui’s Oklahoma upbringing into a point of pride.) Mui also developed signature tattoo apparel for companies like Marvel, Disney, Athleta, and Harley-Davidson. “I look at my [clothing] as being collectibles—wearable art,” he once said.
Following Mui’s death in 2009, his wife, Jenny, donated his vast collection of original tattoo art, Japanese woodcuts, and “flash art” comic-book prints to Northeastern. With their bright colors and intricate details, these artworks—being shown for the first time publicly outside of New York City and Miami—are a testament to Mui’s own creativity and sense of fun.