|Visitors and participants at the annual exhibition can cosplay, or dress up in costume as their favourite video game, movie or comic book characters, July 28, 2014. [Photo/CRIENGLISH.com]|
The 16th Ani-Com and Games expo, one of Asia's biggest animation and comic exhibitions, opens to comic book and cosplay fans from July 25-29 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The five-day festival of animation, video games, comics and cosplay attracts over 700,000 visitors from Hong Kong, Chinese mainland and overseas.
Visitors and participants at the annual exhibition can cosplay, or dress up in costume as their favourite video game, movie or comic book characters.
Players sing and dance on stage, wearing dramatic make-up, elaborate costumes, and using delicately made props to bring one or multiple comic scenes alive. This is their way to express their enthusiasm of the world of animations and games.
Martha Asahi is a Japanese cosplayer from the group "VENaS sisters". She is amazed by the number of male players at the event.
"In Hong Kong, there are many boys and children taking part in cosplay events, but in Japan, those who take part are mainly girls. I can feel the strong power and atmosphere of Hong Kong cosplay events. I am very happy."
Most players at the Animation-Comics-Games Fair have full-time occupations that are not necessarily related to cosplay or animation.
But they are willing to invest money and time into making customs and props, and putting on make up.
Shen Chen, a Taiwanese cosplayer as well as a vice curator of an art museum, says cosplay is a good way to reduce stress.
"I like cosplay. My stress at work is quite heavy but I can develop and express my interests during cosplay, like the process of making props and costumes. My professional field is art, so I have lots of fun in cosplay."
Leung Ka-kit, Chief Executive of the cosplay performances at the fair, sees great potential of Hong Kong to develop Cosplay even further.
Leung says there are many places in Hong Kong to teach cosplay lovers designing skills for making costumes, which makes it easy for them to make costumes and props in Hong Kong.
"All of my teammates are full-time workers, one or two of them are students. If you ask me how to arrange time to do both cosplaying and working, I am the organizer of the cosplay show, my company mainly works on anything related to cosplay such as inviting foreign guest to perform in Hong Kong, and organizing cosplay events. This is my career so I enjoy cosplay very much."
Hong Kong is the third largest comic market in the world, after Japan and the United States.
Over 550 exhibitors have participated in the Animation-Comic-Games Fair this year.
The fair, covering more than 170,000 square meters, has stage performances and themed exhibitions. The annual event has attracted more than 700,000 visitors over the last two years.