Tommy Ung_01

Tommy Ung

2nd year, Art Education Major

Mixed media & digital photography

Cosplaying (a term that bridges costume and play) has been my hobby for over 5 years. The whole process behind replicating an outfit from a two-dimensional work of fiction into something that can be worn is very tedious due to the broad array of skills required. There is also a lot of planning involved before the actual execution and /construction in order to produce the best results. These are samples of pictures taken in collaboration with photographers, in order to showcase my work in 2015 based onChrom from “Fire Emblem Awakening” (©Nintendo/Intelligent Systems) and the protagonist Flynn from “Shin Megami Tensei IV.” (©SEGA/Atlus)

The notion of play for me is constantly present during the creation process. I find pleasure in excelling and pushing myself to the limits to achieve the very best quality of work. I perform a wide variety of tasks by myself such as patterning, tailoring, woodworking and painting. I mostly learned my  set of sewing skills through my mother who is a seamstress, and most of the other skills through material experimentation and research When the costume is completed and I finally get to wear it for a convention or a photo shoot, my body becomes the means of display and I become an essential part of the cosplay process. Wearing the costumes, to me, is really just a means to show my dedication as a fan of a work of fiction. It also eases into playful conversations with others sharing similar interests to my own.

Photographing the costume is as important as building the costume. You try to pose like the character, you try to breath life into the costume even as the shutter captures a still image. The important thing is to have fun in the process, otherwise it stops feeling like a hobby. I feel that in art, play is what intuitively leads us into creating artworks that are more honest and meaningful to us.

Special thanks to

1) Jocelyn Thibault “Belziir” for “Shin Megami Tensei Protagonist”

2) Gary Thompson for “Chrom – Fire Emblem Awakening”

**Original image of work currently unavailable**