Interview with Hong Kong Cosplayer YUI
YUI Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yui930
Q: Hi YUI, can you tell us how long have you been cosplaying?Y: Ten years
Q: Can you remember how many costumes you'd done?Y: Oh I've counted, It's more than a 100 actually haha
Q: Wow, that means it's more than 10 costume per year. You are very efficient in churning out costumes!You make most of your own costumes don't you?Y: I didn't actually start off making costumes from the beginning. I bought my costumes from China in the beginning and it was only till my 3rd or 4th year did I realise I didn't like them anymore. I found the workmanship lacking and the fabric choice was too ordinary to me. So I started making my own costumes.
Q: So which costume of yours are you most happy with?
Y: Jolyne from Jojo Bizzare Adventures. Because the fabric I chose was something I wouldn't usually use. It was pleather with a interesting metallic finish. Even my friends felt that was my best costume.
Q: But it seems like you're having problem with the costume now right?Y: Yeah, the fabric is starting to disintegrate. I'm really sad about it haha. The fabric was really expensive and I put in a lot of effort for the little details in her costume so i can’t bear to throw it away.
Q: Is it difficult to buy cosplay materials in Hong Kong? Because in Singapore, we have very little materials and resources and everything's very expensive.Y: Well, China supplies most of the fabric in the world. Hong Kong is very close to China so we have access to materials very easily. IN Hong Kong we have this area called "Sham Shui Po ( 深水埗 )" where they sell tonnes of fabric. There are street stores where they display rims of fabric or you can choose from a catalogue and have them prepare it for you. However you need to buy more than 3 meters for them to oblige. I usually have no problem hitting that because some costumes take up a lot of fabric.
Q: I discover that you do photography too. Care to share you thoughts on it with us?Y: Actually I've been a Photo enthusiast ever since i was little. But I mainly shot stuffs in my daily lives for my blog and didn't really shoot for Cosplay. But one day I realised the fact that there are just some characters I'll never be able to pull off and friends around me can do it better. I want to use the series I like in my photography and reflect my fandom in another way. So instead of cosplaying it, I take on the role of a photographer.
Q: You shot Iron Man recently. Care to share how you managed to do it and any funny BTS?Y: Haha its actually hilarious to witness in person. I got a friend to help me get a smoke machine but the machine was really tiny and could only puff for 10 seconds at a time before it stops. We had to manoeuvre around Iron Man really hilariously. Also because the smoke will get into his suit, we had to keep getting our Iron man cosplayer to take a break. A lot of the poses look great on pictures but are really strange off camera.
I'm also not very experienced at setting up lighting because the photos I took in the past are predominantly outdoor. I had to do a lot of research and look back at the photos I took in the past to learn the settings . Also when my photographer friends are setting up their equipment, I would try to pick up as much as I can along the way.
Q: Do you feel like you've learnt a lot of skills through Cosplay?Y: Yes definitely. Because Cosplayer are constantly trying to achieve the biggest result with the most budget friendly methods. We get in touch with various crafting like wood works and armours and we use strange materials to make our costumes. Spray painting is also an art because if don't do it right, it can crack. Of course these are skills that doesn't serve much purpose in our everyday lives but having it still makes me happy.
Q: I know you had a sumptuous Singaporean meal last night. What is your impression of Singapore?Y: It's a very beautiful and advanced country. I particularly like how you guys are preserving your historic buildings.
Q: Isn't it the same in Hong Kong?Y: No, we are taking down a lot of old buildings with rich historic backgrounds now because Estate Companies want to build new stuffs on top of it. They want to earn more money. The organisers told me that Singapore's doing a pretty good job of preserving historic buildings and I find that a really good thing.
Q: I heard you're also a fan of the Singapore BBQ meat. I'm really surprised because I always thought Hong Kong has some really awesome BBQ meat too.Y: No, it's really different! You can visit my booth and you'll see 3 bags of BBQ meat, I had a friend purchase it for me hahaha. I would buy it every time I come because my family loves it too and they want me to bring a Kilogram back.
Bee Cheng Hiang Barbequed meat . Photo credits to Bee Cheng Hiang
Q: So have you tried our Pandan Cake and Pineapple tarts?Y: Pandan Cake not yet but I've tried the Pineapple tarts. I also love the Toast Box here. Toast Box taste horrible in Hong Kong, it taste totally different! Henceforth every time I visit Singapore, I would definitely pay a visit to Toast Box.
Q: You just shared with us that visiting STGCC was a very different experience for you because there's a lot of western cosplays that you don't see often in Hong Kong.Y: Yes yes! I actually like Batman A LOT and there's only one Batman cosplayer in Hong Kong. But I saw 3 walked past me just now at STGCC and I'm super excited! I think the cons in Singapore have a lot of western cosplayers so it's a dream for Marvel and DC fans from Hong Kong.
Q: Ever thought of cosplaying any western characters?Y: Oh I want to cosplay robin!
Q: Because you can't do Batman so you're aiming for Robin right?Y: Haha yes, I can only do the guy because Batman.
Q: Have you found a Batman cosplayer to give you a slap haha?
Y: hahahaha ….I also want to cosplay Harley Quinn. I like her a lot, played her game previously and loved her back story.
We had a lot of fun discovering the girl behind all these awesome cosplay. I particularly liked how YUI doesn’t restrict herself to a particular genre and how polished her photographs always looked. She has a knack for bringing you into the story straight away and I’m sure she knows it. Extra points to her for being multi talented and so likeable!
I hope you guys enjoyed the interview. Remember to check out YUI in her official Facebook page! All photographs belong to YUI unless otherwise mentioned.