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Cosplayers and the Power of Costumes

Cosplayers and the Power of Costumes

Cao Fei - Golden Figher's despair
Cao FeiGolden Fighter’s

Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei’s 2004 work explores the imagined identities of cosplayers (young people who dress up as game characters) and how they interact with the real world. To these individuals, a costume bestows magical powers upon the wearer, rendering their person more special and enabling them to transcend their mundane reality. These are people living in a video game world, alienated by the real, waking world, and seeking to unite the two spaces to live in a way that allows them to actually be this magic character by creating their own realities. Her work reflects the fluid identities of China as a growing, evolving culture, juxtaposing escapist fantasies alongside vivid realities.

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