Yaya Han at Anime Revolution 2014
Let’s start off with the first question.
You have travelled around the world, because of cosplaying. Have you noticed a certain country where the best works stands out from the rest?
I don’t believe in superlatives or the best of anything. Being a fan isn’t about doing their best. Each country has their own mentality and I think that is very interesting. If you go to South America, it is about the performance and presence on stage, and not so much on craft emphasis. That, to a lot of people, is the epitome of cosplay but when you go somewhere like Germany. It’s almost 100% craftsmanship. It’s all about sewn craft and the details. They are still developing, they have their own history of cosplay and how they are pushing to the main stream. Cosplayers, in Germany, are not yet accepted and people laugh and call cosplayers freaks. It depends on the country. I like to go to different countries and see what people do. Even though at times you don’t speak the same language. You share cosplay as a common and you have that commonality. I find that you have the same types of cosplayers in different countries. You have the ones who are about the mecha armour, and ones about the stage props. The world is a huge place but it is a tiny place and we’re able to connect with each other.
You touched on the similarities of the various cosplay cultures around the world. Which country would be similar to North America?
I think North America, as a general community for cosplay, has the most range and freedom. We have a lot of media outlets that cover cosplay. We are the country that is actually pushing for shows about cosplay and we have the most range in North America. Depending on where you go, geographically, different cities or hubs for cosplay will handle cosplay differently. What I noticed is the different mentalities within North America. For example, in Canada, every comic conventions are run similar to comic conventions in the US. In Canada, there are craftsmanship judging for the costume contest that goes by the international costumers guild rules or guidelines. Versus in America, there are a lot of comic book conventions that just go; “free for all, everyone just walk on and whoever looks the flashest gets a prize”. I think that is an example of the difference. It’s about finding the group you fit into and finding your way for cosplaying.
Any favourite materials you like to work with?
I have a lot of favourite materials. I really like feathers, silk taffeta, luxurious fabrics, craft foam, eva foam, and worbla. I have used worbla in every costume, since I started using worbla a couple of years ago. You have to be able to use different materials.
For example Sharon Apple from Macross Plus, it almost encompassed all of the materials you liked?
Man, I made Sharon a long time ago but I learned a lot. I got to learn a lot of unconventional things and styling that wig. Hopefully I can make another costume like that sometime.
Your Sharon Apple cosplay is what lead me towards you, (really~) and I look forward to it.
I really like Macross. I am a huge Macross Plus fan. Thank you.
– D.I.S/C Photography: I hope you enjoyed reading this interview with Yaya Han. Hopefully next year I will interview Mrs. Han again with your questions.