This month sees the arrival of the Ballarat International Photo Biennale, the Australian town playing host to the work of over 500 photographic artists. One in particular stands out, that of Perth native Guy Vinciguerra who here displays a series of black and white images of the Tokyo community in the context of their built environment, noting the often-absurd contrast between them. From sheer and brutal concrete façades to the traditional architecture of the meiji shrine, suited ‘salarymen’ lying in a building doorway to the expressive street culture, the latter a faint an echo of a previous project.
This year marks ten years since the publication of Cosplay, the photographer’s Parallax published tome and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art exhibition of the same name, noting a series of photographs documenting Japan’s infamous cosplay scene. The convention sees costume brought into the everyday sphere and taken beyond merely a fashion context with the adoption of role-play, the word itself is a portmanteau of English words Costume + play, and embodiment of characters ranging an unimaginable wealth of subgenres, both adopted from elements of popular culture and fabricated entirely for the purposes of play.
Notably, Vinciguerra hones in on a specific group of dressers; not necessarily a representation of the varied characters on show, his lens instead focused on the darker, gothic inspired looks.
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