Morris Miller – Reflection

I want to write that it’s been a month since Maidens Sans Frontiers closed, but it’s actually only been three weeks since our final event with cosplayer TaeYeon Kim and WCS Australia.

Bringing Maidens to Hobart was not only a calculated decision to bring Japan Foundation Funding to regional Australia, but also something of a homecoming for me as it coincided with my return to University of Tasmania as an academic.

Much of what is on display is personal to Lucy, Megan, and me: Lucy’s books. Megan’s dolls. The postcards that have lined my walls since 2013 – the postcards that ironically are still in a box in the corner of my new office as I haven’t had the time or the energy to put them up.

Where the Duhig Tower exhibition had three video screens that we could screen cosplay images and fashion films, the Morris Miller exhibition had space for mannequins which allowed us to display the Rose of Versailles costumes for the whole exhibition. I was also able to draw on the local lolita community to display a frilly sweet out fit from Angelic Pretty and a dark gothy outfit from Alice and the Pirates.

I also love the contrast of the two display spaces – Duhig Tower with it’s dark, sandstone walls and it’s links to an imagined Europe; Morris Miller with it’s bright, open fouyer that was updated in 2005 to create a retro futuristic space from the 1960s brutalist design so common on the campuses of Australasian universities.

The thing I am most pleased about this exhibition was that I was allowed to pull a number of books from the library shelves to have on display – a mix of girl studies critique, novels, and shojo manga studies. A display that was quickly dismantled by guests at the opening and by students borrowing books over the coming weeks.

Books?! In a library?! Who would have ever thought it possible

Online talk with cosplay star TaeYeon Kim

In conjunction with WCS Australia, we are pleased to present an online talk with cosplay star TaeYeon Kim:

“all about SHOJO COSPLAY”

TaeYeon represented South Korea at the World Cosplay Summit in 2012 and later returned as an Alumna. TaeYeon transitioned from fan cosplayer to WCS staffer and after years coordinating the Alumni programme she currently works as the liaison for the forty participating countries.

You can see TaeYeon in action in this documentary filmed at the 2016 WCS finals.

Free online talk streamed via WCS Twitch with guests Dr Lucy Fraser (UQ) and Dr Emerald L King (UTAS)

March 18 2022
7.30 AEDT (6.30 AEST, 5.30 JST)
https://www.twitch.tv/wcsaustralia

This event is free but you can get a calender reminder from Eventbrite

Dark and twisty, bright and beautiful

21 February 2022

A fascinating world of cosplay and Japanese girl culture is on display.

Pre-revolutionary France meets gothic horror in an exhibition of costumes and other Japanese girl culture now on show at the University of Tasmania’s Sandy Bay campus.

Full article here: https://www.utas.edu.au/news/2022/2/21/1207-dark-and-twisty-bright-and-beautiful/

Angelic Pretty and Purple Goldfish Design ensemble (right) from the collection of Ness Ollington
Alice and the Pirates ensemble (left) from the collections of Jayne Scott and Amy King

Duhig Tower – reflection

When I first saw the gallery space at the bottom of the Duhig Tower in the Central Library at The University of Queensland I was taken back to the darkened halls of the private girls school of my youth.

The tower forms part of the sandstone ‘Great Court‘ designed in 1935 by Queensland Government architects Hennessy, Hennessy & Co. The Great Court was envisioned as a modern take on the traditional quadrangles of monasteries and universities in Europe. This imagined Europe speaks to the imagined west found so often in shojo manga and literature – often centred in educational or institutional buildings such as Hagio Moto’s November Gymnasium or The Heart of Thomas – both published in the 1970s, these works have been hugely influential on shojo culture including, but not limited to, BL narratives.

The dark grey walls of the display space nestled in the opening fouyer of the Duhig Tower provided a surprisingly warm background for the bright colours of the exhibits. The thick walls and bench seating invited visitors to sit and enjoy the space – maybe with a good book or an eReader.

This space also featured a triple screen which we were able to take advantage of to screen images of Australian cosplayers (dressed in shojo manga costumes) and fashion films produced by Deerstalker Pictures.

This is something of a reflection on a reflection. For someone who has never worked or studied at the University of Queensland campus, it is one of my favourite places to visit. Most Brisbane cosplayers will be familiar with the long sandstone walks of the Great Court and have photographed there regardless of their status as a student. I still can’t believe we got to take over this beautiful space for a month and to contribute to the cosplay and lolita fashion culture of the area.

Opening event – Hobart

Join us for our Hobart opening on Friday Feburary 4, 2022.

You are invited to the opening of the Maidens Sans Frontiers exhibition at the Morris Miller Library (UTAS Sandy Bay Campus).

Join us to discover Japanese Girl Culture in Australia. Costumes, dolls, artwork, books, and more.

Schedule – 5.30 open (you will need to sign in with a QR code and temperature check)

– 6.00 launch

This event will not be catered – but there will be lolly bags.

With thanks to: The University of Queensland, University of Tasmania, Japan Foundation, Sydney

Maidens Sans Frontiers at December Casa Con ’21

Join Dr Masafumi Monden, Dr Lucy Fraser, and Dr Emerald L King at Casa Con where we will be talking all things shojo, shonen, bishojo, and bishonen.

Casa Con is a free online convention held on Discord which features voice actors, translators, cosplayers, academics and fan enthusiasts. Check out their schedule here.

See you there:

Casa Con – The Beauty of Shojo and Shonen in Contemporary Japan

Monday, December 20 11:00am – 12:00pm (AEDT); 10:00am-11:00pm (AEST); Sunday December 19 7:pm-8pm (EST).

Cosplay Photo Shoot Event

October 25th 1pm-5pm.

The University of Queensland St Lucia campus is well known as a photo spot for cosplayers.

Maidens Sans Frontiers, together with The University of Queensland library are pleased to open up shooting space in the Fryer Library Reading Room in the Duhig Tower on October 25th for cosplayers and alternative/J fashion practitioners.

Perfect for your school uniform or sports cosplays!

You will have the exclusive opportunity to pose with Japanese books and  ink scrolls from the Fryer Library collection.

And don’t forget to check out the Maidens San Frontiers exhibition in the Central Library entry.

Please register as a COSPLAYER or PHOTOGRAPHER here:https://forms.gle/fo4nNEuh4TQmUAnv9

Under 16s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Image credit: Canary_Kid, agenttequila, and Lolly as members of Love Live shot for A-Muse Project by @ultimatemarker. Used with permission.

UQ Bloom Festival and Maidens Sans Frontiers

Our closing event is a flower making workshop hosted by the UQ Bloom festival:

In celebration of BLOOM festival, Kazuyo, owner of Kazuyo’s Collection, will be hosting a workshop on making Japanese-style fabric flowers at Duhig Lawn (outside Bookmark Cafe). Vintage kimono fabrics and all other materials will be supplied.

EVENT DETAILS

What: Make Japanese- style fabric flowers

When: 12-2pm, 25th October (2 sessions available. Each session is an hour long)

Where: Duhig Lawn, under the pergola, outside the library and Bookmark Cafe

Tickets: free

You can book here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/japanese-fabric-flower-crafting-workshop-tickets-175170528767

The full BLOOM festival programme is available here: https://life.uq.edu.au/uqbloom/2021

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