At the beginning of time, the world was created by a woman, and all the major roles of creations were performed by goddesses/female deities.
Or so the ancient Chinese believed. At the beginning of time.
As with most ancient civilisations, the Chinese started with a matriarchal one.
In those days, women ruled through ‘witchcraft’ and were seen as the portal of communication to the powers of nature. Attunement to nature remained the key underlying psyche of the ancient Chinese throughout the millenniums.
Later on, as society evolved to becoming a patriarchal one, women assumed a more objectified role as the spouse or love interest/desire of other male gods in the myths which developed later.
It is perhaps fitting that I have a cross-over project that combines the powerful female warriors in Sailormoon and the ancient Chinese goddesses and nymphs. I used Asian in a more generic manner because the Chinese took inspiration from other Asian cultures as well, such as Indian and the Mesopotamian, and in turn, influenced others such as Japan. Yep, Japan–so one full circle!
This project is also an exploration of cultural
appropriation appreciation. I am aware that by doing this project, I might be accused of cultural appropriation (especially when the mythological figures were inspired by other non-Chinese cultures) but that’s my point–cultures had ALWAYS been borrowing each other, and none can claim to be in its pure original form.
This has been a long-drawn process, and I spent much longer time on each image and style. But as my husband so aptly put, it’s like each of the warriors are awoken one by one, and like the infinity stones, all the powers are being gathered.
This is also a less popular series because it does not fit in with either the cosplayer’s aesthetics for the anime, nor the traditional Hanfuists aesthetics of demure and naturalistic looking women. I have been told on several occasions that they really don’t like this series of mine but that’s alright because not there’re already a lot of pretty pictures on Chinese Weibo to satisfy the traditionalists and that’s really not my role to fill.
For easy reference of the entire series in this lot, here you go: