Anime Festival Asia kicks off with a bang

SINGAPORE – For Miss Zenith Chan Hoi Yu, 21, Friday (Nov 29) was an important day: It marked the first time she showcased her art at the C3 Anime Festival Asia (AFA), Singapore’s largest Japanese pop-culture event.

Miss Chan was one of the many artists who set up shop at the AFA on Friday, to sell their anime-inspired art to festival-goers.

The AFA kicked off on a high note on Friday morning, as anime and cosplay fans flocked to the Suntec City Convention Centre in droves – some to see their favourite cosplayers, and others to support budding artists like Miss Chan at the Festival’s Creators Hub, flooding into the artists’ alley to get their hands on beautiful, original art.

The festival also happens to be a valuable occasion for Miss Chan to share her art with a wide audience, as it regularly draws over 100,000 visitors over three days.

In preparation for the large turnout, Miss Chan has made prints of over 20 of her illustrations, enamel pins and T-shirts, that she intends to sell over the weekend.

“It’s my first time setting up a booth to sell my art at AFA and the crowd has been amazing. Since I started drawing in 2016, I’ve always wanted to share my art with more people, and this will be a great experience for me,” Miss Chan said.

Meanwhile, artist and freelance illustrator Ein Lee, 28, will be showcasing a large collection of colourful new artwork at her booth.

Ms Lee, who first participated in the festival in 2012, said: “AFA was my very first convention ever, and I’ve definitely improved over the years, technique-wise.”

Miss Lee’s distinctive art style – which combines a mix of Western painting styles and Eastern elements – has earned her a significant fan base of young anime lovers, who flock to her booth to purchase her art.

In preparation for the large turnout, Miss Zenith Chan has made prints of over 20 of her illustrations, enamel pins and T-shirts, that she intends to sell over the weekend. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

“I love to capture the characters that I love, and now I can call art both my hobby and my profession,” Miss Lee said.

Visitors to the festival can also purchase merchandise from well-known anime and manga series like Kimetsu No Yaiba (Demon Slayer), My Hero Academia, and Attack on Titan.

Those who love gaming will also enjoy the AFA Play Zone, a dedicated space for analogue and digital gaming curated for anime lovers – including gaming sessions with guest cosplayers.

Cosplayers can also show off their costumes at the carnival and meet professional cosplayers like Enako from Japan and Hikarin from Toronto.

Mr Shawn Chin, founder of AFA, said: “2018 marked our 10th anniversary and we saw a record showing of support from fans in Singapore and the region.”

“This year, we have created more new elements in the festival, with something different each day,” he added.

The three-day event will run till Sunday (Dec 1), at levels three and four of the Suntec City Convention Centre, from 10am to 8pm daily. One-day tickets to the exhibition and stage area are available on-site at $25.


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