International Cosplay Day Singapore Uncovered: Part 1

Those of you who’ve been wondering what the enigmatic acronym ICDS stands for can now rest easy, because RGB has the scoop on International Cosplay Day Singapore. This is the first article in a two part series on ICDS – and the need for it. 

International Cosplay Day Singapore is the brainchild of Jason ‘Crimson’ Koh from the Neo Tokyo Project and web programmer CJ (also known as Singapore’s best crossplayer), and will be Singapore’s first homegrown cosplay convention with international guests. It will see a slew of international cosplayers, including big names like Yaya Han, web series ‘Cosplay the Series’ from Indonesia, and renowned cosplay photographer Jay Tablante. Stage events such as cosplay competitions and this year’s rendition of Cosplay Chess will also be performed.

ICDS’s objective is simply to be “all about cosplay”, and it will welcome cosplayers both young and old onto its stage this year. Jason explained that ICDS’s primary aim is to go back to the roots of cosplay events: as “fan driven, community based” conventions, and that he wants people to have fun again.

“Singaporeans take themselves entirely too seriously,” he said. “That’s something we want to change.”

And so at ICDS, visitors can expect things to be a little different from the usual cosplay fare available in Singapore. Many cosplayers attending will be of newer stock, with some having only cosplayed for as little as six months. More importantly, there will be no stigma or fear associated with cosplaying – unlike how it is in typical local affairs, where “people are just afraid to turn up in costumes because they feel that their make ups or costumes are not perfect.”

“At American conventions, people just dress however they want. They just go there and have fun,” Jason told us, which prompted us to ask if someone wearing a homemade cardboard, spray painted Gundam suit would be welcome at ICDS.

“I don’t mind, actually,” he said. “I think it’ll be a little bit more interesting because it’s a convention that doesn’t want to take itself too seriously.”

Unlike bigger cons, ICDS is also not tied down to sponsors and milestones. While they are a fully sponsored event, they have also made sure that they’re supported by the right people. Supporting entities include Anibee, a local anime live-streaming company, and a Singapore-based jewelry company. Purveyors of general and obscure geekery, Paradigm Infinitum, also have a booth at the convention. The nature of their exhibitors and sponsors means that the organising team – and thus the con itself – owes very little to anyone.

“We believe that the community deserves to have a place to showcase whatever they want,” said Jason. So yes, perhaps you’ll see a cardboard Gundam, or cardboard Iron Man while you’re there!

The all-day event will start at 10am in Ngee Ann Polytechnic with an opening ceremony, and wind down at approximately 7pm, only so that the venue can be setup for a post-event party that will last until 10pm. The con is ticketed at $5 per head, with a $1 booking fee.

If you’ve always wanted to get a feel of cosplay in Singapore, then pay ICDS a visit. More information on ticketing can be found here.

This feature is the first of a two-part series on International Cosplay Day Singapore. Stay tuned for the next one, which will explore just why there’s a need for a dedicated cosplay convention with a staunchly open stance on both Eastern and Western cosplay cultures.