Everyone knows the saying “slow and steady wins the race” which talks about how if you work slowly but constantly, you will succeed better than if you work fast for a short while and do not continue. Looking at how Doujima has grown over the past years, it seems like it’s organisers Neo Tokyo Project are just doing that.
From a small venue at *SCAPE back in 2015 to now a proper hall at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre level 4, Singapore’s largest pop-culture inspired youth arts fair has definitely grown in size and numbers. While the visitor numbers are not in yet at the time of writing this, the entry queue which snaked all the way to level 3 is a good indication of the numbers even with the bag checks.
The venue layout this year is intuitive and one look at the map and I knew where I was going to collect my kickstarter art book by Rachta Lin and check out the artworks by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau. Making my way over to the GameStart Asia’s booth to check out the fluffy bunnies from Battlesky Brigade was also straightforward as everything was nicely clustered into blocks so I could immediately decide take an alternative route without relooking at the map.
The decision to put the seminar area at the front away from the main bulk of the booths was also a good one as it meant more space for those interested in the talks which drew quite a crowd as well. From how to price your artworks to finding your style and building your fan base, these sharings by industry veterans were definitely valuable to those starting out.
This could said too for the booths as I moved further into the back of the hall to check out the smaller booths but that’s where I could “feel” the crowd that I queued up with for about 30 mins to enter the event venue. To be fair, the pathways between the booths were wider this year as I understand from my short chat with the organisers, yet it still couldn’t contain the huge crowds to the event.
A good problem which shows the popularity of the event and the potential for more growth. Thankfully the crowd there had the logical sense to not park bulky items in the middle of the path and cosplayers came in more “movable” outfits. The only armoured cosplayer I saw was standing at the side where there was more space and not obstructing anyone so it is all good.
From the long queues to go in to the smiling faces I see both inside the event hall and the around the Suntec area, it looks to be another successful Doujima this year. Hopefully organisers and event sponsors will see this as a good sign for more support next year and we will get to see the a 2 hall venue.
Photo Credits: Neo Tokyo Project
By Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2018