Fu Yang. She is a first year university student and a fan of Lolita culture. She also gets paid to do make-up for cosplayers and Lolita fans who attend Anime Expo. For her, this kind of subculture is both a hobby and part of her leisure income.
Zhu Zi. Zhu Zi is a type of enthusiast who wears Lolita dress as daily wear. Relatively speaking, this group of people is more likely to be found in large cities with more developed economies. Lolita is a part of her life and she doesn't feel that wearing it is something special in her life.
Xiong Xiaomi. I took a photo for Xiong Xiaomi last year. I met her again this year at the biggest Anime Expo in Chengdu. She had changed into a completely different style of Lolita dress than last time, and I didn't even recognise her at first. For her, Lolita gives her the opportunity to be different from herself.
Nai He. I met her through an online chat group. It was the first time I met her offline, at an anime convention. She was wearing a kigurumi mask. It's a spin-off culture of cosplay. She told me later that it saved her time putting on make-up.
Jing Zhi. After graduating from university, Jing zhi moved back to a small town near Chengdu, but still maintains close ties with the Chengdu Lolita community. She also works as a Lolita model in her spare time. This time she took advantage of her holiday to come to Chengdu for Anime Expo.
Huang Er. Huang Er is a model of ACG-related subculture. She dressed in a Qi Lolita which is a style of Lolita that is the combination with Chinese qipao. Be aware that Qi Lolita can come across as being appropriative when worn by people who are not from China.
Yi Ling. I met her at an Anime Expo. This type of costume with a beautiful headdress often attracts the attention of many people at Anime Expo.
Tong Tong. I met Tong Tong at a Gothic tea party and she loved this style of Lolita dress. However, due to her busy schedule, she now rarely has the opportunity to wear similar outfits. For her, dressing the way she likes is sometimes a way to relax.
Lai Lai. I met her at a small Anime Expo. She loves the style and feeling which is called Doll.
Le Le. Le Le is a Lolita costume and hanbok enthusiast who is preparing to study art in Japan this year. Before studying abroad, she spends her free time doing make-up for other enthusiasts.
Hao Fan. I've known her for 6 years. She was still at college when this picture was taken. At that time she liked Lolita dress and cosplay subculture, and often asked me to take pictures of her. This photo was taken during a shopping trip. Later on, as she got busier with her studies, she seemed to be less and less present in this subcultural community.
Fan Qie and Xiong Xiaomi. Fan Qie and Xiong Xiaomi were high school friends. It appears to be the first time they have been photographed together. They chose a twins Lolita dress with black and white. It is a style from ACG-related maid dress and is very popular recently in teenagers of Lolita fashion.
Li Li. Li Li is a photographer of the Lolita community and she is also a fan of Lolita fashion. She usually wears a Lolita dress when she takes pictures. I took this picture when she was working as a photographer for a Lolita party.
Xiao Nan. Xiao Nan is the organiser of the Lolita Tea Party in Chengdu and one of the leaders of the local Lolita community. 2023 was the end of China's strict epidemic prevention and control policy. She organised a huge tea party that attracted over 150 Lolita enthusiasts, even more than before the Covid-19 pandemic. After the tea party, she took off her wig and I took this photo of her looking a little tired.
Lin Er. Lin Er is a male Lolita enthusiast. Men have always been a niche presence in the Lolita scene. Although there is a small amount of Lolita clothing for men, most of the time they also wear female Lolita dress. They are often seen as an anomaly both inside and outside the community. For various reasons, Lin Er rarely wore women's Lolita clothes after he started working. I took this photo of him in full costume at the largest Lolita tea party in Chengdu.
Wan Rui. WanRui fell in love with the Lolita subculture almost ten years ago. She believes that Lolita gives her self-confidence and happiness and can help her overcome her social phobia. She is now a Lolita model and an independent photographer. She usually sets up her camera on a tripod, takes self-portrait using a mobile app and then shares her Lolita photos on social media platforms.
Xiao Sheng. Xiao Sheng finished high school. I met her at a Lolita party. She had bought two new dresses during the summer holidays. She asked me to take some pictures of her wearing her new dress.
Gang Gang. She is my friend's sister and is police. She saw the Lolita photos I took and thought the dress was very pretty, so she wanted to try it on too. It was the first time she wore a Lolita dress and for her it was a different feeling from her everyday life.
Guai Guai. Guai Guai is a Deco Lolita (or as it is known as OTT) based shopkeeper with many other subcultures. This style decorates the entire outfit from head to toe with a high amount of accessories such as hair clips, ribbons, bracelets and various other layers. It is extremely visually appealing. They often appear to have an outgoing personality, but are extremely sensitive on the inside.
Wan Ge. I've known her for nearly ten years. Growing up, she was influenced by these ACG-related subcultures. In the time it took her to immerse herself in them, she found something else in herself. She is also one of the main characters in my project Another Self, which is about ACG-related subcultures.