Training as an accountant, Jacqueline Tse is much more than first meets the eye; she’s an all-rounder that seems to do everything. Literally, everything. From piano to violin, running to swimming, graphic designing to drawing, calligraphy to photography, singing to costume-making… well, you’re probably catching our drift already. Unfortunately, her vast collection of talents and interests has forced Nee Hao Magazine to focus the Hong Kong-based Chinese Canadian Tse’s interview on her cosplaying and modeling.
An incredibly passionate cosplayer, Tse’s break in modeling started through her love affair with anime and manga. Her first photo shoot involved her dressing up as Rei Ayanami from the series Evangelion, the clothing of which she made herself. Reinventing herself through different characters, she is now a work-in-progress as she searches for her own. Incredibly honest, she admits to her inner demons in being “egotistical” but also understands the need for improving herself and pursuing personal development through higher education. It comes at no shock that her favourite quotation stands as “Time waits for no one. Make every minute of living worthwhile”.
What got you into cosplay/modelling?
I got into cosplay/modeling mainly because I loved how most anime characters looked. I was drawn to the pretty, interesting costumes and weapons. Modeling was different, it was later that I got into modeling, since I wanted to see myself in different styles and was genuinely fascinated in what makeup artists do.
Why do you think fashion has such a big influence on your life?
In a way, I like being unique through my image. Fashion fulfills its purpose. Though interestingly, I have no love for the well-known brands (such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, etc.), though Burberry is an exception! I tend to lean towards the Japanese fashion styles.
Who do you look up to?
Interestingly enough, I am not sure if this was an “inception” into my mind (laughs) but I actually do look up to my mom. She was a beautiful model back in her day. I also do look up to and appreciate make-up artists as they have such creative minds, spending their time perfecting what they do.
As a versatile model, do you ever find yourself shocked or surprised when looking at final photos of yourself?
Yes, actually even before the photograph gets put through Photoshop or Lightroom, the makeup and the overall concept of the photos does surprise me considerably. Literally, it’s like putting on a temporary mask and being unable to recognise myself but knowing it’s actually me. Make up is such a work of art that it creates an illusion, or rather, a misconception of my real face. I guess that’s the wonder of it.
Which anime or game character are you most like? Which one is your favourite?
The main anime character that I would associate myself with is probably Stocking (from Panty & Stocking) since I just love eating sweets and cakes nonstop (of course, I exercise like mad to keep in shape) and am quite a lolita.
My favorite character is from a Playstation 3 game: Catherine. I like her character and her overall appearance. Her costume simplicity and the whiteness attract me most.
What is the most challenging aspect of cosplay?
For me, the most challenging aspect of cosplay is not making the costume – yes, I actually make my own costumes (laughs) – it’s actually the “trying to get in character” part, giving the right expressions, mood and atmosphere. To me, cosplay isn’t just about putting on a costume and looking pretty, it’s more of transforming myself into the real character and allowing her to come to life.
How do you balance your accountancy career aspirations with your busy life as a model?
I have a schedule. I plan out which days are given for modeling, and which for accounting. Of course, I’m currently enrolled for the HKICPA QP qualification exam this June 2013, I guess that’s why many of my photo shoot sessions have come to a standstill! Of course, I give priority to Accountancy, and I keep modelling and cosplaying as hobbies. I like it that way.
What’s your favourite thing about Hong Kong?
Of course, I love the food in HK. It’s inexpensive, good and makes me want to go for more! Places like Sabatini, Stables Grill, The Mistral, Wooloomooloo, Din Tai Fung, and Ye-Shanghai just keeps me in HK well fed enough on their own!