From Artmaking to Identity Making

From Artmaking to Identity Making

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This study examines the identity construction of five manga fans by exploring their creation of comics and their cosplay. Certain identity themes emerged through a Lacanian interpretation using a qualitative/interpretivist paradigm, and semi-structured, in-depth interviews with participants, including their cosplay photos as well as their manga drawings and stories. Specifically, Lacan''s concepts of the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the Real were used to interpret these participants'' identities. The study showed not only that identity is not always determined by the Symbolic (conscious act), but also that it is governed by unconscious desire and fantasy (of the Real). While unconscious desire (Real) continues to break the fixibility of identity, the Symbolic remains an oppressed ruling Other that determines which identity is positive and which negative. The Imaginary is a most important outlet in terms of identity building for the subject, the freedom to make changes, and the power...

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