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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Padam Padam and 財神娘娘




The theme for the Venice Carnevale 2024 is "Ad Oriente. The amazing journey of Marco Polo”, so many people come with chinoiserie kind of costumes. Chinoiserie is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and other East Asian artistic traditions, especially in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, literature, theatre, and music.

Marco Polo (c. 1254 – 8 January 1324) was a Venetian merchant, explorer and writer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295. His travels are recorded in The Travels of Marco Polo (also known as Book of the Marvels of the World  and Il Milione, c. 1300), a book that described to Europeans the then-mysterious culture and inner workings of the Eastern world, including the wealth and great size of the Mongol Empire and China in the Yuan Dynasty, giving their first comprehensive look into China, Persia, India, Japan and other Asian cities and countries.

The 2024 Venice Carnival celebrates the world's most famous traveller. On the 700th anniversary of his death on 8 January 1324, Marco Polo returns to the lagoon as the main protagonist of the traditional festivities in Venice. The theme of travel is about discovery and coming face to face with the Far East, places that were only previously imagined...


With inspiration from the Travels of Marco Polo and the hit song by Kylie Minogue, veteran photographer and costumer Gioacchino Sparrone came up with an Indian inspired costume which we came to call Padam Padam. Another Italian friend Tiziana came with a Chinese inspired costume which we came to name as 財神娘娘 The Chinese Fairy of Wealth, Love and Prosperity.


You know there's an extremely high chance of getting nice photos when vetaran costumers combine. Their poses are complementary and spontaneous.

The Venice Carnevale is not entirely about masks. Local Italians prefer painted faces and historical costumes. This year, a much bigger proportion of my photos are of the local Italians. Together with the full masked costumes, they provide a better picture of the Venice Carnevale....


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