TFBoys’ 7th Anniversary Photoshoot has been recently accused of plagiarism by the award-winning Chinese screenwriter, Yu Zheng, whose most famous work includes the hit drama, “Story of Yanxi Palace.”
In a since deleted Weibo post, Yu Zheng shared on Weibo about an artist under his label, Huanyu Film (Yu Zheng studio) who also shot a photoshoot with a similar concept back in 2015:
“In 2015, when we were doing a photoshoot for Demon Girl, we gave [actress] He Rui Xian a black feathered appearance. At that time it was quite a sensation. Now we see [some] popular celebrities in extremely similar photos, I can’t help but to feel that it is unreasonable. I want to see that if such [similarities] happen to a celebrity who is super popular, will there be a fair judgement given?”
**(If the copycat can still speak out self-righteously then us as small fries really have nothing to say)
(It seems like in the cyber world, online popularity still dominates~)”
**This sentence was later deleted and replaced by the following sentence after it”
After Yu Zheng’s post became trending on the Weibo hot search, the photographer for TFBoy’s photoshoot felt the need to speak up on the matter.
In a long Weibo post, he mentioned that the “black feather” concept is fairly common in photoshoots and also lamented that he was not lucky enough to have viewed the photoshoot that was mentioned by Yu Zheng yet.
“As the photographer responsible for the poster and photoshoot of the TFBOYS’ 7th anniversary concert, I felt compelled to respond to respond with a few words of my own after seeing the Weibo hot search.
1. The theme for this set of photos is “Looking for Light in the Dark” using “characters that pass through the gap between feathers” to bring out the meaning of “breaking through the corners to see the light”. In order to match the theme, the compact composition method, which is common method employed in design and painting, has also been used to highlight the main body of the picture. In order to better reflect the meaning and texture of “breaking”, feather elements have been selected out of a variety of materials to borrow from the concept of a phoenix’s rebirth from the ashes. This concept of rebirth from the ashes better reflects the idea of “breaking the corners to see the light”.
2. There is no originality in the composition method and the selection of the “feather” shooting props. The creative design of black feather head wraps have been used earlier and is very common in the field. Artists and creators from all over the world have used it. There are many wonderful works.
3. This year, I was entrusted to take charge of the poster and photo shoot for the 7th anniversary concert of TFBOYS. According to the overall concept of “time and space” of the concert, I took multiple sets of photo pictures and connected them in series through story line design. The photo released this time is just one of them. Please look forward to the follow-up release.
4. A certain teacher’s sensational work 5 years ago is something that I and the team of artists have not had the opportunity to see. If we had, we must be cautious to avoid the similarities in order to avoid running into disputes.”
TFBoys (left to right) Wang Yuan, Wang Junkai and Yiyang Qianxi pose for the black-feathered photoshoot
He Rui Xian in a photoshoot for her drama Demon Girl, which Yu Zheng alluded to as being the original photoshoot that has been plagiarized
That said, after editing the last sentence of his post, Yu Zheng has also since removed his Weibo post alluding to the TFBOY’s plagiarism entirely from Weibo.
For context, Yu Zheng himself has also been accused on multiple instances of plagarizing the work of other screenwriters. He was most recently sued by fellow screenwriter Chiung Yao, and many fellow Chinese screenwriters have spoken up in support of the latter’s lawsuit.
Netizens have mostly commented on how other animated series such as “Howl’s Moving Castle” has also used the black feather concept and some even cited Annie Yi’s 1994 album cover where she also seen with her face between black feathers.
What do you think of this issue? Do you see any similarities?