“I don’t know,” Foo confesses, when asked why she has 105,000 Instagram followers. “Perhaps I bring an alternative perspective on life and mundane incidents in general.” Also known as The Beaming Girl through her photography work on her website, this apparel design and merchandising lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic is also a trained painter, a published author (Semi Private Life In Helsinki: Summer) and an artist.
What do you feel you bring to the social media landscape through your being an artist?
Perhaps I bring an alternative perspective on life and mundane incidents in general.
When it comes to reaching out to your followers, what do you feel most proud or satisfied about?
When they tell me they like to see what I do and the art I make. This is very encouraging and boosts my motivation.
How do you feel you are changing lives, influencing decisions, sharing information to people out there?
I never expect my works or words could change people but I’d be happy to know that if they do. I can’t deny that social media is a powerful platform that can influence decisions. But I feel that I am only sounding out a possibility, a personal opinion, an idea or a ray of hope. It’s entirely up to the followers to interpret, receive and act upon or apply in their own life if they want to.
Why do you feel what you do is important and enriching?
My social media posts on IG are merely a fragment of my life. Their importance is subjective because not everyone can relate to the content. But then, I would like to believe that I’ve opened an imaginary window for my followers - they can choose to stay indoors and look at the view from where they are, or they can climb out of the window to be part of the landscape. And of course, they have the freedom to shut the window too.
For my personal works, they are important because they make me feel relevant in the industry and upkeep my spiritual well-being.
What’s the best and worst thing about leveraging on social media?
There isn’t the best or worst thing because this mode of communication is constantly changing. It’s a way of expression and communication, but at the same time I feel that social media is passive and could also be a one-way communication platform. You choose when you want to respond or you can ignore everything as well.
I started using Instagram back in 2011 and the feeling was very different back then. It felt more liberated. Now things have evolved. I’m still using it as a tool for expression but perhaps I’m more reserved now.
What have you learnt about yourself in the process?
I’ve been perceived as a photographer and a writer based on my works in the social media platform. Looking back at my works, I have re-discovered these passions of mine which have been inside of me since my teenage years and perhaps I may want to further develop them from now.
Photo: Kelvin Chia