arts • 20 Apr, 2016
Insta Elite @minh_bee
Postcards From Her Mind
Los Angeles-based Minh Bùi doesn’t see herself as just another photographer, but rather, a visual storyteller. The young artist creates a highly emotive and personal feed on her Instagram, one that gives an intense window into her private life and feelings. Minh’s feed is whimsical, bittersweet and powerful, not a lightweight follow, that’s for sure.
We dug Minh’s feed and felt it only fitting that we make one of our Insta Elite alumni. We spoke to Minh all the way from L.A. to get her take on art, Instagram and the difference between Minh Bùi the artist and Minh Bùi the person.
Don’t forget, if you want to join the Insta Elite army, use the hashtag #aainstaelite on your Instagram posts and follow us @anyarenamagazine.
Could you tell us a few words about yourself, what inspires you?
I went to college to be a lawyer, but quickly found that I preferred Lightroom to courtrooms and the rest kind of fell into place.
I’m inspired by the most random things – a line in a song, the cold of the wind, the smile of a stranger. I would say I’m less of a photographer and more of a storyteller, and anything that can be spun into a visual narrative is something that inspires me.
I aspire to create something that makes people feel something. Recently someone told me that my work reminded them of their biggest heartbreak. I said, that sounds about right.
How would you describe your style/art?
Ethereal and whimsical are probably the words people usually use. I personally think of them as visual stories.
How do you use Instagram to express yourself and the world around you?
Instagram has since evolved into a public forum for me. Whenever I upload a new image, I imagine myself standing at the podium. It’s usually because I have something to share, but it’s also an open dialogue between myself and my viewers.
How did you get into the habit of taking photos and posting on Instagram?
I originally treated Instagram as a sort of storage space. At the time I was shooting #unsent365, which is 365 open letters to my ex-lovers. I just wanted a place to hold the project – somewhere I could look back on it. I never really thought anyone would care about my personal story, but people have a way of surprising you.
What objects, subjects and moments are you trying to capture?
People and their nuisances captivate me. Why do they do the things they do? People in and out of love captivate me the most. Someone once asked me why my personal work is about love. Sex is easy. It’s a physical act spawned from a biological need. Love, on the other hand, has no explanation. Guess I’m still looking for one.
Do you spend a lot of time on the curation of your images or do you just put photos straight out there?
My website is heavily curated. I view Instagram as a place to just do my own thing and give myself the freedom to try ideas out.
How does Instagram affect your style and the way you express yourself online?
It’s made me more aware of who I am. A lot of people don’t realise this, but who I am as a person is vastly different to who I am as an artist. I met one of my good friends through Instagram and she later remarked that she didn’t expect me to be so funny in real life. My work is really serious, but the real me is a goof.
What defines a great Instagram feed in your opinion?
I don’t think you can narrow it down to one thing. It’s different for everyone. For me, I’m just looking at the content. Is each post something that I would want to look at everyday? If yes, then I’m ready to hit the “follow” button.
What do you hope viewers get from your photos?
I hope they feel something. I hope it reminds them of a part of themselves or a period of time in their life. I hope it reminds them of someone.
What can we expect to see on your Instagram in the future? Do you plan to explore any uncharted waters?
More of my writing. And more of other people’s stories. I’m definitely treading into new waters there, but I’m really interested in opening the dialogue. My viewers know a lot about me. I would love to know a little bit more about them.