Cool to be square

In­sta­gram­mers’ are us­ing so­cial me­dia for a good cause.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By JAYDEE LOK allther­age@thes­

WHILE most of In­sta­gram’s 150 mil­lion ac­tive users cur­rently use the photo shar­ing ap­pli­ca­tion to flaunt their faces, their #ootd (that’s “out­fit of the day”), lunch plans, pets and ev­ery­thing else for the sake of doc­u­ment­ing their daily lives, oth­ers have found a way to use their pho­tog­ra­phy skills for a good cause.

Seven “In­sta­gram­mers” – Sean Je­su­dasan, Tr­isha Toh, Koyuki Inagaki, Yin Tan, Joey Mah, Mai Fer­nan­dez and Ly­dia Tan – with tens of thou­sands fol­low­ers each, have joined forces to use In­sta­gram to raise funds for un­der­priv­i­leged Malaysian youths.

Their In­sta­gram pho­to­graphs, printed and framed – in square frames, how apt – are cur­rently on dis­play and sale at the month-long #Chas­ingSquares ex­hi­bi­tion in Sen­tul East, Kuala Lumpur.

All the pro­ceeds from the sale is chan­nelled to the StART So­ci­ety to help un­der-priv­i­leged youths dis­cover and nur­ture their love for arts.

“We in­vested so much of our time and money into this ex­hi­bi­tion be­cause our in­ten­tion was purely to raise the bar in mo­bile pho­tog­ra­phy in Malaysia,” said Ja­panese free­lance graphic de­signer Inagaki (@koy­oox), 24.

She has over 22,150 fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram, and Inagaki be­lieves that more people should be ex­posed to the photo shar­ing site.

“We want people to get to know the artis­tic side of In­sta­gram, and that’s why we didn’t want to keep the prof­its (from the print sale) to our­selves,” said Inagaki with hopes that the money would help StART So­ci­ety help other artis­tic youths.

Cur­rently re­sid­ing in Petaling Jaya, the Ja­panese de­signer orig­i­nally started us­ing In­sta­gram to gain work con­tacts but af­ter us­ing it for just over a year, Inagaki now sees how the ap­pli­ca­tion can ben­e­fit other things be­sides her ca­reer.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, in a way, sup­ports StART So­ci­ety’s phi­los­o­phy – that you can al­ways cre­ate art within your means.

“Gad­gets should not limit your cre­ativ­ity,” said Toh (@tr­ishates), 21.

“That is what we try to ex­press via the ex­hi­bi­tion.”

The col­lege stu­dent and part-time barista uses In­sta­gram as an out­let to show­case her art – de­spite many people be­liev­ing that mo­bile pho­tog­ra­phy does not amount to “real” pho­tog­ra­phy with bulky DSLR cam­eras that is.

“I hope young chil­dren and as­pir­ing artists can see that all of us can do won­ders with the re­sources we have and that they will be in­spired to chal­lenge so­ci­ety’s no­tion that art is use­less,” said Toh.

Shar­ing her sen­ti­ment is TV writer Sean (@sean­je­su­dasan), 29, who be­lieves that the in­stan­ta­neous form of snap­ping and shar­ing pho­to­graphs has its ben­e­fits.

“Nowa­days, any­one can be a pho­tog­ra­pher – and that’s not a bad thing,” he said.

“There isn’t a rule when it comes to what is and isn’t art.

“As long as you’ve got a good eye for cap­tur­ing things, your art should be ac­cept­able.”

And if that said art ben­e­fits oth­ers, then it is more the rea­son to get into it then.

#Chas­ingSquares will be on dis­play daily from 11am to 6pm at d6, Sen­tul East, Kuala Lumpur un­til March 18. For view­ing, call 012-6999219.

For a good cause: The mo­bile pho­tog­ra­phers who had their work show­cased at the #Chas­ingSquares ex­hibit at d6, Sen­tul east, Kuala Lumpur. (From left) Sean Je­su­dasan, Tr­isha Toh, Koyuki Inagaki, yin Tan, Joey Mah, Mai Fer­nan­dez and Ly­dia Tan.

‘Miss­ing NyC’ by Sean (@sean­je­su­dasan) on In­sta­gram.

Two of Koyuki Inagaki’s (@koy­oox) pho­tos are on dis­play at #Chas­ingSquares.

an In­sta­gram photo ti­tled ‘Flight on 7th av­enue’ by Sean.

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