Lomo'Instant Wide First Times: Artistic Roots with Samantha Lo

Singapore-based artist Samantha Lo has a habit of trying new art forms. Living a life filled with art inspired by the human psyche and some hints of sociopolitical observation, she aims to create new meanings thru her craft.

In this article, Samantha uses the Lomo'Instant Wide to show us a glimpse into an artist's life.

© Samantha Lo

Please introduce yourself to the Lomography community and the readers of the Online Magazine.

Hi everyone, my name's Sam Lo and I'm an artist who likes doing a lot of things at one time.

How did you get started with doing art?

I got into art-making professionally by accident to be honest. Prior to that, I was working on a platform that promoted Singaporean talent where I interviewed a whole bunch of creatives and learned more about the art scene in Singapore. It inspired me to create commentaries on what I observed which spilled out onto the streets through social narratives and playful street art, and it caught on with the public. Since then I made the conscious choice to begin exploring what it meant to do this on a full-time basis and I haven't stopped since.

© Samantha Lo

You have quite the following on Instagram, how did it all begin?

Instagram was a great tool when I was just teaching myself how to design back in 2010- I'd work on a few designs on a nightly basis and put them up on Instagram to ask for feedback. As I kept practicing and experimenting with different mediums like water colour and sculpting, it started catching on and the big shift came when Instagram featured one of my sculptures on their official account. That boosted my following exponentially.

For you, what makes an artist?

An artist is someone who translates how they feel through their medium(s) of choice, a vulnerable part of themselves that relates to the human experience that everybody shares.

© Samantha Lo

Which art forms are you currently exploring? Was it your first time to explore analogue photography?

I've been exploring photography recently on a small scale, it started because I simply wanted to document my work on the streets as they usually don't last long in public spaces. It was around the same time that I then started taking pictures of the things I saw that I wanted to remember forever- be it inspiring pieces like tiled patterns and the small quirks in the cities I go to. It's now helped to get me more interested in this medium- I'm still not that good at it, but I know to be patient :) And yes it was my first time exploring analogue photography, in fact it took quite a lot of getting used to. The warm treatment of the photos are one of a kind, and with this experience it's going to be something I'll definitely get into again for I really enjoyed it.

© Samantha Lo

Can you tell us a little more about your Lomo'Instant Wide experience? Any interesting things you encountered or challenges?

It was difficult at first, I won't lie. The viewfinder was the first tricky issue and framing the shot was something I had numerous trial and errors with. Also I kept forgetting to adjust the focus and sometimes remove the lens cap so they're all silly mistakes! I found capturing my work (which were mostly type-based) to be challenging for they'd usually be blurry, but I absolutely loved carrying it around with me for walks around the nooks and crannies of Singapore. I found that most enjoyable about the whole experience, as the treatment of the photos that came out were representative of how I felt when I walk through the streets, warm and loved. That was what I found the Lomo'Instant Wide great with, sharing the Singapore I love through these lenses.

Please choose your favorite photo(s) taken with the Lomo'Instant Automat and tell us about the images, and why they’re your favorites.

I especially love the photos with the local residents in them- I never take portraits nor have I taken pictures with people in them, this is actually my first time. On my walks I'd ask if they'd like to take a picture or if I could take a picture of them, and that became an entry point to conversations about the area. This experience helped me open up a little more, and I'm definitely going to keep at it :)

© Samantha Lo
© Samantha Lo

Any advice on how to fully utilize the Lomo'Instant Wide?

To be honest I'm not the best at this, in fact I feel like I've a lot that I've yet to understand about it. But if I had to comment I'd say start by removing the lens cap, because I've wasted so many polaroids on this noob mistake!

Do you have ongoing or upcoming projects that you would like to tell the community about?

Currently I'm in New Delhi working on a mural for the Arjan Garh Metro station with another Singaporean artist and a local Indian artist, a huge project involving painting the entire metro. It's going to be one of my biggest murals to date and it's concept reflects on nature and the changing times Delhi is seeing. This mural pays homage to the natural environment the metro used to sit on and the people who inhabit these spaces as they commute between the city centre and rural areas of Delhi. I'm also working on a solo exhibition due to happen end year, and in the meantime juggling a mini ice cream shop business I started with my mom and aunt. There're still more projects in the pipeline, and I'm so excited to share them with you as the time comes.

© Samantha Lo

written by crissyrobles on 2017-04-10

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