Does Art Imitate Life or Does Life Imitate Art: Featuring Artsbuzu

Who is @artsbuzu? Is it a troll account? Intrigued by what inspired @artsbuzu and its artistic legitimacy, I decided to slide into their DMs to find out more about what seems to be a social project: using social media to explore contemporary definitions of art.

Disclaimer: @artsbuzu is an anonymous Instagram account run by four first-year students from Tembusu. Their identities have not yet been revealed. They have specifically requested for their identities to continue to be concealed during the interview.

What is @artsbuzu?

Anything you want it to be. We plan for @artsbuzu to be a platform for people to not only exercise critical analysis of art, but to do this specifically to the naturally occurring art around us. Thus, we envision @artsbuzu to be a means of appreciating the world around us because we are encouraged to identify beauty in what others, and we ourselves, may classify as trash.

We also want to test the modern idea of art by having a critical eye on what exactly art is, especially in the day and age we live in. Does art in itself inherently possess artistic meaning, or do we lend it meaning? If we do lend it meaning, then isn’t everything art? If that’s the case, mustn’t we ask ourselves what actually defines art? At what point is something classified as art? @artsbuzu exists to try and find answers to such contemplations.

Why do you wish to remain anonymous?

Being anonymous allows everyone to be more involved in the discussion instead of just us giving our analysis of things. Because people don’t know who we are, there’s less of a barrier to share. Since we could be anyone of you and because you don’t know who you’re talking to, you don’t feel feel judged at for your responses and opinions in some sense.

Also, we want to stay anonymous because we aren’t doing this for clout or fame but because the whole idea of @artsbuzu and its contemplations are rather interesting to talk about and thus we feel being anonymous keeps it real. Who doesn’t like a bit of mystery anyway?

Does @artsbuzu have a specific artistic focus? Is there a definition of art that you all propagate as @artsbuzu?

No. We do not attempt to clearly define what art is because @artsbuzu was never meant to be an artistic monopoly over the definition of art. Our current focus and intention is about facilitating discourse and discussion over the definition of art because we believe that discourse is the only means of progress. The things we use to contemplate this definition are things that are not only seemingly absurd but also those that possess a jarring contrast. We then exploit that contrast to contemplate the idea of how art imitates life. Subsequently, this paradoxically begs the question of whether art imitates life or life imitates art.

Was the ‘intention to facilitate discourse and discussion’ always the intention?

It wasn’t. To be honest, it actually started out as a joke where @artsbuzu was supposed to be merely a platform for us to talk about the most random of things because we personally tended to overthink and overanalyze a lot of things. We thought that it would be extremely funny if we created a random Instagram account that highlighted deeper meanings to things and objects that inherently didn’t mean those deeper meanings initially.

Little did we know and expect how much social gravity @artsbuzu would actually gain in such a small span of time and we started to realise, or at least assume, that people actually enjoyed it. Thus, we thought, why not capitalize on such a feat? We now hope everyone can appreciate and share such art and analysis of art, even to those who seemingly never appreciated art in the first place!

You mention a lot of contemporary themes in your analysis, from Capitalism to Feminism, and Science and Technology. Are there specific themes you guys focus on on a weekly basis?

The picture dictates the theme. From our perspective, we analyze the pictures we take and what the pictures reflects, and then share it on @artsbuzu. The reason behind us not specifically dictating which theme we want to focus on is because, again, our current focus is on the discussion of the image and the ideas that pop out when one looks at the images we post. It isn’t about our own analysis.

We want our analysis to serve as food for thought to initiate sharing of different perspectives because everyone has their personal views on the things we share. Our followers actually contribute their own analysis to a lot of our pictures, many of which were things and ideas we never really thought about in the first place.  That is why we want to keep the discussion as open-ended as possible outside a specific theme. The true value of @artsbuzu comes from this variety of perspectives rather than solely from our point of view.

We also encourage discourse through our “Thought of the Day” to which we always get an amazing volume of responses. We share these responses with the rest of our followers and build on the thoughts.

The question everyone is waiting for… Who is behind @artsbuzu?


It seems that @artsbuzu has left a bucket of sorts at the lobby, and requests other fellow Tembusians to be part of their project! Perhaps you might want to check it out!


Header and featured images by @artsbuzu


About the author

Shane saunters through life with a keen sense of exploration. Having found solace in yoga, spirit in indie music and passion in Economics & Southeast Asian Studies, Shane still actively seeks new pursuits. He’s passionate about ideas surrounding poverty, race, multiculturalism and how we can work together towards a more equal and equitable society where everyone has a shot at life. He hopes to be a set of fresh eyes, a warm presence and to finally wake up on time for breakfast.