By Kim Hyunji
Mirror Stage, an fine arts exhibition by @kimkimkimxx. Sept 15th-Oct 1st, Blackwoods Gallery, Melbourne Australia.
Do you think social media like Instagram and Tumblr had a transformative effect on your life?
Definitely. I started a tumblr and an instagram at pretty similar times in early 2012. Tumblr was amazing in terms of resources and finding a really engaging intersectional community where I could express and consume my interests of underground fashion, femme art and queer/identity politics. Tumblr made me feel less isolated in my queerness of being femme. Coming out and finding local community in Melbourne had been a really difficult experience and I felt I could only express my queerness at a monthly party which left me feeling alienated the rest of the time. I felt that I was too femme for a lot of fellow Melbourne queers and too queer for a lot of femme lesbians. Then instagram gave me a platform to carve out a piece of cyberspace that was purely my own output - I could project my femmeness, my freaky queerness and exist in a pretty solidified cyber sphere. It allowed me to feel like I had space and visibility something I didn't feel I had on the streets and in the workplace, and then from there it helped me find online an online global community of femmes, women, and queers who also felt isolated in their everyday existence.
Is your username important and what does it represent for you?
Yes! i picked it because it felt defiant and assertive - qualities I love about myself and really wanted to amplify and call like minded people to me. @femmeasfuck- unapologetically queering and femmeing any and all interactions you have with me!
Would you say there's an element of "playing a character" in your online identity? If so, how would you describe it?
I’m a virgo. I’m into aesthetics and visual cohesion and everything that II post has a lot of thought and intention behind it. Form wise I definitely try to post a mix of professional and diy casual pictures, but content wise, I put my happiest and most empowered self forward.
I always post the most colourful highlights of my life which always encapsulate my values and interests - my queer femme identity as well as my relationship to magic, nature and being a witch. My love of sci fi and colour, showing other women and queers that you can be a single person in the world and find happiness in both connection and being on your own.
I definitely edit out the less magical - no netflix binge bed days or busting my ass at work posts. You don’t see when I’m angry or sad either… I am really private with those feelings. I’ve been criticised a lot for that through my instagram curation . But it’s also my personality- I don’t like to share my feelings or hardships unless I believe it will really help someone. When I spiral into a depressive episode and lose hope I’m a huge mess and there’s enough cool sad girl blogs out there I don’t feel like portraying my pain and amplifying it in my cyber sphere. I’m a critical realist but for my mental health and my life I try really hard to work with the constructive and the productive- I try to remain as optimistic as possible because I like to inspire that in others, and because I know how hard it is dealing with depression, how easily and quickly you can spiral and how long and hard it is to mentally get out from that place. I try to express that we all get to experience moments of happiness and freeing feelings of bliss and empowerment and that that is worth savouring and trying for.
What is the relationship between you and your followers? Do you engage with them or is it a passive relationship? Do you spend much time wondering how they interact and consume your posts?
Back when Tumblr was bigger there was so much interaction. I would get teens and women telling me their deepest darkest feelings and experiences or asking for really intense life advice. I would offer what i could but I also think just knowing there’s someone listening to you is helpful. I wish I had had that as a teen! I am engaged with less on Tumblr now but I still learn through articles and posts all the time so I still really like it as a platform. Now as Tumblr is changing and kind of sadly dying, I wonder who the core of my followers engaging with my posts are for sure. My followers on Instagram.. it’s way less meaningful. There are a lot of my long term Tumblr followers on insta who are counter cultural and really get my instagram as political. There are my creative peers - stylists, performers, models, artists, bloggers, musicians, activists.
But then there are also just a lot of people who don’t engage with all of me.
I don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse, or parents who I'm close or pay my way. I don't have or a bougie job, and my aesthetic isn’t something I do for a weekend or dabble in at a festival. My ethics, my interests my realationships, the things I consume and express - it’s all a part of my queerness and my counter cultural values and my lifestyle which is something that can get lost in translation now on instagram with fashion trends right now in particular. A lot of people just miss out on a lot by reducing me to a cool girl with green hair lmao.