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Student Artist Spotlight: Bobby Wu

Bobby Wu is a VMA major at Emerson College, graduating in 2024. This interview was conducted by Chenyue (Chloe) Yang, a VMA major and marketing fellow at Emerson Contemporary.

1. What is your medium?

My medium is photography. I mostly do digital photography with a strong interest in film photography, too, but I find myself having a hard time committing to film photography.

2. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from the act of taking pictures. For me, photography is the time to be away from all the things that are happening in my life, you can say it is my therapy. I find it to be relaxing to walk around the city and be in my own mind discovering interesting things to photograph.

3. When did you start your artistic journey? 

It started with my first DSLR camera. I haven’t turned that camera on for a long time since I upgraded my camera. I have thought about selling it, but deep down, I am not willing to let it go. It is not a very great camera, technically speaking, but I learned so much about the mechanics of the camera and how every setting affects the image I am taking.

4. What does your creative process look like when working on a new project?

My creative process might be different from many other photographers, mainly because of the kinds of photography I am into. I like sports, street, nature, concerts, and landscape photography. I am not a very creative person in the traditional sense. I don’t usually have a creative idea in mind before I get into a project, but I am very adaptive while on the shoot to work things in my favor. I like the fact that I can’t predict how the result will be. I need to be present to find and capture the moment in front of me. In that sense, my creative process is the act of taking photos, as the shoot goes on I find the best way to work with the location and lighting.

5. Tell me about the meaning behind your work.

To me, photography is a gift, and it is about being in the moment. Part of it is for me, part of it is for others. As I mentioned before, because of the type of photography I do, I need to be more aware as I am on a shoot. This helps me to slow down and be more aware of the environment around me. I think this is a great practice in this fast-living world. I believe photography can bring joy to other people, at least it brings joy to me, and I want to give the same feeling to other people through my work. Whether it is taking people to a place they have never been before or as simple as visually pleasing framing.

6. Who is your audience for your work? What do you hope they feel, take away, learn, etc. from your work?

I guess people who follow me on Instagram. I have a website, but it is not being used to promote work, more like a professional portfolio at this point. As of right now, I hope when people see my work, they will go “wow, that’s a really cool photo.”

7. Is there anything else the Emerson community and beyond should know about you or your work?

Photography is my hobby, and I have fun while doing it. I hope people can have fun looking at my work or also find photography to be fun, too. I am very much open to going on a photo walk with someone I don’t really know, so if that sounds fun to you let me know!

Qiansimen Bridge by Bobby Wu

Des Rocs by Bobby Wu