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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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food, food art, malaysia, user feature, Instagram,

Telling Stories through Food with @leesamantha

For more photos and videos of Samantha’s culinary artwork, follow @leesamantha on Instagram.

"When I first started creating food art, those in bento boxes (called charaben) had been around for a long time—but I was more interested in exploring food art out of the box and simplifying the technique,” says Malaysia Instagrammer Samantha Lee (@leesamantha). “Since then, I’ve developed my own unique style of storytelling on plates that explores a variety of subject matter and ingredients,” she adds.

A mother of two daughters, Samantha started devising ways to get them to eat in a healthier and more independent way by applying creativity to her presentation. She designs scenes on plates featuring celebrities, popular characters, animals and famous landmarks, made up mainly of local and fresh edible ingredients. Samantha’s ideas and creative inspiration come from a variety of fine arts as well as from her daughters, whom she describes as having “endless imagination”.

Samantha is also careful to keep food waste to a minimum. “Before I begin putting any new ideas on a plate, I sketch out my designs and write down ideas and ingredients I’ll be using. It helps me to be more organized and prevent food waste.” Her minimalistic approach shows in her camera work as well. She edits very little by choosing to shoot in natural light and avoids using too many props in her photos to “let the food art stand out and speak for itself.”

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behind the instameet, indonesia, malaysia, jiran, instameet, mount bromo,

Behind the InstaMeet: @firmanaldianto, Mount Bromo

In this series, we hear from the Instagrammers organizing InstaMeets in different parts of the world. To view more photos and videos from Mount Bromo, browse the #InstaMeetJiran hashtag and follow @firmanaldianto, @moriesadhtya and @rino_adlis on Instagram.

In late February, 12 Instagrammers—five from Malaysia and seven from Indonesia—gathered for #InstaMeetJiran, a four-day InstaMeet on East Java’s active volcano, Mount Bromo.

Inspiration

”#InstaMeetJiran happened because of the Malaysian Instagrammers,” explained Firman Aldianto (@firmanaldianto), an Indonesian Instagrammer who helped organize the meet-up.

"Since the last Worldwide InstaMeet,” says Malaysian Instagrammer Razieff (@razieff), “a group of us have organized several InstaMeets.” When they learned of last year’s meet-up on Indonesia’s scenic Mount Bromo, however, they were inspired to make a pilgrimage of their own.

"It was the first international InstaMeet I ever attended," Razieff says.

Organization

Firman says Malaysia Instagrammer “Shafiq (@shafiqanaksaleh_) contacted us Indonesian Instagrammers who live in Malang and told us of their plan to visit Indonesia.”

Alongside friends Mories Adhtya (@moriesadhtya) and Rino Adlis (@rino_adlis), Firman then spread the word to their friends throughout Indonesia. “First I told my friends from Malang,” explains Mories, “then I called some Instagrammers from Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Surabaya and Makassar.”

In the end, the group included Instagrammers from Malaysia, Malang and Surbaya, many of whom were meeting for the first time.

Reflection

"This was a truly unforgettable experience," says Firman. Beyond Instagram, "we shared and learned about one another’s culture, tourism, cuisine and more."

Says Razieff, “Even though we’d never met in real life before, we all became close and still keep in touch.”

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ArtThursday, Ernest Zacharevic, Penang, Malaysia, art,

Reclaiming Penang’s Old Hin Bus Depot with Art

For more photos from Ernest Zacharevic’s solo exhibition in Penang, Malaysia, explore the Hin Company Bus Depot location page.

A reclaimed bus depot in Penang, Malaysia, is home to the first solo show by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic (@ernestzacharevic). Adorning the Hin Company Bus Depot with dozens of murals and other site-specific installations, Zacharevic challenges the distinction between decay and art in an exhibit he’s named “Art is Rubbish/Rubbish is Art.”

The show, which opened on January 17 and runs through February 14, is free and open to the public. Learn more about Zacharevic’s work here.

Photos: Thunderstorm Squall Lines in Malaysia

photo feature, malaysia, clouds, squall lines,

Yesterday, a series of heavy thunderstorms passed through East Malaysia, resulting in some truly stunning Instagram photos of the storm’s squall lines.

Squall lines are clouds shaped by violent gusts of wind, and can be nearly 100 miles long. In Malaysia, they are often seen during the southwest monsoon season.