Helena Ma Atelier debuts solo photography exhibition with a philanthropic cause
In this powerful series, the emerging photographer reveals the raw human encounters that she has captured in this decade across Asia and Europe
SINGAPORE – On 19 Dec, Helena Ma debuted her provocative solo photography exhibition at The Fullerton Heritage Gallery, Singapore. Attended by notable art collectors and key business leaders from Singapore and China, the exhibition raised funds for DEBRA, an international medical research charity for “butterfly children” suffering from a rare genetic condition that causes their extremely fragile skin to tear or blister at the slightest touch.
Titled ‘Ode to Life’, the vernissage presents a raw, intimate series of life and its ‘great mundanity’, as captured by eponymous founder, photography enthusiast and agency director Helena Ma’s past decade living in Europe and Asia.
Through this palette-rich manifesto of faces and silhouettes, Ma investigates the emotions and mystery that are lost in the mundanities of everyday life. Shot against the familiar background of Asian cities, it is a powerful medley of light and texture, where spontaneous moments reveal ordinary life from an unusual perspective. Tapping into the natural, human curiosity, the intimate photographs challenges the jaded mind to appreciate everyday encounters with art, love and compassion, in this modern world.
Born and raised in China, Ma is an emerging photographer with a career spanning five countries: South Korea, China, Sweden, UK and Singapore. Since she picked up her first professional camera at the age of 20, the self-taught enthusiast has pursued her passion for photography extensively in the last decade, especially through her travels.
“Ode to Life represents my life’s work. This first edition offers the bold and beautiful whimsical moments that I have seized for the past ten years, in my travels around the world. From wandering the streets at night to intimate moments of my personal life, I have sought to freeze fractions of a second, as seen from my eyes, heart and mind,” says Ma.
The first of many solo exhibitions to come, ‘Ode to Life’ is a culmination of Ma’s decade-long collection. From urban landscapes to the storied moments of Ma’s personal life, each photograph is a spiritual story, where Ma is the unspoken raconteur. Merging the extension of her human psyche with abstract, painting-like finishes, Ma composes a thoughtful medley existential and spiritual. The exhibition also provides an intimate peek into the transformation and growth of Ma’s photography style, from architectural imagery to sensory expressions.