Harry Ma was born in Jiangsu province, on the east coast of China, in 1998. He came to the United States in 2013 and completed BAsin Studio Arts and Digital Media Studies at the University of Rochester. Ma uses lens-based media to discovers a calm enjoyment for the hidden beauty in the ordinary. In Fall 2021, he will pursue an MA in Contemporary Art Practice at the University of Edinburgh.
Harry Ma's photographs explore the flow of life in the city streets and capture the complicated but fascinating motion it involves. Precisely freezing this motion in discrete fragments, his work discovers a calm enjoyment for the hidden beauty in the ordinary. Ma takes inspiration from cinematography by seizing and extracting distinct slices of life and deliberately re-construct them to form a story. Capturing a collision of the unexpected, he often frames against a cleverly composed background of geometrical construction, patterns, and texture to create a sense of depth.
Influenced by Sail Leiter, Fan Ho, and Liam Wong, Harry Ma also photographs at night, through windows, including reflections and glass distortions, bring out strong colors in layers of in-focus and out-of-focus elements. Through post-production, he borrows bold and vibrant color palettes from classic sci-fi films to enhance the painterly look and feel. In his recent photo series, Picture In Picture, Ma manually creates double exposure to combine multiple images taken at different places and times to make the audience question the reality portrayed in every captured moment. At the heart of his work is the question: how to seize the hidden beauty in the ordinary that people often ignore?