Introducing Photographer of the Week #204: Hailun Ma
“I was born and raised in Urumqi Xinjiang Uyghur, the most important place in the Silk Road, where Chinese silk had been exported to Europe and the rest of the world. It is such a diverse place where traditional Chinese culture meets Muslim culture. While in graduate school for fashion photography, I became confused and reflective about the field. Part of me loves styling and how fashion photography is a great platform to show my aesthetic and vision. Another part of me felt less connected. High fashion is distant from the lifestyle in Xinjiang, yet everyone there has amazing style. Growing up, I was fascinated with how colorful and vibrant the Uyghur traditional clothing is. I want to recreate that, and by doing this series I hope to find that connection between fashion and who I am. Moreover, it has been my passion to introduce my homeland to others. That’s also what photography means to me: to share a memory, a new place, a culture, a lifestyle or even clothing.”
Hailun Ma (b. Xinjiang, China), is an artist working in between New York City and Shanghai. She holds an MPS in Fashion Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Ma’s work critiques the traditional understanding of fashion photography, pulling inspiration from her hometown of Xianjing in relationship to New York City. Her work has been featured in New York Magazine, The Cut, and i-D.
For more information on Hailun’s work check out her website.