Meet Ele Onka, a contemporary abstract artist whose creative journey is a lifelong study of light, colour, and discarded fragments, revealing the beauty within brokenness. With a degree in Visual Arts from Tampere University of Applied Sciences and OCAD University, Onka is an artist whose work serves as a powerful medium to vent emotions and explore the dichotomy of life’s experiences, searching meaning out of something meaningless. Deeply inspired by the Wabi-sabi philosophy, Onka’s art delves into the mesh of spatiotemporal dimensions, weaving emotion and connection, transforming shattered glass and discarded objects into idiosyncratic photographs of acceptance, challenging societal variances of perfection and imperfection.
Onka’s work embodies the essence of photography’s spatiotemporal context, they’ve honed a unique artistic process that involves composing broken art glass and other discarded objects creating artworks filled with balance, rhythm, proportion, symmetry, and the relationship between positive and negative space. Their creations traverse the realm of contemporary abstract art, predominantly expressed through art photography and paintings. Onka’s artistic process delves deep into the cultural notions of brokenness, obsolescence, and trash, creating pieces of art that encapsulates the fragmented nature of our world, finding soulful abstractions amidst discarded debris. Through their work, Onka aims to evoke a sense of non-distributive perception, where objects transcend memories and conceptions, existing as pure luminous ideas.
Onka’s intuitive trash compositions unfurl intricate narratives, where light reveals imperfect textures, and emotions find voice through fractured surfaces. Capturing the essence of impermanence and the ephemerality of life, they confront the human inclination for the unbroken with captivating and distinctive imagery. Their artistic process involves painting with light, utilizing camera’s sensor as a canvas. Onka’s compositions also resonate with layered, multidimensional nature of our realities, mirroring the complexity of existence itself.
Beyond aesthetics, Onka’s art becomes a profound medium to navigate life’s endless streams of dichotomies. By assembling shattered fragments into harmonious wholes, they mirror the slow and haphazard journey of healing. In this journey, Onka draws from personal battles with mental health issues, creating landscapes of vulnerability punctuated by shards of light—each fragment a testament to resilience and transformation, a celebration of imperfect and broken. Onka’s artworks are more than mere visuals; they are abstracted mappings of the human condition.
Each shattered piece tells a story of struggle, resilience, and acceptance. Through their abstractions, these artworks invite viewers to embrace the incomplete, and recognize and accept imperfection. Just as they breathe life into discarded objects, Onka invites us to reimagine our own stories, reframing our perspectives on perfection, brokenness and growth.
In my artistic practice, I delve into the stratification of reality, context, textures, materiality, and corporeality. With a focus on the ephemerality of the photographic medium, I seek to capture transformative moments when shattered glass is touched by the full spectrum of light. Drawing upon my background in Visual Arts, and also in Design, and my fascination with the essence of spatiotemporal context, I compose broken art glass and other discarded objects as vehicles for exploration. Through the lens of my camera, I paint with light, revealing the hidden beauty and intricate details that emerge from the interplay of light, color, texture, and surface.
My artistic journey is an exploration of the unseen beauty that resides within the broken and discarded fragments that we leave behind. As an experimental contemporary abstract artist, I engage with the realms of photography, with what I give new life to forgotten remnants, guided by the principles of Wabi-sabi philosophy. Drawing from a profound connections between the spatiotemporal dimensions, I compose visual and intuitive formations that illustrate the tangibility of exchange between light, colour, texture, and perception. With a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from Tampere University of Applied Sciences and OCAD University, and also with my 10 years studying social sciences in University of Helsinki, my creative evolution embodies a fusion of academic knowledge, visual innovation and intuitive intellect.
My artistic processes center around capturing the essence of interconnections—the mesh of visceral compositions, raw edges and profound, untouched colours together forge idiosyncratic photographs to stay with. These abstract compositions transcend the ordinary to reflect an intimate narrative of beauty emerging from imperfections, and to explore the dichotomies of life’s experiences. It celebrates the notion of brokenness and obsolescence, challenging societal perceptions of what is considered trash, what it means to be broken. By meticulously studying the interaction between light and surfaces, I uncover soulful abstractions within discarded debris, creating mental landscapes that reflect the beauty of shattered forms.
In my quest to illustrate the distorted human yearning for perfection, I engage with discarded artifacts and abandoned objects. The camera’s sensor becomes my canvas, where I paint with light bringing forth soulful abstractions that emanate from the debris of human existence. Abstracted photograph as a medium reveals the profoundness of non-distributive perception—an abstract thought freed from memories and conceptions, a pure luminous idea. By stripping away preconceived notions of form, I invite viewers to contemplate the momentous nature of everything in our existence.
Delving into the ephemerality of the photographic medium, I study the interaction of light and color on surfaces, capturing moments when shattered glass becomes a canvas of refracted full spectrum of light. My exploration extends beyond aesthetics, diving into cultural perceptions of brokenness and obsolescence, unveiling the hidden stories behind the mundane. Through my work, I aim to guide viewers to lean into the discomfort of incompleteness and imperfection. The shards of shattered glass, once deemed obsolete, emerge as profound symbols of resilience, embodying the essence of wabi-sabi philosophy that celebrates the acceptance of imperfect and transient.
Beneath the surface of my art lies a profound purpose—to navigate the depths of my emotions and visualise the intricate duality of life’s experiences: intact/broken, perfect/imperfect, healthy/sick. A continuous personal battle with mental health has given induction to these artworks, creating impressions where vulnerability, honest questioning and raw emotion shines through the rough, shattered edges. These compositions of brokenness mirror anyones inner struggles within our dualistic cultures, inviting viewers to perceive human experience in a different light, and accept the beauty that thrives amidst all imperfection. As I illuminate the discarded and overlooked, my artworks become vessels for the stories of our collective existence—redefining brokenness as a source of resilience, beauty, and acceptance.