Ele Onka, a contemporary abstract artist whose creative journey is a lifelong study of light, colour, and discarded fragments, searching 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, building meaning out of something meaningless. Deeply inspired by the Wabi-sabi philosophy, Onka’s art digs deep 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, with a unique artistic process that involves composing broken art glass and other discarded objects creating artworks filled with balance, rhythm, proportion, symmetry, and showing the relationship between positive and negative space. Their creations traverse the fields of contemporary abstract art, predominantly expressed through art photography and paintings. Onka’s artistic process explores the cultural notions of brokenness, obsolescence, and trash, creating pieces of art that encapsulates the fragmented bipolaristc 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.

Artist's Statement

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.

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. 

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.