'Break Free' comes from current UAL MA Fashion Photography student Yanxin Ma. He chose this project to reflect upon himself, his take and feelings towards his experiences in the context of the pandemic. All the obstacles and unsettling emotions that he stumbled upon, all the changes he had to adapt to, and the new daily implementations that came as a result of the pandemic, were translated through Yanxin, or Leo's, lens. The body of work is rich in symbolism and hidden messages that come from the artist's life, which he documented every day by taking pictures and analysing his own relationships and emotions.
Like many of us, Leo was looking for a way to detach from the world, take a deep breath and reconnect with nature. As a result, the beginning of the project had more of a 'chilling' approach which reflected exactly that. The unsettling start of the project moved to the second phase, which found the artist on a trip to Italy. There he managed to see the epic in the mundane by documenting natural elements around him such as pine trees that were to be found all around historical monuments. This made him think of all the generations that passed and the new perspectives and understandings that come from them once they are looked at from a different angle.
The last stage of the project was where he decided to focus only on his personal life, his daily interactions and activities, and look for ways to draw inspiration from them. "I used a lot of symbolic methods, such as
photographing one person sucking another person's tears to express that many people squeeze others to meet their own needs, but at the same time, it will cause others pain".
"A symbol of constantly asking others to meet one's own needs"
"Blindly listening to the opinions of others and not having one's own opinion. Knowledge, obtained from other people's narration without verifying the authenticity of its source"
"Protecting your thoughts might be a bondage"
Photography Yanxin Ma / @merliuuu.6
Model Sterre Haket / @sterre.h Represented by Premier Models / @premiermodels
Model Elizabete Pakule / @lizabete
Makeup Artist Chieh-Ping Lee / @ping_muartist