BA THEIN LAY, MYANMAR - © ABBAS/MAGNUM Singaporean photographer Melisa Teo brings a spiritual dimension to her work that seeks to throw light on the very nature of existence. She calls the camera her ‘third eye’ – the eye that sees what the heart feels. It is a medium that transports her across realms to touch upon the synchronicity between the colours of light and the vibrations of life. Freezing the perpetual flow of time in one eternal image. Having left behind a career in book publishing, Teo has been travelling the globe since 2008 to explore the sacred realms of religion. She has found herself at the very heart of a vortex whose energy resonated in the most sublime sites: places of pilgrimage, religious ritual and sacrifice. These journeys have been documented in her book ‘Light From Within’ and a number of exhibitions: ‘Dark Light’ was a joint exhibition in Singapore in 2011, which featured two photographers’ contrasting styles and perspectives as they pointed their cameras at the shared subjects of Buddhism, Hinduism and Santeria. In 2012, ‘Light From Within’ was presented as solo exhibitions in Singapore and Paris. Her ongoing quest for understanding the subject of spirituality took Melisa from Vietnam to France, Israel to Morocco, Cambodia to Taiwan. Entitled ‘The Light Beyond’, the work shows her aspiration towards transcendence – both in the image and in life. Thereafter, she continued her exploration of existentialism and the process of creation through ‘Eden’, a series of self-portraits and images inspired by nature and the Garden of Eden to question our place in the universe. Both works were launched as solo exhibitions in Singapore in 2016.