BA THEIN LAY, MYANMAR - © ABBAS/MAGNUM

Melisa Teo is a Singaporean photographer who has been documenting her journeys through spiritual worlds since 2008.

She regards the camera as her ‘third eye’ which perceives a reality that eludes the naked eye. Guided by intuition, she employs the camera to find fresh views of invisible horizons as photography is, for her, a means to look beyond reality, rather than replicate it.

These journeys have been published in her book ‘Light From Within’ and presented in a number of exhibitions.

‘Dark Light’ was a joint exhibition in Singapore in 2011, which featured two photographers’ contrasting styles and perspectives of Buddhism, Hinduism and Santeria.

In 2012, ‘Light From Within’ was also displayed as solo exhibitions in Singapore and Paris.

Her ongoing quest for a greater understanding of spirituality has taken Melisa from Vietnam to France, Israel to Morocco, Cambodia to Taiwan. Entitled ‘The Light Beyond’, this work captures her aspiration towards transcendence – both in the images and in life.

With ‘Eden’ – a series of self-portraits and images inspired by nature and the Garden of Eden – Melisa questions our place in the universe through the process of creation.

Both bodies of work were presented as solo exhibitions in Singapore in 2016.

In recent years, Melisa’s fascination with man’s intuitive rapport with nature has led her from shamans in the forests of Siberia to anonymous figures in the manicured gardens of Paris.