三月 March / 常惠珍 Nancy Sheung Wai-Chun
Nancy Sheung Wai-Chun was born in Suzhou in 1914. Unlike the previous two female figures in this calendar series, Sheung and her family were not affluent or well known, but that certainly didn't hold her back. According to her granddaughter Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres, Sheung was tomboyish in her ways and worked in an opium den to pay for her own high school education. She also rode the family's horse to class while carrying a gun to protect herself.

Sheung moved to Hong Kong in the mid 1930s after meeting her husband Pong Kuan-Wah. They had six children together, but it comes as no surprise that this didn't hold her back either. Outside of her duties as a wife and mother, Sheung ran a construction company until the recession in late 50s Hong Kong slowed business to a halt. After seeing an exhibition of European photography in 1958, however, Sheung was inspired to buy her first camera, thus launching her second career as a (rare) professionally accredited female photographer in East Asia.

Her eye for visual composition was always spot-on given her experience in the construction industry, but Sheung's artistic vision was even more compelling. Many of her photographs (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) experimented with shapes, lighting, and space in ways that are still iconic to this day. Sheung's meticulous attention to detail, combined with her impeccable sense of form, contributed to her idiosyncratic style as a photographer; her pieces often won prizes and were exhibited around the world to great acclaim.