“I Am Not There, But I Can Hear It”
oil on canvas

“I thought it was relevant to the topic because it supports Ukraine and there are so many refugees from Ukraine, as well as Russians who have fled the war. This war has led to migration in Europe. As a Kyrgyz, I can say that our government turns a blind eye to it, but Russian propaganda is still present in our country because Russian television is broadcasted here. If you think it’s appropriate, I can send it to you.”

Oil on canvas, 2023

“While looking at old photos in my girlfriend’s house, I came across a very interesting photo. I like to draw inspiration from old pictures. In the photo, young girls from Soviet Kyrgyzstan are sitting in a field surrounded by scattered cages. One of the cages contains a boy while a girl sits atop another cage. Her left breast is slightly exposed, and with one hand, she points at the viewer as if ordering the other girls to “catch him!” The boy in the cage is the only male present.”

“Raft of the Medusa”
Oil on canvas, 2023

“When I was a migrant in Russia, my biggest fear was dying there. I was afraid that I would never see my home, parents, and loved ones again. Many migrants did not return or returned with a heavy burden. Many were swallowed up by this vast country. As the Russians say, ‘Moscow doesn’t believe in tears,’ and the tears that flowed there could have flooded the ocean.”

Artist Statement

The first thing in my memory is a train ride with my family, which is why I am very attached to the uninterrupted sound of train wheels, their rhythm and roar. However, my father lost his job and we had to migrate from our small hometown to the capital city. One of my older brothers studied at the Academy of Arts, and I once accidentally ruined one of his paintings, not realizing that oil paint dries so slowly. I was young and fascinated by the magic of the paint. Perhaps that’s why I always wanted to touch his still-wet paintings.

As a child, magic surrounded me everywhere: in my father’s fairy tale “about the goldfish” by A.S. Pushkin, my mother’s stories about God and angels, my brother’s paintings, and my own childhood fantasies. I try to infuse my paintings with all of this. My goal is always to create a path or railway for the viewer to walk or ride along.

The most important thing is to be on the journey, whether you’re sitting, standing, or lying down because we’re all on the train together. Let’s listen to the monotonous, sad, yet dear and mysterious sound of the wheels together. For me, nothing is more important than the sound of wheels because it represents the beginning of a journey.