• KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Kazakh Art Abroad: Interview with Saida Sheikhova

Saida Sheikhova  is a well-established artist from Kazakhstan, now living in Prague, whose work has garnered an international following. In conversation with TCA, Saida shares her creative path, sources of inspiration, and the challenges and opportunities faced in promoting her art abroad. TCA: What inspired you to take up painting? I started drawing at the age of three. There was an art class at day-care and I spent all my time there. My drawing teacher, Elvira Saparbayevna, noticed something unique in me. By way of encouragement, she introduced me to different materials, techniques, as well as work by famous artists, and I became more and more immersed in the art world. Hearing stories about what inspired people in the past to create art, I found it strange that most were motivated by religious or historical subject matter and determined to follow a different path. TCA: How did your career develop? I enrolled in the Art School Vivat, opened by my kindergarten teacher, where I gained a basic knowledge of art history and gathered together a huge portfolio. During that period, I participated in several exhibitions, including ‘Friendship of the Peoples of the World’ at the Museum of the President of Kazakhstan in 2019, as well as auctions and UN projects. I devoted my summer vacations to drawing, which led to my winning the International Festival ‘Children Draw the World Asia’ in 2017, organized by UNESCO. During the pandemic, I entered and won awards in online competitions on themes of ecology and animal protection within the framework of the UNESCO’s 'Children Draw the World' project. After graduating, I wanted to study in Europe and then if possible, move on elsewhere.  Prague was the most affordable option and getting a visa was relatively straightforward. On arriving in the Czech Republic, I participated in exhibitions and competitions at the university. Thanks to the Erasmus+ exchange program, I spent a semester in Italy, where I discovered new techniques and approaches to creativity which helped define both my style and how I wanted to showcase my work.   [caption id="attachment_19993" align="aligncenter" width="447"] @ssayashh[/caption] TCA: What inspires your art? Inspiration comes unintentionally. It can be a beautiful shot from a movie, stories of friends, a vivid emotion, or current problems. When an idea pops into my head, I try to sketch it out or write it down so that I always have something to draw in the future. TCA: How does Kazakh culture influence your practice? Kazakh culture influences my perception and interpretation of things in many ways. I often hide or insert traditional Kazakh objects and ornament in my art and use their symbolism to enhance the concept behind the work. I also raise social issues related to contemporary problems in Kazakh society.   TCA: What are the challenges in representing your art abroad and how do you overcome them? The main challenges relate to cultural differences and language barriers. Certain topics, relevant in Kazakhstan, may not be understood in Europe. For example, body positivity...