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Zhaniya M. - Eske alu

Curatorial Rationale

The main idea of this exhibition is to let the viewers realize how much the individuals we meet in our life affect us. Our surroundings have a huge influence on all of our life changes. There is a saying among the people that the older generation regularly told me: with whom you will be led, from that you will gain. Man is a social being, and we cannot avoid any form of contact. Yet, you can always choose who you want to surround yourself with. As a result, it is critical to respect oneself and comprehend the implications of particular actions on your own mental state.My intention in putting on this exhibition is to disseminate this perspective.


Akosya (My Brother’s name)
Digital photograph with painting on skin
100 cm x 100 cm

This work is a reflection of the importance and value of memories dedicated to my brother, who suffered from depression. His back is the canvas here. When our parents want to support us, they always grab behind our backs and gently stroke to calm us and refocus. The painted figure shows a silhouette of parents and a kid to convey the warmth of childhood and memories of it serve as support. It is a shield from hard times and loneliness that are transmitted through the cold blue background wall.

Meniń ǵasyrymda ne boldy (What Have I Seen in My Lifetime)
Acrylic on canvas with linoleum stamp
80 cm x 60 cm

No words can convey my grandmother’s experience as a small child hiding in the forest, holding tightly in her mouth the gold coins that her parents placed there before being shot. Separated by trees from her brother, she hid herself from belonging to the rich stratum of those being killed. 1900s Soviet Union wanted everyone equal; no rich people allowed. Her brother was exposed and burned alive. She survived in silence–almost until her last breath as the secret is hidden in family shadows. 

Decline / Anger / Bargaining / Apathy / Acceptance
Digital Photography (series of 5)
360 cm x 60 cm

We often hear that experience brings strength. As if there is only the incident itself from which we learn a lesson and acceptance for ourselves. However, there are stages of acceptance. Everyone has them in different ways.It's anger when you're boiling from inside. This is a bargain between feelings and thoughts. This depression is empty because all the forces have gone. Only after all this comes acceptance. When the pressure from the temples has subsided and you know why you want to move.

Why Does a Swallow Have a Forked Tail?
Video, drawings, poetry combined
3 minutes 53 seconds

My dad always brought many books home. I loved listening to Kazakh fairy tales that described the life of the steppe. One day, after an incident that kept me in the hospital for a long time, he told me why the swallow has a forked tail. Now that I'm older, my father takes me to the steppe as often to ride horses. We always walk in silence, slowly swaying when the horses walk. There is no one around, and only the wind tells me stories about my beloved steppe.

құшақтау (Hug Me)
Plaster sculpture, colored cellophane
20 cm x 25 cm x 20 cm

Brancusi's Kiss influenced me. The observer feels love from the evident hug and wrapped arms around each person. I made something about a loved one from transferred feelings. We keep our souls open, giving permission to all the emotions and feelings that are painful to talk about. While one is standing, the other can be imponderable. However, for us, now is the time when our relationship should strengthen despite what is happening around. The only thing I need right now is to hug him again.

Белгі (Mark)
Stucco putty on canvas
122 x 94 cm

As a teacher said: In this life, fate will teach me through relationships. Whether it's my family, friends, classmates, or partners. Someone created us and left a big footprint. Someone else wanted to leave only a light trail. This is how a person is formed. Do not forget the past and devalue the experiences that you have had. After all, every moment of the present that we all try to live in remains behind. In order to move forward, you always need to have something behind you.