BELONGING

In this body of work, I am questioning the definition of belonging in the context of immigration and constant traveling.

 

Moving to Miami from Moscow at the age of 17 strongly affected my sense of identity, as I was forced to start from a new beginning after leaving a fully developed life in hometown. I noticed that answering a simple question, "Where are you from?", became more complicated after a year of life in a new home, and standing on the threshold of the next move made me question if we need to limit our identity to one place. To explore this topic I created a series that reflects different "branches" of my belonging, covering the old, the new, and alternative paths I took through my life.

 

The final composition is brought together with a light transparent aluminum self-portrait that is hung in front of the pieces to show how a person doesn't have to be attached to one particular background, suggesting that in the modern setting we don't need to limit our identity to one place.

VANISHING MEMORIES

Watercolor, colored pencil, transparent paper, thread, fake grass, rocks, ink, on paper

23"x15" 

2016

 

 

One of the oldest memories I have about skating with my friend in Moscow. Elements made with immigration passport stamps swirl around the memory, dragging old past away.

MOSCOW DYNAMICS

Watercolor, colored pencil, marker, transparent paper, ink, thread on paper
16.5"x22.5"

2016

This piece shows the buildings outside of my apartment that I had to leave after living next to them for over 10 years.
Even though there is no action happening in the image, I wanted to capture the chaotic and everchanging energy of Moscow

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DREAMING OF THAILAND

Watercolor, colored pencil, transparent paper, on paper
14"x19"

2016

 

This one reflects an alternative branch: before settling on Miami my family thought about moving to Thailand, where I have spent a big portion of my life. Even though it never happened, Thailand still feels like home to me. 

ADAPTATION

Watercolor, colored pencil, bark wood, silver leaf, cardboard, ink, on paper
18"x13"

2016

 

This piece shows the contradictions of emotions caused by adaptation to my new home in Miami after I moved there from Moscow.

EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE

Watercolor, colored pencil, fabrics, carpet, thread, beads, scrapbook paper, black and white ink, on paper
23.5"x16.5"

2016

 

Constant traveling and moving force us to sleep in different beds without being able to attach ourselves to one bedroom. The eventual medley of environments is so contrast and inharmonious the person almost gets lost in it. 

DETACHED

Aluminum mesh
80"x60"

2016

 

The main idea I wanted to convey through the series is suggesting that in a modern setting we don't really need to limit our identity to one particular place. I layered aluminum mesh to make a light and semi-transparent self-portrait that would be hung in front of other pieces to show how a person doesn't have to be attached to one background to move on.

DAWN OF YOUTH

Watercolor, colored pencil, ink, on paper

15"x23"

2017

 

Through this piece, I wanted to convey the emotions of both unity and separation I experienced while visiting my old classmates in Moscow last summer. After their graduation, we rented a cottage in the countryside to spend the last day of lightheartedness together. At night we climbed on a roof to play guitar, meet the sunrise and celebrate the letting go of your past, knowing that after the night everyone would start their independent life path yet would still hold each other' back no matter where they go.

TIMELINE GLITCH

Watercolor, colored pencil, ink, on paper

13"x11"

2017

In previous pieces of the series, I was illustrating my old, alternative, and current homes, and wanted to finish it with the suggestion about the future home at that time. In 2017, I was moving to New York and go back to city life I was used to, although the warm years in Miami have permanently made it one of the places that feel like home and will shape my perception of the US in general.

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New York, NY

305-713-6688