Amazing Arts and Artists : Sand Art by Kseniya Simonova

Not just about the art, it's about an inspiring journey of an awesome human being Kseniya Simonova

Kseniya-SimonovaKseniya Simonova is a performance artist in sand animation and a philanthropist.

Sand performance was suggested by her husband, Igor Paskar. Initially, Simonova was unsure, but she decided to try it in the absence of other viable options to improve their financial situation. When tests with beach and river sands proved both unsuitable, Simonova’s husband began researching better options on the internet. He sold his printing equipment to buy 3 kilograms of expensive volcanic sand.

Simonova began experimenting with the medium at night, after serving as a full-time mother throughout the day. She found it challenging, but persisted in spite of early impulses to give up. Physically grueling, the art form required her standing for long periods of time and also required her to retrain her vision to adapt to the unique medium.

You can view all her videos here on her YouTube Channel Kseniya Simonova

On December 4, 2009, Simonova presented the first Sand Picture Exhibition. In 2010, she founded an International Cultural Center “Sand Club” in the Crimean city of Yevpatoria.

Sand animation, also known as sand art, is a term which has two meanings. It is the name given to a style of live performance art and to a type of animation. In the former, an artist creates a series of images using sand, a process which is achieved by applying sand to a surface and then rendering images by drawing lines and figures in the sand with one’s hands. A sand animation performer will often use the aid of an overhead projector or lightbox (similar to one used by photographers to view translucent films). In the latter, animators move around sand on a backlighted or frontlighted piece of glass to create each frame for their animated films.

File:SimonovaKA2.jpgShe was born on April 22, 1985 in Yevpatoria, a town on the Crimean peninsula, in Ukraine, which was then a part of the Soviet Union. Her mother, Irina Simonova, is an artist, a theatrical designer and teacher of fine arts. Her father, Alexander Simonov, is a former military officer who runs a business in furniture design. Since she was a child, Kseniya painted, drew and designed with her mother.

Kseniya’s parents discouraged her from a career as an artist. Kseniya explained, “It is a constant struggle. I knew that, and was ready for it. If you chose this profession, you’re struggling all your life. You do not enjoy everyday life – like comfort, and buying furniture… You’re always looking for something more, and actually, I was never interested in a life of comfort and buying furniture.” In 2007, she married Igor Paskar, a theater director and magazine editor. Their son Dmitry was born on November 27, 2007.

She graduated from the Artistic School of Yevpatoria and studied in the School of Fine Arts. Since 2006 Kseniya has been working for a magazine “Crimean Riviera” as an artist. In 2007, Kseniya and her husband Igor Paskar, launched a bilingual magazine “Chocolate” in English and Russian. The magazine stopped production in 2008 due to the financial crisis.

Her husband, Igor, suggested that she should enter the competition Ukraine’s Got Talent, where the prize was one million hryvna, the equivalent of $110,000. Kseniya decided to enter.

She presented a two minute sand story  and was selected as a semi-finalist. She wanted to perform a sand story about World War II, but the producers encouraged her to choose a more popular theme. Kseniya refused, saying, “I just want to bring some immortal sense to this show. Not just pictures or video clips. Something close to all hearts.”

The sand story Kseniya presented live on TV was an eight minute story of a young couple separated by the war.

In an interview she said, “It was so emotionally hard, and I now still can not think about those minutes without pain… My hands were dying and reviving making the images.”

You can view all her videos here on her YouTube Channel Kseniya Simonova

Kseniya was hoping to get some exposure as an artist, but it became much more. The audience was moved to tears. As soon as she finished her performance, applause erupted and she received a standing ovation.

Kseniya passed the semi-finals and moved on to the finals. In the third round, she performed a sand story about a son who became successful and forgot his parents.Kseniya wanted grown children to remember their parents and to encourage them to call. After that performance, people came up to her in the street saying, “After watching your story, I picked up the phone and called my mom. I haven’t talked to her in a year. Thank you very much!”

Kseniya was declared the winner of the competition and collected 100,000 euro. She was named an online sensation, when in one day her video from the show was viewed more than a million times. In one year, it was viewed over 25 million times. Kseniya understood what happened only after she returned to her native town Yevpatoria and could no longer walk freely in the streets. She was surrounded by people asking for autographs. With the money they won, Igor and Kseniya bought a house in Yevpatoria. They received invitations from all over the world to perform.

In the next several years, Simonova performed over 200 sand stories for audiences in Ukraine, Russia, Norway, Japan, Poland, Austria, China, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Qatar, India, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Malta and others, including presidents, heads of states and royalty.


Courtesy : Wikipedia and Youtube Kseniya Simonovaiamlikeasea)

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