Katya Kan

Artist Statement
Katya Kan

An idiosyncratic specimen of globalization, I was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, my father being North Korean and my mother being Russian. Having caught a glimpse of the ex-USSR, I have a nostalgic, conflicting perception of political and cultural systems. The image of Korea evokes for me a tantalizing, fragile and beautifully moving atmosphere. How come? Perhaps, because my father, who was born Pyongyang, writes essays and existential about the Korean diaspora in former CIS countries. Devoid of a homeland, I focus my art on the themes of ethnical atomization, emptiness and nostalgia. Unable to fully assimilate into any one culture, I find myself as an outsider with an eclectic artistic taste. Art represents the act of seeking, assembling and immortalizing beauty. Through my artistic practice, I recreate the state of inspiration and emancipation, experienced during my childhood. My works strive to capture the ephemeral impressions. The concepts, which I explore in my work, include the globalization, surveillance, nostalgia, utopia and eroticism. Recently, I was involved in initiatives with the Royal Watercolor Society, Art Below, Art Wars in London, Red Dot Miami and Los Angeles. This year, I am having shows at 508 Kings Road in London as well as Untitled Space, the New York Art Expo, Theresa Byrnes Gallery and Salon Anise in New York.

At this moment of self-isolation, I'm exploring the notion of the performative nature of our identities as well as the semiotics of language. I'm taking inspiration from the theories of Feminist essayist, Judith Butler and linguistic theorist, Ferdinand de Saussure. I'm doing videos of myself every day, enacting different personas and deconstructing my own thoughts. In this way, I'm using my performance/video art as a vehicle for self-enlightenment. I do euphoric dance, whereby I learn new hip hop/street routines on YouTube every month in order to let lose my creative slow and mute the voice of self-judgment. I would like the world to enter a greater sense of connectivity after the Covid-19 outbreak is over through enacting more charitable events for the community and also to learn a lesson from this self-isolation in terms of protecting the planet: traveling only when necessary and making only the most necessary movements. In terms of my own contribution to the community, I attended a lot of private views before the outbreak and I have now started doing self-therapy videos on social media to help myself and others around me feel better during self-isolation. I call this technique "Social Media Mirroring Technique" or SMMT - using Facebook and/or Instagram live/story options as a medium for exploring the self and to dismantle the years of cultural conditioning that we are all victims of. In my spare time, I love watching independent movies and animations by international artists, including Miyazaki, Tarkovsky and Wong Kar-wai and being a video artist, I attend a number of film festivals, ranging from Cannes to AFI. Outside of my art, I am deeply inspired by studying people: what makes them tick, react a certain way as well as how their body language reflects their inner state of being. I am currently engulfed in exploring RTT (Rapid Transformational Therapy), developed by world renowned psychologist Marisa Peers. Peers encourages all of us to dissect our low self-esteem issues by enacting hypnotherapy and doing the "ladder technique", where we descend into our subconsciousness and unravel childhood memories, which gave me certain negative judgements of ourselves, i.e. "I am not intelligent enough", "I am not worthy of love", "I am not enough," and so on. I have started implementing this technique on my own to unleash my art practice with noticeable results already.


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