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Discovery Central Asia #29
Discovery Central Asia

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Ingan Zhubangaliyev


The “Famous People” column of this issue is devoted to the prominent Kazakh artist Ingan Jubangaliyev. We were thinking a lot about whom you might be interested to know and decided that a picture of a nation is perhaps best viewed through creative work of an original, distinctive artist, who has found his own unique way in art.
Ingan Jubangaliyev's paintings express his individual inner universe, and yet they do also reflect his nation's soul, an authentic Kazakh archetype. His pictures convey his ideas through a symbolic language, laconic and precise. We decided to ask the artist some questions, so you could better understand and feel the unique artistic culture of Kazakhstan through the eyes of an artist - Ingan Jubangaliyev

Q. - When did you start drawing and how did it happen?
A. - I began drawing when I was 5 or 6 years. From that time I remember that I always liked to watch the surrounding world  people, animals, birds, any objects surrounding me, like toys, houses, cars, pencils, paper, you name it. I saw them as they're alive and able to be happy and sad, to grieve  just do whatever people do. The world around seemed to be unusual, fantastic, like in a fairy tale. Reflection of the sky in puddles after a rain looked like a bottomless bowl to me. Desire to keep and remember these impressions urged me to drawing.

Q. - Where did you get education and how did you master your skills?
A. - I'm lucky as since childhood I have been surrounded by wonderful people, sharing their knowledge and experience selflessly to other people.
From my school years I remember our fine arts teacher, Filatov Boris Vasilyevich - very clever and highly educated person. He didn't praise me very much, unlike other teachers, but always supported me in my creative work, gave lots of advices, and assignments he gave me were different from other students' tasks.
In Almaty secondary school of arts, where I studied from 1972 till 1976, my teacher was Kuras Taninbekov, so talented, so knowledgeable, with a great passion for life. His untimely death was a huge loss for me. It's thanks to his inestimable contribution that we, his apprentices, became artists and creatively thinking personalities.
In Moscow artistic and industrial secondary school (former Stroganov's school), which I attended from 1976 till 1981, there was a remarkable teacher, who helped me enormously to improve my professional skills - Voloshko Fedor Fedorovich, apprentice of Favorskiy and Deyneko. He has trained several generations of talented artists.
Mastering the skills is certainly impossible without everyday hard work.
When I studied in Moscow, I tried not to miss even a single artistic exhibition. Exhibitions help you analyze and compare your works with ones from other artists, contemporary and of the past, and through this you acquire an incitement for further study and advancement.
Nowadays, when I visit Almaty, I often visit exhibitions, watch, analyze. First of all I'm interested in painting techniques, how various artists use different technical methods and forms, and the hidden sense which all this carries.

Q. - What inspires you and/or influences your works?
A. - I'm inspired with the eternal laws of nature, goodness, harmony of the surrounding world, sacraments of people's birth and demise, symbolic and allegoric images of the past, history of my native land, spiritual influence of past generations upon us.

Q. - How do you feel the link of your works with your native land?
A. - When I start a new picture, I don't think or aim to tie my work with any certain place or surrounding. If some link with a certain place appears, it comes from some subconscious feelings, and there's no wonder: any human being is linked with his or her native land, and every artist and his native land are two parts of one harmonious whole.

Q. - Whose creative work influenced you the most?
A. - I can't say that there is a certain influence of a certain artist upon me. But we all live in one world, and I like creative and technical approach of some artists; I can perhaps name several artists of different schools, styles and time: Michelangelo, Hokusay, Vrubel, Dali, Filonov.

Q. - What goals do you set for yourself?
A. - To exploit my creative potential, to uncover it to audience as much as possible, to express my ideas, thoughts, desires, which are still in drafts and sketches, to show the world and art of painting as I see them. If my paintings stir up the audience, invoke emotions, if people feel something and think it over, then I consider my artistic task fulfilled.

Q. - Is there any connection between art and life?
A. - The art helps people to understand the meaning of life and their very existence. Every painting conveys some idea, expressed by an artist, thus it is always connected with life and surrounding world.
Art is a world of images and symbols created by artists to better understand some eternal verities and to show this truth to people. Artists are prophets  in a sense.

Q. - What is an artist's role in society, in your opinion?
A. - Artists have to carry eternal ideals of good, love, beauty, harmony, equity. Achieving these is a primal desire of every society. Any artist, in my opinion, is an ultimate conveyor of these ideas, sermonizing and explaining them through his art to make them more understandable, more vivid. So he makes the society brighter, clearer, fairer…

Q. - Your style of painting is quite recognizable. What is it based on?
A. -It is based upon the analysis of various art schools and styles, striving to find the truth through my own experience, feelings, emotions  and desire to express that all to my audience.

Q. - How do you work? How do the new ideas appear, how do you express them in your paintings?
A. - New ideas appear in all kinds of life situations, under different emotions. I make some small drafts, sketches, outlines of future paintings. These small drafts and sketches pile up with time  they are a kind of my emotional diary. Later on they turn into paintings. So, gradually a style and shapes of a future painting come alive. Getting right colors and actual painting are just technical issues.

Q. - How did you mature as a creative person?
A. - Creative growth came through work and life  analyzing, digesting, allowing it to pass through me, through desire to pass it on in more generalized and concise way through images, archetypes, symbols.

Q. - Which of your paintings do you consider the most successful?
A. - “The eternal law of life”

Discovery Central Asia #23

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