Artist Viktoriia Asanova loves Arabic calligraphy, adores the Emirates - GulfToday

Artist Viktoriia Asanova loves Arabic calligraphy, adores the Emirates

Viktoriia 1

One of Viktoriia Asanova’s artworks.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Viktoriia Asanova was born in Uzbekistan and later moved to Moscow at age 20. She accepted Islam at age 21, meanwhile beginning her art career in the Academy of Arts in Uzbekistan, a specialised school of arts, in Tashkent.

She went on to study in the UK at the Northumbria University School of Design, Newcastle, and also in Russia, and graduated from the well-known university of art and design in Moscow, the University Natalia Nesterova. 

She did art and science courses in the studio of Krapivin Nikita Nikolayevich, a famous old school Russian artist. Asanova works in oil, acrylic, charcoal, pastel, pencil and resin and she has also come up with the idea of mixing old and new styles to produce Islamic art in resin. She has professional experience in art and design, and was Elle decoration designer at Mike Shilov art and design studio. She moved to Dubai in 2023, and began her practice in Islamic Resin Art Calligraphy. She is currently working with new projects, not only in calligraphy, but also in landscapes and portraits in oil. Her big dream is to open a school of art in the UAE, “to grow and help young generations move forward with art.” Viktoriia Asanova speaks to Gulf Today

Viktoriia 2  Viktoriia Asanova is based in Dubai now.

Why did you accept Islam?

Islam comes to me from my heart: I felt like it’s mine and I have to accept the fact that I’m originally from Uzbekistan where most of the population is Muslim. I was born in an international family - my dad is a Muslim and my mom is Christian. My parents were not pushing me into any religion, due to the socialist mentality at that time in the USSR. And that’s where my name came from. I reverted to Islam and my family accepted my choice.

How did you learn to work in resin?

Well, all my life I have been in art and it’s my passion that’s always pushing me to learn something new. Resin art is not only epoxy and paint — it can also express the feelings of the artist accurately.

What does resin provide that other mediums do not?

I would say resin art doesn’t have limits: you can express yourself in millions of ways, from making trays to creating a real life picture with multiple colours and thousands of different designs.

How have Russia and Uzbekistan respectively, influenced you as an artist?

Well, it’s actually my parents, especially my mom, who really wanted an artist in our family. Uzbekistan and Russia are two completely different countries with completely different mentalities. In Uzbekistan, there are ancient Islamic styles of art which mostly came from Iran, while in Russia, kings have ruled for decades. But I would like to mention the United Kingdom as well, because London itself, especially Buckingham Palace and the Queen of that moment, gave me a huge motivation in my career.

What did you learn from the studio of Krapivin Nikita Nikolayevich?

Nikita Nikolayevich is my idol in terms of art; I learned a lot from him. He has experienced much in his life through his old style art. I learnt a lot of techniques and different styles from him. Though it has been a while since I graduated from his studio, he is my mentor for the rest of my life.

How has the UAE impacted your art making?

The atmosphere over here is incredible. My mom, my brother and my brother’s wife, have been living here since 2007; so I’m very familiar with the UAE. When I moved here, I felt an extraordinary atmosphere and a huge respect for artists from people and from the government, which is incredible. I think it is very difficult to find any other country similar to the UAE.

Why did you want to learn calligraphy?

I was born in an Eastern country with an Eastern mentality. As you may know, one of the cities in Uzbekistan, Samarkand, is very ancient. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world and when I was a child, myself and my parents used to visit it. Once I saw the ancient style Islamic calligraphy in one of the madrassas - and fell in love with it. From that moment till now, many years have passed. But I’m still in love with Arabic calligraphy.

Which style of calligraphy do you like most? Why?

I would say two styles - Thuluth and Diwani. I’m still very new in Arabic and I might make mistakes in pronunciation and writing. But I’m trying my best to improve every day.

Who are the calligraphers who have influenced you?

To be honest, calligraphy came from my heart. I always wanted to test myself with calligraphy and when I moved to Dubai, my dream came true. My style is little bit different from traditional calligraphy; I use both modern and traditional styles.

How far have you progressed in opening a school of art in the UAE?

That’s a really good question. It’s my dream which Inshallah will come true one day. We did a huge job with my family, especially my mom, since we have opened our company, Golden Art Calligraphers, and have just started our work in Dubai. Hopefully, one day, I will be able to find a partner or investor to be able to open a school of art.

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