August 2021

Aziya Ikhtymbayeva comes from the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan, but her study trip brought her to Prague in 2006, where she stayed. Since then, under the artistic name Aziya, she has devoted herself mainly to the visual arts. Her creative space is currently in studio 5/116.

Photo: Alejandro Cruz

Aziya comes from a dynasty of artists and filmmakers, so as she says, she grew up somewhere between art studios and behind the scenes of a theater scenes, which significantly affected her life. "I experimented with different types of creative media from music to clothing design, but painting has always been my main interest," she describes her areas of work. She would describe her works as a visual guide to current topics, and as an example she cites a series of works she is currently working on and where Aziya examines capitalism during a global pandemic. "We are now experiencing a very important historical moment and it is interesting to see what shortcomings COVID revealed about capitalism. Every day we see examples of how great the differences between people are and how wonderful it is for some and insufficient for others. In my art pieces, I stand as an independent observer and try to visualize current trends and phenomena," Aziya explains.

This project is what currently occupies her in her studio here in Radost. According to her, the space for work itself is very important on the way to success: “My grandfather, who was a prominent artist specializing in contemporary tapestry during the Soviet Union, always told me that success is about 95 percent of work and 5 percent of talent. It motivates me to work every day. If you want to succeed in any field, you have to work full time and it also requires a lot of determination and work consistency. When you approach art professionally, you have to have a specific space reserved for your work, your work zone, where you can fully concentrate on your work.” She rented the studio in Radost on the recommendation of a friend Jan Reindl from The Chemistry Gallery. "He came to see my work at home and told me I just needed my own studio," she laughs. Aziya was therefore pleasantly surprised that in addition to the art exhibitions that The Chemistry Gallery is organizing in the house, there is already an established diverse community of creatives in the neighboring studios. This is exactly the environment that helps her create and motivates her. "I enjoy the journey to the studio as I walk through the marble-clad hall with functionalist furniture, I feel inspired by the stairs, as I pass art exhibitions on each floor and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the café, where I often take my guests. I can't wait for the Rooftop bar Radost to open again as I will be able to be inspired by the view of Prague with the others, while we will finally smile at each other again without face masks, “ adds Aziya.

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