For the first time, the works of the highly talented young Russian artist, Sasha Fishler, will be displayed at an exhibition in Nha Trang. Entitled “Inspiring Vietnam”, the event will be take place at LIVINCollective (77 Bach Dang Street) on June 07th, from 6:00 – 8:00pm.
Furthermore, she will offer free painting tutorials to visitors so you can try it for yourself. Discover Nha Trang got the chance to meet this highly creative and talented lady, who gave us her thoughts on life as an artist in Vietnam.
How long have you been painting?
I started painting at aged 6. I came to an artist, who held art classes for children from aged 7 and up, and he gave me a test because he thought I was too young. He asked me to draw a box and a hammer . I drew it, but he still had some doubts, but I begged him to let me study and said said I would try very hard and to keep up with the older children. So this is how I started to draw.
I studied under this artist for a couple of years and, at aged 10, I went to art school where I spent five wonderful years. I remember this time with love and gratitude to all my teachers. I still keep in touch with them all, and make sure to visit them whenever I return home.
Then, I moved from Crimea in the Ukraine to Moscow, and continued my studies in design, before going to university to pursue my degree in environmental design. I’ve been painting for 19 years now, and I think this is my calling – something for which I was born to do.
Did you always dream of being an Artist?
Becoming an artist became a concrete goal over the last few years. I feel real passion for my work and it really excites me! I think it allows you to find yourself – it’s one of the most important things in my life.
What is the meaning of art to you?
I think that art is a way to express myself without words. Sometimes, we feel something that we cannot describe something in words, but with art, it’s like a language from soul to soul.
What do you think makes art powerful?
It is difficult to generalize this concept – I think that the power of art is subjective both to the artist and consumer of it.
Some see it as a cure or treatment, expressed through emotion. For others, it is just a means of having fun and being creative. For many, it is a form of mediation so I guess I could say that the power of art is great and inexhaustible. Most importantly, everyone finds something inspiring from art which makes it both unique and universal at the same time.
There are so many different styles of Art, why do you focus on Realism ?
I didn’t consciously choose a specific style or way to paint; I just start to draw and the result is realism. I just paint the way I feel and that tends to be realistic in nature, so that’s how I see my art
In Russia there is a phrase; “the eyes are afraid, but the hands are doing” – which means you just immerse yourself in the process, let your thoughts run free, and your hands take over to create the work.
What are your favorite topics for painting? Are there any specific things/ people that give you inspiration?
There are no particular subjects. Sometimes, I just walk down the street and see a person or a landscape, and a composition begins to form in my mind in oil or watercolor. It is always unpredictable. Lately, I’ve been very inspired by landscapes and Vietnamese children.
I also notice that I’m happy when in a nice city and climate, and this gives me inspiration to paint. Happiness, a love of the world, and the environment are the best sources of inspiration to me. The simplest things can be very beautiful.
What do you think are the main differences between capturing a moment in a photograph or through painting it?
I think they’re both very similar art directions. In both cases, the image is the way it is seen by the author. I think the only difference is that, with painting, the picture is colors or lines, but in photos it’s captured through light, shadow and contrast.
Do you have any special habits while you are painting?
I don’t have too many rituals, but more often than not I’ll have a glass of water and coffee closeby ( I drink a lot of coffee). I often mistake my drinking glass with the one for cleaning my brushes, so you could say that some of my paintings are literally inside of me! Very often, I’ll listen to music, and choose it based on my mood or the subject of the painting. Lastly, I always paint alone so that I can better concentrate on the work.
Can you describe your creative process?
Oh, it depends on what I’m painting. If it’s a large painting, first I make many sketches, to try and get the composition set up correctly.
For example, when I worked for Sailing Club, I did a collection of different sketches, and discussed them with the manager, to achieve the set up they wanted for the oil painting. Then, I start to create the painting on canvas.
But sometimes I work in a pretty easy and free flowing style. At my exhibition, you will see some watercolor works that are all done freehand, without any prep sketches, as they are much more expressive pieces.
Why do you decide to live and work in Nha Trang?
Originally my husband and I decided to move to Nha Trang, because it has a wonderful climate, and is beside the sea. I’m a huge fan of the sea. I was born and grew up by the sea in the Crimea, and then moved to Moscow where I missed the ocean a lot. I need the sun and the sea almost as much as the air. Weather really affects me, especially my mood, which affects my painting.
Nha Trang has a beautiful beach, lots of sunny days and very interesting people. And now I want to stay here and develop art in this city because Nha Trang needs it. Art culture here is not very developed, there is no real community of artists, no art museums, so I think it’s necessary to develop it here.
Why do you decide to organize the “Inspiring Vietnam” Exhibition?
It was pretty spontaneous to be honest. I really like to live in Nha Trang, and have being creating works here for my own enjoyment. They were noticed by Kane and Marian from LivinCollective and they offered to host an exhibition.
I was struck by the beauty of this country and I want to share my experience with people. It is very interesting to talk with visitors and to understand how they see Vietnam, so I can’t wait to meet people at the exhibition to share thoughts and ideas.
Do you try to convey any particular messages through your Art?
You know, I often hear from people that Vietnam is a poor and dirty country that is not worth visiting, and it’s better to visit Dubai, for example. However, I believe that this country is amazing with so much diversity from city to city, The scenery is so beautiful, there’s fantastic architecture, the climate can change dramatically just a few hours down the road. And then there’s the people! What beautiful young faces the Vietnamese people have, with amazing, expressive eyes. The kids are full of joy, and they don’t even have to smile – their eyes smile for them! This is how I see Vietnam, and I want others to see it this way too. It is a beautiful country with an incredibly beautiful, persistent and purposeful people.
Are there any special activities during your Exhibition?
The exhibition will have snacks from LivinCollective and wine from our partner, Celliers D’Asie. I will also be hosting some painting tutorials so you can try yourself to paint something with me.
Do you have any special plans for your career in the future?
Sure. I am planning open a watercolor painting school (The 1st lesson is tomorrow (June 1st) at LivinCollective), where I will be doing adult classes in oil and acrylic painting.
I also plan to teach children, perhaps at a school, or in private lessons if people want it for their children. Mainly, I want to keep developing as an artist, create lots of new paintings, and develop my skills further. I will soon return to Moscow to complete further studies and Master Classes in painting. My ultimate goal is to own my own gallery and art school!