INESSA KALABEKOVA

Art

For me, being creative means total freedom and self-understanding

Living in Singapore for 18 years has its challenges, especially the routine of confirming my stay every two years. This process makes it clear that where I live isn’t entirely up to me. It adds a unique twist to my life as a creator. For me, being creative means total freedom and self-understanding. My art is like a mirror reflecting who I am, a way of accepting myself. Unlike strict logic, my creativity comes from being sincere, true to my feelings, guiding my work. The uncertainty about staying in Singapore adds a layer of complexity to my creativity. The chance of external factors moving me around affects what I create. These limits become part of my story, shaping the themes I explore and how I express myself. I know people are different, shaped by what they know and go through. Even with external limits, I believe my inner freedom is untouched. I see these limits as challenges that push me forward instead of holding me back. When picking topics and places to discuss, I bring in my situation on purpose. I want to make these limits part of my art, facing challenges directly and using them to move ahead. But, we all start differently, and our freedoms are influenced by what we know, our experiences, and where we were born.  

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“The Golden Bough” by Sir James George Frazer

I just finished reading the full, unabridged 12 volume set . “The Golden Bough” by Sir James George Frazer is a really interesting book because he looks at beliefs from all over the world. No matter where your ancestors come from, he shows that we all had similar beliefs and superstitions. It’s not just about one culture or place; he covers Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific. So, no one can say their beliefs are better or worse. It’s cool to see how people from different parts of the world shared similar ideas about life and the unknown. Frazer’s book makes you realize that, deep down, we’re all kind of the same when it comes to our beliefs. I found a clear message: superstition, and the associated religious practices, has hindered human progress more than anything else. What stood out to me was the universal aspect of belief among different races and peoples, showcasing a shared human tendency to cope with the mysteries of the natural world through myths and rituals.  https://www.amazon.sg/Golden-Bough-James-George-Frazer  

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Dragon tamer perfomance

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to address the audience at the inauguration of my dragon-themed exhibition. As I spoke about everything I had discovered and learned during the six months of preparation, I had a realization that this unique experience ignited my passion for learning and sharing knowledge in this expressive form. It occurred to me that there might be a way to seamlessly integrate this newfound interest with dance and movements, creating a captivating fusion of knowledge and art.  

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Gothic Dance Under the Yellow Witness ” poem and performance by Inessa Kalabekova, the National Gallery, Singapore

A big yellow thing hangs from the ceiling high, Not done yet, just waiting in the sky. I’m close by but can’t touch, wrong time, wrong place, Journalists surround, in a crowded space.   I was dancing in the museum, a spontaneous act, As journalists arrived for a preview, a sudden fact. Spotlight on me, attention came my way, Not a famous artist, just dancing in a playful display.   In a beautiful Gothic dress, I spun and swayed, Caught in their lenses, my moment portrayed. Not a performer renowned, nor an artist of fame, Yet, in that moment, the spotlight became my name.   The big yellow thing above, a silent witness high, As I danced in a museum, under an unexpected sky. A blend of tropics and Gothic, a scene so rare, In the journalists’ eyes, a story to share.   Proven art around, but a change in me to come, Cloaked in that dress, where stories begun. In the gallery of life, a canvas yet untold, A tale in the making, as moments unfold.  

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“Golden Bough” the project

As I dive into “Golden Bough,” the project is still in its early stages, and my ideas are taking shape. It’s like a puzzle I’m figuring out, connecting ancient myths with present-day beliefs. The concept is fresh, and I’m still exploring which stories and ideas will become the heart of the project. Right now, it feels like the calm before the creative storm. I’m thinking about how to blend the past and the present in a way that feels meaningful. The excitement is building as I imagine how “Golden Bough” will come together, and I’m eager to see where the journey takes me in the days ahead.    

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Ian de Souza’s art exhibition at Privat Museum Singapore

Last Saturday, I visited a private museum in Singapore to check out Ian de Souza’s art. Surprisingly, I got a bit emotional and ended up shedding a few tears. His paintings, all about dedication and love, really got to me. Honestly, at first, I didn’t think his art was very fashionable. But as I spent more time with it, I realized there’s something special about the simple way he puts feelings into his work. It hit me in a way I wasn’t expecting. It just goes to show how powerful art can be. https://www.iandesouza.com.au/

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A creative experiment where I find myself in a spontaneous dance

This marks my first foray into the realm of filming and dancing, a creative experiment where I find myself in a spontaneous dance with a tree and the sky. To be honest, the whole endeavor feels a bit mystifying, and I can’t quite articulate the purpose behind it just yet. It’s like embarking on a journey without a map—exciting, but a tad perplexing. Looking ahead to my next video, I envision a larger tree taking center stage, its roots serving as a comfortable and encompassing space for relaxation. There’s a notion of creating a serene oasis, a place where one can unwind and connect with nature in a unique way. The why of it all is still elusive, but there’s a sense of curiosity and a desire to explore this unconventional dance with the elements. Despite not fully understanding the motivation behind these dance escapades, there’s an undeniable allure to the idea of capturing these moments on film. Perhaps through this process, a deeper meaning will emerge, or maybe it’s simply about embracing the joy of the unknown. Either way, it’s shaping up to be a fascinating journey of self-expression and discovery.  

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Stories of Nezha and Kuan-Yin, perfomance at the exibition

I found myself in an art exhibition featuring stories of Nezha and Kuan-Yin. Despite the modern setting, the tales of bravery and mythical beauty struck a chord with me. With just an hour and a half and armed with my mother’s old pearls, I decided to improvise. Focusing on Kuan-Yin, a Chinese princess and Buddhist goddess, I explored a legend where she saved the Dragon King’s son, Shancai, from a fisherman. In gratitude, the Dragon King gave her a bright pearl. In the unfolding story, Nezha wanted to learn from Kuan-Yin. She tested him with illusions of monsters chasing her. In a bold move, Nezha threw himself off a cliff to dispel the illusions. Kuan-Yin stepped in, saved him, and Nezha became her devoted follower. From the viewpoint of an artist and dancer, this spontaneous performance blended ancient tales, modern art, and personal expression. It echoed themes of bravery, compassion, and the power of selfless acts through movement and storytelling. 

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So, I’ve got this thing with the number twelve

So, I’ve got this thing with the number twelve. Hercules, months, Gilgamesh—kind of like a cosmic playlist. Why twelve? It’s like nature’s favorite number, popping up in years, months, moons, animals, hours, you name it. Now, imagine twelve squares, 40×40 cm each, in my Golden Branch project, turning Dragons from the Snakes. I think of it as an experiment. 

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