I believe in a power of Art. I think that one Art piece can caption the whole century. My pleasure to introduce to you, young Russian talent from Singapore, whos do not afraid to share your inside world and speak out with her Art – Polina Korobova @godsavedthequeen

We talked about her life story, audience, social media influence, inspiration, traveling, and dreams. Please enjoy!

 

L.:  How old are you and where are you from?

P.: I always always always seem to forget how old I am. For some reason, I have to think about it twice. My name is Polina and I’m 21 years old. My story is a little complicated as I have lived in more than one place throughout my life. I was born in a small city in Russia and lived there until the age of 12. There were various reasons why my parents decided to leave Russia and one of them was attempting to find a solution for what they deemed my “crazy character”. I was, unfortunately, involved in a few arrests while kicking it with punk gangs and had numerous suspensions from schools. I suppose this made them think that i needed a little change of scenery. In 2009 my family moved to a sunny island called Cyprus. I’ve always considered Cyprus as my home. Going to school was always a little boring for me because I knew what I wanted to “study”. My father used to tell me that I didn’t have to finish school to be successful – he always knew I wanted to be a part of the creative industry, which was absent back then in Cyprus. We started searching for somewhere interesting and new, somewhere that would accept me without a graduation certificate. I decided on Asia because I’d always loved traveling there and I stumbled upon an awesome looking school in Singapore. I applied when I was 16, got accepted, packed up all my shit and left. I’ve been living, working and studying in Singapore since then.

L.: What is your Art about? What is the message you bring to the world?

P.:  Exploring notions of femininity and chaos became a repeated subject in my work. I work with a lot of references and ideas as I’m always seeing and learning new things. I bring a lot of personal experiences into my work as well. For example glitter. I tried to find a reason why I started using it so much, and one of them is having access to something I never had. As a child, I always wanted to play with it, but parents will never let you because it’s messy. Also, stationery and art materials were completely unavailable back then in Russia. I started teaching kids when I turned 18, as well as writing educational programs. The fascination that those little guys have for glitter is insane. Their eyes wide open and they’ll get so excited and happy because of its something so innocent but not encouraged to play with. I started implementing it into my work with kids. I feel like I haven’t played with it enough and now I’m making up for lost time.

Throughout the course of the last few months, I explored deeply on glitter in terms of materiality by adding, mixing and covering it. I discovered that covered and altered objects can confuse the viewer and can be portrayed the way I want them to be portrayed. Hoping to not only provoke everyone around me but also make the rest of us believe in its power. I decided to go all the way: by bathing in glitter, pouring it all over me, learning about it, questioning it and annoying everyone with it.  I discovered other subjects that matter to me. Believing and associating with the…

L.:  How old are you and where are you from?

P.: I always always always seem to forget how old I am. For some reason, I have to think about it twice. My name is Polina and I’m 21 years old. My story is a little complicated as I have lived in more than one place throughout my life. I was born in a small city in Russia and lived there until the age of 12. There were various reasons why my parents decided to leave Russia and one of them was attempting to find a solution for what they deemed my “crazy character”. I was, unfortunately, involved in a few arrests while kicking it with punk gangs and had numerous suspensions from schools. I suppose this made them think that I needed a little change of scenery. In 2009 my family moved to a sunny island called Cyprus. I’ve always considered Cyprus as my home. Going to school was always a little boring for me because I knew what I wanted to “study”. My father used to tell me that I didn’t have to finish school to be successful – he always knew I wanted to be a part of the creative industry, which was absent back then in Cyprus. We started searching for somewhere interesting and new, somewhere that would accept me without a graduation certificate. I decided on Asia because I’d always loved traveling there and I stumbled upon an awesome looking school in Singapore. I applied when I was 16, got accepted, packed up all my shit and left. I’ve been living, working and studying in Singapore since then.

L.: What is your Art about? What is the message you bring to the world?

P.:  Exploring notions of femininity and chaos became a repeated subject in my work. I work with a lot of references and ideas as I’m always seeing and learning new things. I bring a lot of personal experiences into my work as well. For example glitter. I tried to find a reason why I started using it so much, and one of them is having access to something I never had. As a child, I always wanted to play with it, but parents will never let you because it’s messy. Also, stationery and art materials were completely unavailable back then in Russia. I started teaching kids when I turned 18, as well as writing educational programs. The fascination that those little guys have for glitter is insane. Their eyes wide open and they’ll get so excited and happy because it is something so innocent but not encouraged to play with. I started implementing it into my work with kids. I feel like I haven’t played with it enough and now I’m making up for lost time.

Throughout the course of the last few months, I explored deeply on glitter in terms of materiality by adding, mixing and covering it. I discovered that covered and altered objects can confuse the viewer and can be portrayed the way I want them to be portrayed. Hoping to not only provoke everyone around me but also make the rest of us believe in its power. I decided to go all the way: by bathing in glitter, pouring it all over me, learning about it, questioning it and annoying everyone with it.  I discovered other subjects that matter to me. Believing and associating with the gentleness of femininity made me look at how powerful female movements are. I started mocking punk-like behavior in videos and photos. Creating an illusion of an inexistent movement or subculture. Coming up with imagery of a face-covered alter-ego became a way to express myself and bring attention to materials and statements I use. I don’t plan on changing the world, but I want people to think about what they see and question it. Just like my work, everything around you needs a double check. I want to educate and open up places for discussion. My work is a constant exploration of my surroundings; my diary so to say.

Polina herself in her own art.

L.: What is your biggest inspiration?

P.: I’m not one of those artists that just searches for inspiration and enlightenment. I like to get shit done. Usually, “inspiration” comes from everywhere. Sometimes it’s a movie I’ve seen, a jacket I bought, a conversation I had with my dad, glitter I found in my underwear, makeup I wore, or an exhibition I saw. Recently, for example, I was fascinated by the Pussy Riot arrests. I know it’s been like 3 years or something, but only now I decided to watch the documentary. Normal people were outraged by injustice, me too of course, but I was attracted to their masks and outfits way more at this point. The documentary about Pussy Riot made me realize several different things: the idea of making a statement with my work- that evokes, educates and provokes the audience on their own journey. The documentary not only showed the power of peoples voice, but also the power of an all female collective and how much chaos female figures can create; especially in a country like Russia. Coming from such a conservative and limiting background made me question my limits.

 

L.: Do you like fashion? Why?

P.: I do like fashion, actually when I was applying to university, I was contemplating between Fine Arts and Fashion. When I finally settled my mind on Fine arts I promised myself to either transfer my works on clothing or collaborate with somebody who can actually make clothes ( I obviously can’t even put thread through a needle without trouble) but for my recent assessment I actually embroidered few Balaklavas, you know the masks that Pussy Riot was wearing when caught? I haven’t shown it on my social media yet, just adding some last touches while juggling all the other things I needed to do on the side. Fashion is definitely a huge part of who I am and people always mock me, as most of Fine Art students look like homeless people and nobody in this damn country can believe that I can do both, be covered in paint in the morning and go to make up launch the very same day. I would love people to be less scared to combine those two, and I hope to show that successfully. I can be rocking in my outfits but also be a dirty hobo when working.

 

L.: Tell me more about your story? What is going on with your social media?

P.: My social media (especially my Instagram) became an almost well-curated platform for my art and life. I always thought hmmm, there are “fashion bloggers”, “artists”, “foodies” and etc and I couldn’t identify with any of them fully so I decided: “fuck it I’m going to post whatever I want”.  Fun fact: my Instagram is very similar to the art I make: pink. sparkly, happy, fluffy, almost innocent, kawaii. And in real life, me making my work is often dressed in black or gray. I prefer leather and rock music over fur and pink. I often come off as a bitch for my coldness so people definitely are surprised.  First time I realized how confusing it is to people was during my first solo-show in Singapore. Someone came by and asked me at my own opening “Where is the glitter-Queen girl, the artist?” and I was like “ehh, it’s me” dressed in black from top to bottom. My nickname stayed since then and lots of people refer to me as Glitter Queen now. It’s true-  I love everything glittery, flashy, provoking and always used those kinds of elements in my work. My Instagram is my work itself: well curated and color coordinated.

 

L.: How do you think, who is your main audience?

P.: That is a very difficult question, I think lots of different people, on social media especially. I lived and traveled so much that many of them are actually my friends. I’ve studied in multiple boarding schools and went to lots of camps and internships all over the world so I won’t be surprised if it’s just a lot of people I know. My art might have a different following though as  I use a lot of popular references. I also use political, gender related, humorous and fashion references which attract different kinds of people. I hope my audience follows me not only because I have a cute face and funny Instagram stories but also realize that my content is there for a reason.

L.: Which countries and cities do you find most inspiring? Which ones do you want to visit?

P.:  I have traveled a lot in my life and I realized that you always want what you can’t have. When in Asia, I miss Europe, when in Europe I miss Asia. So for me, it’s seasonal haha. In Singapore, the climate never changes, so sometimes it becomes annoying. When it comes to inspiration, Singapore is not the place to get it. That’s when I vanish and go on adventures elsewhere. My favorite places in the world are Bangkok for shopping, Amsterdam for vulgarity, St.petersburg for museums, Beirut for scenery, Milano for birds that steal pasta from your fork, Hong Kong for the buzz, and Berlin for the street art. I have actually never been to the States so I’m curious about what the fuck is going on there. I really wanna go to Mexico too.

L.: And the last one – imagine, you can choose any magical power. Which one would you choose?

P.: When I was younger I always wanted to be a few things. One of the most distinct: an artist or a criminal. I love everything that has to do with Pablo Escobar. Or any member of the mafia for that matter. I love the underground world. So I would probably choose a teleportation superpower, so I can escape my enemies, steal the worlds biggest treasures, be in a lot of places at the same time, and do all this fun stuff I can’t do right now. Teleportation is also great for vacations and seeing loved ones who are far away.

written by editor-in-chief, project founder – @lisaveta.me

photo credit via Polina’s instagram page – @godsavedthequeen

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