Karina Bikbulatova (b. 1995, Russia)
My name is Karina Bikbulatova. I was born in Russia on July 5, 1995. I graduated from the University of Culture and Art in Moscow for a photography course. I also studied at the Academy of fine arts in Florence. I am also a finalist and winner of many international photography competitions and awards.
2019 – Exhibition of three winners of the French prize for photography in PRIX Levallois in Paris, France
2019 – Sony World Photography Awards, Somerset House, London.
2019 – Personal exhibition at the Museum of modern art MAGA, Gallarate, Italy.
2019 – Siena International Photography Awards- Siena, Italy
2019 – Sony World Photography Awards, Willy-Brandt-Haus, Berlin, Germany
2019 – Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, Sony Imaging Gallery Ginza, Tokyo
2019 – Portraits Vernissages, Altes Pumpenhaus gallery, Dresden, Germany.
2019 – London Image Festival 2018, London
2019 – Exhibition at Head On Photography Festival in Sydney, Australia
2019 – Exhibition “the Decisive moment” gallery Praxis Gallery, Minneapolis, America.
2019 – Collective exhibition in the National Higher School of Photography in Arles, France
2019 – Sony World Photography Awards, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain
2019 – XIV Photo Festival in the city of Calella, Spain.
2018 – PHOTO IS:RAEL festiva in Tel Aviv, Israeli.
2019 – Sony World Photography Awards, Villa Reale di Monza, Italy
2018 – Collective exhibition “Premio Riccardo Prina. Un racconto fotografico” in Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy.
2018 – Collective exhibition at Galleria Ghiggini gallery 1822, Varese, Italy.
2018 – Collective exhibition in Valid Foto gallery, Barcelona, Italy.
2018 – Collective exhibition “Fragmenta Curae”, Avezzano, Italy.
2015 – Collective exhibition “See”,Tretyakov gallery on Krymsky Val, Moscow, Russia.
When and how did you get started in photography?
When I was 13 years old, my mother agreed to buy me a professional camera and I started taking my first pictures and studying the history of photography and cinematography.
What does photography give you? What is it that you try to achieve with photography?
For me, photography is a convenient and universal language. There are things I don’t want to talk about because I find it difficult to find words in Russian, Tatar, English, Italian, and then I get help from the figurative language, the language of photography, which I probably know better than others.
What do you think makes a truly great image?
For me is the ability of the photographer to convey his vision of something through a photo and touch the viewer’s feelings. It doesn’t matter what feelings the photo evokes in the viewer, negative or positive. The most important thing for an artist is when his work is not indifferent to the viewer.
Who were your early influences and where do you get your inspiration from today?
I was greatly influenced by the cinema, especially Bergman, Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Dreyer, Storaro, Buñuel. Now I’m inspired by the work of Claudio Parmigianino, Letizia Battaglia, Christian Boltanski , Marina Abramović, Mario Giacomelli.
What drew you to pursue a project on this subject? How did the idea come about?
This story touched my family, as one of the heroines of the project is my niece. Once a year, we go to the village where the second heroine of the project lives. And on one of my trips to the village, I started shooting their story.
What is your shooting process and work flow? How much of the project is staged vs documenting candid moments?
I often make drawings of my future photos and only then implement these sketches into life. During the workflow, it happens that photos appear in my head and I reproduce them instantly. It happens that I catch the moment and there is no production. 80 percent of the photos in the project are staged.
How did your project develop and change between your start and end dates? What challenges did you face in the making of this project?
At the beginning of my project, the heroines did not know about their family ties. By the end of the project, the situation had changed. My last trip had more documentary photography, as the girls spent more time with each other and I caught the moments. The biggest difficulty is the huge distance between me and the heroines of the project.
What do you find most fulfilling about this project?
I am happy that I was able to complete do it and do this project without any secrets.
Has receiving a Lucie Foundation Scholarship impacted your career, and if yes, how?
Yes, of course, first of all I have a sense of responsibility to the people who chose my project and gave me the opportunity to be a part of Lucie Foundation Scholarship. And thanks to all this, I had a huge motivation and opportunity to complete this project.
What’s next for you?
Now I am working on new projects that deal with social issues that affect the entire planet, namely the mental, physical and emotional population. In many countries and cultures, psychological and physical abuse of children is used as an integral part of child rearing. Many parents do not realize that their behavior can cause great harm to the child and this cycle continues from generation to generation. This is a very controversial project and I am working on its implementation.