Entering a conversation with Alik Kan is like sitting on a roller-coaster ride ending with the cart being blasted into the great depths of the cosmos. No topic is untouched as Kan immediately begins contemplating philosophy, art, history, and the overall human experience. 

The pandemic and the subsequent circumstances that we live in today have completely diminished human contact for a large part of the population. As a result of this, Kan often finds himself pondering on the idea of solitude, in his own solitariness. 

– Corona… It’s hard with relationships and daily patterns. You’re always alone and especially old people feel very lonely – life is changing.  I once talked to a man about Aliens and UFOs and why people describe them as specifically thin and grey or green. He said that “of course, because they live in very small spaceships and travel through time and space, they don’t communicate with anyone. Try to sit in a small room and don’t communicate with anybody and you’ll become thin and green yourself”. 

– We don’t enjoy things anymore, we don’t enjoy food and we don’t connect with each other. If you take these things away we become small green aliens. It feels like everybody is a stranger nowadays. 

I’m interested in this painting depicting a lonesome lady encapsulated by shadows on your instagram – who is it?

– I was in my mom’s summer house in Moldova, so I decided to paint her with watercolours just for fun. So I painted this on her house, and this is 50 meters from the river so I knew that it wouldn’t survive, but I just did it anyway. My mother is a beautiful woman. She was korean and worked as the chief veterinarian in this district in Fergana after settling with us in Moldova. 

– To the right of this painting is the window and to the left is the door and she’s emerging from the shadows in-between and there’s nettle surrounding it. It closes in on her a little. I painted this sort of as a protection, sort of like a talisman for outsiders to see that there’s just a little old woman living here without anything important to steal. I feel like it’s a form of shamanism. I knew the painting would become washed out but I painted it there to put some luck around her. I’ve used this form of painting a lot – painting through leaves and it was a part of my exam at art school too. Many things in my life have become stolen and so are those paintings that I did. 

Kan has been a fairly renowned artist since he was very young. 

– I was in the media since I was a child, People were chasing me to have a piece of my cloth.

As an endnote, Kan tells me an interesting way to look at this whole conversation. 

– Think about this like looking into earth from the moon. The in-between space contains abstraction, think of this whole in an abstract manner. Don’t take anything too literally. 

 

You can find more of Alik Kan’s art here.