Maps of Happiest Countries
Part One
I’m an immigrant. My journey began in a small child’s room, where there hung a huge map of Switzerland, drawn by me with pencils and felt-tip pens. I grew up in Kazakhstan, in a small village, in a dilapidated house, in a poor family, with a great desire for freedom, travel, and knowledge.

A world where perfect, white fences would frame evenly cut, green grass was foreign and distant to me. At first glance, there was not even a glimpse of hope that I would even see it. My only childhood way of travelling was copying the maps of France, the USA, Switzerland, Austria and finally the Czech Republic from atlases onto huge canvases. Waking up every morning, I would find a new town on “my” maps and travel through my thoughts to many wondrous places. After that, I would go to school through a world forsaken village, literally drowning in mud; with a childishly naive question in my head about the injustice of the world and a clear understanding of my future happiness. Happiness is in freedom, in the green grass, in the white fences, in stability, in peace, in security, in the journey of finding your life’s work, in prosperity and love. After going through all these hardships on the immigrant’s path, I am just beginning to find my own happiness; during this search, I created the “Maps of Happy Countries” project.
Not a single visa in the world, not a single consulate in the world can create a barrier to imagination and creativity. In a series of ten works, I tried to understand the history and the boundaries of happiness. Each work is a map of a particular country. A map without state boundaries and borders in the artist's head. Maps of ten countries where the happiest people are believed to live. Why are they the happiest? What did the societies of these countries have to go through? How do their philosophy, history, culture, and economics differ in the end? Where do the boundaries of their happiness begin and end? Are there “borders” in the minds of citizens of these countries? Does it mean that if a society is rich, it is happy? Or maybe alienation from wealth brings happiness? Quite abstract questions, with elements of symbolism; exactly the same as my works. By looking at them, everyone will find their own answers. Maybe these works will give a formula to achieve happiness? Everything is abstract: maps, countries, identification, colors, size, words. Only the thoughts in the moment and their flow are accurate.
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

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