Edinburgh College of Art - University of Edinburgh
An idiosyncratic specimen of globalization, having caught a glimpse of the ex-USSR, Katya Kan has a rather nostalgic and conflicting perception of Iron Curtain Socialism. Unable to fully assimilate into any one culture, she finds herself as an outsider with an eclectic artistic taste. She was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan; then moved to St. Louis, Missouri, US; and eventually to London, UK, where she completed the majority of her education.
She received her first BFA in English Literature with French at Edinburgh University and her second degree in Film whilst simultaneously studying painting, from the San Francisco Art Institute. She received a BFA Film Merit Award at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2012 and 2014 and won an award for Christopher Coppola’s PAHFest in 2013. Her films have been screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner in 2014 in France; C the Film at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012 and 2013 in Scotland; at the Maison Initiatives Etudiantes in 2011 in Paris, France. Her paintings have been presented at the Illustration Show at SF Art Attack and at the Divisadero Art Walk at the Big Umbrella Studios in San Francisco in 2014; at the Paint it Black and Red shows at Studio 110 in Sausalito, California in 2013 and 2014; at the Spring Awakening Group Show at Peace and Colour Gallery in London, England in 2012.
Kan’s background in oil and watercolor painting has shaped her appreciation for the visual elements of film and vice versa. She focuses on combining hyper realistic portraiture with abstract, ornamental elements in the background. Her paintings capture the impressions, formed by ephemeral moments in time. Partly as a result of her culturally liminal status, she is drawn to eclectic fusions of digital, 16mm, Super 8 and 2D animation in time-based media. Katya’s film narratives portray a tragicomic view of disenchantment and she seeks beauty in this melancholy. She is interested in the proliferation of globalization and of multiculturalism, the voyeuristic pleasures of surveillance, and the postmodern fixation on nostalgic perceptions of the past. Furthermore, her work explores themes of human atomization, the multiplicity of narratives in discourse and the eclectic postmodernity of our present day and age.