Zhanna Assanova

Born and bred in Kazakhstan and currently based in Pakistan, Assanova mostly works with such material as metal zipping of different colors, as well as felt and textile. 
Driven primarily by uncommon material exploration and accident-based experimentation, Assanova imbues her multivalent pieces with the colorscapes of her native country and present and temporary home in Pakistan.
Assanova graduated from Art school in Kazakhstan and independently designed her own technique having combined rough aggressive metal zipping with soft wool and textile. 
She took part in NYC Jewelry Week (2022); has been nominated by ‘Born Nomad’ Kazakhstan “Creative Collaboration” (2022); her works are published in Nicholas Estrada “New Earrings” book publication (2022); took part in Ethnographic museum group exhibition , St. Petersburg (2018), Revolution: Visions of women life freedom. SNAG Metalsmith (2023), AdornAxis **MATTER OF FORM** Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach (2023).

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Kurak necklace

Date of Creation: April 1, 2019

List of Materials: a zipper, felt, silver

Dimensions: 13,5x4,5x0,3 in

Photographer's Name: Zhenya Volkova

Model's Name: Zhanna Assanova

Conceptual Statement: Kurak Necklace   My necklace is a tool that signals, indicates, and speaks for the wearer. I am from Kazakhstan. My jewelry is stylized as “Kurak” (patchwork) textile. Ancient nomads used patchwork to make bedspreads and carpets. Patchwork expresses the sacred imagination of Kazakhs and gives a jewelry a certain symbolic meaning. The main symbol of the necklace – two rings in the centre – a tribal sign of Kazakhs. The sign of my tribe is eyes. Every Kazakh knows his/her tribe and tribal sign. A machine stitch used for necklace finishing reminds us of the fact that nowadays hand stitching of bedspreads and carpets is not in use anymore. Big, deliberately noticeable “zigzag” stitches are modern steps on ancient canvas way of living. Imperfect, cut textile edges symbolize the life imprint, the use of the product, peculiar cultural code encrypted in the necklace. The main idea I pursued making my necklace is to find a birth thread symbol which connects us with our ancestors.

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Placenta ring

Date of Creation: 13/12/2022

List of Materials: a zipper, garnet

Dimensions: 3,5 x 3,5 x 2,5 inches

Photographer's Name: Barysbekova Kamilla

Model's Name: Zhanna Assanova

Conceptual Statement: My project is dedicated to all women fighting for freedom and equal rights. We are different but we have equal rights, wishes and freedom. In fact, we fight not for a kind of dress but for the choice. A scarf shouldn’t be a political manipulation tool or way. This project allows me to openly speak on equal rights and imposed demands that tie us up, bind and paralyse us. Through metallic zips , an aggressive material, there comes a feeling of not being free and under pressure. Oppression, fear and anxiety, fragility of the situation and a feeling of belief, struggle and hope, at the same time, characterise my work. Speaking about the character and visualisation of my jewelry, I have to say that I choose a placenta to be a leading element of my jewelry form. A placenta is a symbol of life with its ability to keep and protect us when making our decisions. The placenta symbol backs up viability idea of equality by feeding and developing it.

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Placenta necklace

Date of Creation: 13/12/2022

List of Materials: a zipper

Dimensions: 6 x 10 x 1 inches,

Photographer's Name: Barysbekova Kamilla

Model's Name: Zhanna Assanova

Conceptual Statement: We are different but we are equal in rights, desires and freedoms. This project allows me to openly speak on equal rights and imposed demands that tie us up, bind and paralyse us. When deprived of those rights that many women have naturally in other places, we might feel hopeless. In my case jewelry becomes an object I use to explore my personal story and to compare it to the current events and feelings of women around the world. And by doing this I make my statement. Through metal zippers, an aggressive material, there comes a feeling of not being free and being under pressure. Oppression, fear and anxiety, fragility of the situation and a feeling of belief, struggle and hope, at the same time, characterise my work. Speaking about the character and visualisation of my jewelry, I have to say that I choose a placenta to be a leading element of my jewelry visual form. A placenta is a symbol of life with its ability to keep and protect us when making our decisions.

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