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Zorikto Dorzhiev

Zorikto Dorzhiev’s work is associated with Buddhism and the folk stories of Buryat people. The Buryats’ stories have never been easy since the Mongols marched north to subjugate them in the 13th century followed by the Russians’ expansion into eastern Siberia. With such an unstable history, rebellions and reforms later on in the modern era, the Buryats have always been living within an extreme environment where temperatures vary from +40C to -40C.

Zorikto’s paintings engage with the narration of the Buryat folk through an appropriateness of styles from illustration and fairy tales. Along with sophisticated drawing skills and vivid colors, the figures in his paintings are simple, humorous and exaggerated visual satire, often with a cartoonish face and smile which is entertaining yet provocative for a compassion towards the suffering life of the Buryats. This shows the underlying philosophy of his work – compassion in Buddhism – Buddhism has become an important factor in the cultural development of Buryatia since early 20th century. The illustrative features successfully tell a story on one canvas, a piece of paper or in a form of sculpture. His work is subtle yet passionate.

Zorikto has now become one of the most acclaimed artists in Russia. It is not only because of his extraordinary craughtmanship, but also the cleverly blend of the appropriation of fairy tale characters and the demonstration of fine-art-like traditional paintings and drawings. Moreover, Zorikto is developing his own provocative vocabularies result from and reflect the socio-political, cultural context of the time and place where he is making artwork.

Zorikto Dorzhiev was born in 1976 in the city of Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia which lies on the border of Mongolia. He graduated with a high distinction from the Institute of Fine Arts in Krasnoyarsk in Western Siberia in 2002. He has illustrated Isay Kalashnikov's The Cruel Age. His solo exhibitions have been held in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow, Tibet House in New York, etc. His work has been collected by José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, Guy Laliberté, Cirque du Soleil and is being included in other private collections. Recently Zorikto has an increasing reputation across Europe and Asia.