SHASH (KAZAKH FOR “HAIR”)
Shash deals with the urgent issue of domestic violence, which has seen a spike during the pandemic and universal quarantine. Mandatory lockdown has been an ordeal for many women left trapped in violent homes. This piece, which takes the form of an installation made of artificial hair, references the many Kazakh traditions around long hair and braiding, drawing parallels between them and the German fairytale Rapunzel, whose protagonist finds a temporary release from her confinement by letting her hair down from the window of her tower.
Meruert Kunakova is an artist from Almaty, Kazakhstan. She works in painting, sculpture, and cyanotypes, as well as textiles and embroidery. Her approach deals with trauma in individual and collective memory. Kunakova explores her own childhood memories of encounters with the inexplicable cruelty and human supremacy that occasionally manifest themselves in folk traditions.