KSTI HU - KOMI NIV/KOMI GIRL
[Statement by the artist]
“Are you a Komi, or what?” ( implying that you are stupid) – is a saying i grew up with in Russia. ‘Komi’ (коми) is the name of the region where i am from. It is located in the european northwest of Russia next to Ural, and it is also the name for the people originating from there. We have an old and complex language and our own cultural history that has been suppressed over decades by the cultural assimilation known as russification by the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.
As a kid i always wanted to be seen as a russian, because being a Komi meant to be uneducated and silly. Russians would call us ‘Komjak’ (комяк), which is a conjugated form to refer to us as wildlings, that can not speak proper russian and are very stubborn and uncultivated.
It took me very long to accept and say that i am a ‘Komi’. A lost identity that becomes more important then ever to be uncoverd through my creative work, especially in the light of Russia’s current imperialist aggression towards sovereign nations and cultures.
Ksti Hu is a Berlin-based & Komi-born designer. Ksti Hu’s work is confusing, forward thinking and uncomfortable — if not to say inconveniently dualistic. Being inspired by an over-flooded life of the in-between and imminently altering pop culture, Ksti Hu‘s work is full of hyperreal media unbound imagery, manipulated 3D art and a lot of unreadable language and type experiments. Ksti Hu grew up between multiple cultural identities, and therefore inherits the importance of cultural and aesthetically inclusive communication to Ksti’s work. As a queer designer Ksti focuses on revealing social inequality in symbolic and intuitive ways that sometimes touches the edge of almost being in complete opposition to the traditional rules of design.