Goodwill Ambassador Brings Her Art to Astana

ASTANA – On May 30, Travel Notes, the month-long solo exhibition of French-Croatian painter, sculptor and Goodwill Ambassador Jasenka Tucan-Vaillant officially opened at the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is being held under the patronage of Ambassador of France to Kazakhstan Jean-Charles Bertonnet.

1371057319The Embassy of France in Kazakhstan together with the French Alliance (Alliance Francaise) strongly supports Tucan-Vaillant in her artistic and philanthropic activities.

“Her unique oeuvres offer us an unforgettable romantic trip through the countries and cities she used to live in: from her native Croatia to Astana, the city in the middle of the steppes of Central Asia, then to Paris, Manila, Seoul, Warsaw, Sofia, Bratislava, New York, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Athens and Brussels,” Ambassador Bertonnet said about the exhibition.

A winner of numerous art awards and honours, Tucan-Vaillant has participated in many different international conferences and seminars on weaving, textiles and sculpture.

Her masterpieces have been created in the different countries that her husband, a diplomat, was sent for work. During the four years of her residence in Astana, Tucan-Vaillant had exhibits at the A. Kasteev State Museum of Fine Arts in Almaty and in the Has Sanat Gallery in Astana and now residents and visitors to the capital can see her work at the Museum of Modern Art.

“The discovery of new methods and new materials gives her unlimited opportunities for self-expression. For example, during her life in Poland about 15 years ago, she perfected the technology of manufacturing paintings based on paper and the sap of the bark of a tree growing in Japan,” Ambassador Bertonnet said.

Tucan-Vaillant is a protean artist and the purpose of her art is to create harmony and beauty. Her multi-dimensional works are perceived as an organic whole: the spectator can observe the sensual, almost tangible expression of nature, which lies on the border of abstraction and reality.

This is her farewell exhibition in Kazakhstan. About 100 tapestries, sculptures and works of art created from 1995 to 2013 are being showcased at the museum.

Jasenka Tucan-Vaillant was born in Slavonski Brod in Croatia. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb under the guidance of maestro Josip Diminika and from the Academy of Arts in the city of Rijeka. After an internship in Aubusson, the heart of French weaving, Tucan-Vaillant created her own weaving workshop. She also completed a master’s degree in the history of modern art at the University of Sorbonne in Paris.


Jasenka Tucan-Vaillant has created Golden Apples inspired by the time she spent in Kazakhstan.

Her first solo exhibition was held in 1974 in Zagreb, in the Lapidarium Gallery. She has had more than 60 solo exhibitions in well-known museums and galleries all around the world as well as participated in group exhibitions in public and private galleries in different countries. In 1991, she created scenery and costumes for the Harlequin Theater in Liege, Belgium.

She is always looking for new ways of self-expression. Tucan-Vaillant constantly works to improve her technique by using a variety of new technological processes. Her main focuses are weaving (tapestry and macrame), small sculptures (bronze and ceramics) and graphics.

The other side of her talent is sculpture. Symbolic, figurative expressions and the search for a balance between line and volume are evident in her bronzes.

“Her magic birds, the majestic female figures, the mesmerising love of a mother for her child fascinate viewers with their simplicity, elegance, tenderness; hopefully, they will touch the heart and the soul of each of you,” Ambassador Bertonnet said.

As part of her charitable work, Tucan-Vaillant has established schools of art and exhibitions for young artists. She has worked with talented children, orphans and children from poor families from many countries, including Kazakhstan, as well as refugee children.

As part of the solo exhibition, a group exposition of young artists is also being showcased at the Museum of Modern Art. This is the result of the collaborative work of Tucan-Vaillant and Kazakhstan’s children, a sort of report to the parents and the community on the success they have had. The children’s exhibition features 171 pieces made with different techniques.

Travel Notes and the exhibition of young artists will be showcased at the Museum of Modern Art until July 1.

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