Kseniya Simonova – Magical Sand Art Performance

by Virginia Doan on March 10, 2012

Video of Kseniya Simonova – the amazing sand artist

The first time I saw Kseniya Simonova’s sand animation…

My teenage daughter came home from school excitedly and begged me to watch a YouTube video.  I wanted to start dinner and teach her patience and task priority, so as a consequence, she had to help me to start making dinner first.  We watched the video while the vegetables and pasta cooked.

At first I had no idea what I was watching and who Kseniya Simonova was.  Then I tried very hard not to freak out when I noticed that we were viewing a video with the title “Ukraine’s Got Talent.” Ukraine!  The name brought me back to the days of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.  My paranoia kicked in and I prayed and hoped that FBI or CIA agents were not monitoring us.

I still remember the stern and harsh immigration examiner’s first question, “Are you a member of a communist party?” when I had my immigration exam to become a US citizen several decades ago.  Back then during the cold war, any contact with a communist party might cause my US citizenship to be revoked, since I was a Vietnamese refugee.   According to US rules back then, I was classified as “a person of no country.”  The political landscape and immigration laws have changed tremendously since then.  Although I still consider myself to be Vietnamese and Vietnam is still in heart, my family is here and I don’t want to be deported or stripped of my citizenship.

My antiquated fear was replaced with awe and amazement as we watched Ms. Kseniya Simonova’s performance, a marvelously choreographed, truly spellbinding display of an art we had never seen before.  Set to music, her dramatic story unfolded as her hands wove magical patterns, dipping into light and dark sands, gently shaping, sprinkling and tossing the grains to create constantly shifting images, flowing together like gentle waves against the shore.

Her grace and beauty while stroking and caressing the soft sand to create linked, ever-changing images evoked the vision of a fairy waving her wand to cause things to just appear and then disappear.  The glittering sand shifted like fairy dust in the wind, painting a story of life—young, old, living, pain, happiness, dying and death.

Her performance enraptured us, and only the aroma of overcooked pasta and broccoli pulled us out of the mystical dream and back to the real world and dinner and homework.  Ms. Simonova is a true master of her craft.  Here’s the direct link to her video -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uYne5ezkfw.

Oh, and by the way, in case you were wondering, Ms. Simonova won top honors on “Ukraine’s Got Talent.”

Virginia Doan

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Alane Jewel March 17, 2013 at 12:50 am

Great share, she is wonderful and her work is so captivating. I wish more people were familair with her art. I recently include her video performance in a post on sand art as a video medium: http://www.real.com/resources/sand-art-videos Most of us are reminded of childhood when we think of playing in the sand. Many artists build elaborate sand castles or more sophisticated sand structures on beaches all over the world every day. But work like Simonova’s sand masterpieces move us far beyond the beach. Gifted artists create ever-changing sand pictures on flat surfaces with the slightest touch or swipe of a hand, the videos are so entertaining.


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