Vancouver Mural Festival 2019 

Ilin Kebiher  

Ilin Kebiher is a mural about my experience as an immigrant in Canada. I moved to Vancouver in 2012 from Sakha Republic in Siberia, and now I am proud to call myself Sakha-Canadian. In this mural I wanted to embrace my new identity as Canadian. The design is inspired by the traditional necklace, ilin kebiher, which is worn by women for special occasions. The necklace is meant to protect its owner from the bad spirits and evil eye. Traditional Sakha art developed a unique intricate language of ornaments as the human figuration was prohibited. Every single pattern has a meaning and stands for something. Ilin kebiher is built around the idea of unity and balance in the universe. I focused my design on the central part of the necklace. The part is always round as it symbolizes the sun. It’s usually decorated by a cross-like symbol that stands for the world/universe, as it points at four directions. The symbol reminded me of maple leaf, so I decided to put it instead. I made the design to look like a puzzle, as I think that people are like puzzles. We are constantly collecting little pieces around us to form our identity. We keep evolving and as we move forward the picture becomes clear.                                                                                                                   

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  6. Symbol of unity/universe/world
    Symbol of unity/universe/world
  7. Symbol of sun (top), leaf ornaments (bottom)
    Symbol of sun (top), leaf ornaments (bottom)
  8. Floral ornaments
    Floral ornaments
  9. Symbol of femininity
    Symbol of femininity