Ksenia Tsykunova

Ksenia Tsykunova (born Moscow). Graduated from Moscow State University. Lomonosov (Faculty of Geography) and the School of Photography and Multimedia named after (workshop of Igor Mukhin). In her artistic practice, Ksenia Tsykunova works with photography and Internet resources, studying the impact of new technologies on the behavioral models of young people. The artist’s main interests are the self-representation of the individual on social networks, mainly on Youtube, the problems of the intimate and the public, the topic of psychological boundaries and gender identity.
Lives and works in Moscow.

Ksenia Tsykunova
  • 2013 – Second place at the Miami Street Photography Festival, USA

Group exhibitions:

  • 2020 – “Yutyubiful”. MAMM. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2020 – “Is it easy to be young”. MAMM. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2019 – “Youtubiful. Gender journey”. Atelier Am Eck. Dusseldorf, Germany.
  • 2019 – “Blind Spot”. The Ekaterina Cultural Foundation. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2018 – “Cool meeting”. Center for Contemporary Art “Winzavod”. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2018 – Photobukfest 2018. Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2016 – “Innervisions”. Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2016 – Miami Street Photography Festival. Art Basel. Miami, USA.
  • 2015 – “Silver Camera”. Manege. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2015 – “Gulf Photo Plus”. Dubai, UAE.
  • 2015 – Festival of street photography in Russia. Sakharov Center. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2014 – Festival of street photography in Russia. Sakharov Center. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2014 – “Urban Picnic”. Safron Walden, UK.
  • 2014 – Eastreet. Center for the meeting of cultures. Lublin, Poland.
  • 2014 – Miami Street Photography Festival. Art Basel. Miami, USA.

All author's works

There's a River
in Moscow

A river is not only a transport artery or a natural resource, but also a formative part of the social and cultural landscape. The river area traditionally plays an important role in regulating urban life and the image of flowing water is traditionally associated with the passage of time: the water surface remains unchanged, but the dynamically changing history and appearance of riverbanks tell us the history of the city Ksenia Tsykunova’s series pays tribute to the Moskva River: 100 years ago it was used for washing clothes and bathing horses. A few decades later, cars were washed in Serebryany Bor and swimming competitions were held under the walls of the Kremlin. There was a huge beach on the Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory) in Soviet times, and country dachas in Maryino. The riverbanks become the backdrop against which the history of the entire 20th century unfolds.


Along with the steam engine, railways, rotary printing press and other products of the industrial revolution, photography has become one of the symbols of modernity: increasing speed allowed people to travel and exchange information faster and more widely. Speed and movement became narrative subjects or expressive devices. As optical media developed and the shutter speed required to produce a sharp image decreased, artistic time started breaking into decisive split-second moments. The temporal characteristics of aesthetic perception were changing in a similar way. In her series “Acceleration”, Ksenia Tsykunova turns to the tradition of depicting time. Her pictures, taken from a car window, sometimes allow us to discern recognizable outlines on the roadside, quickly slipping away to the periphery of vision, and sometimes are very close to abstraction. The photographer puts it like this: “You are racing on 4 wheels at a speed of 100 km/hour on Earth which is moving at 100 000 km/hour on its orbit. The Earth can’t stop, and neither can you.”


Texts written by and about millennials occupy a large part of today’s infospace. The attitudes and values of a generation whose coming of age happened at the turn of the century are covered in both idle talk and well researched studies. Their attitudes, behavior and consumer habits are an integral part of the image of modernity. This is the first generation which is characterized above all by its deep immersion in digital technology. It is customary to speak of their dependence on collective opinion, heightened sensitivity to outside criticism and narcissism With this tremendous breakthrough in scientific progress, entailing profound and not yet fully understood changes in the economy, society, individual psyche, strategies of success and the areas of professionalization that this generation chooses, have also changed, with their opinion often polarizing the discussion about modernity. Ksenia Tsykunova tries to capture its portrait in a series of images in the style of black and white reportage. Ksenia Tsykunova tries to capture its portrait in a series of images in the style of black and white reportage.


In the Yutyubeful series, the artist analyzes the phenomenon of the Youtube platform and video blogging, which over the years has turned from a method of communication into an influential industry that has transformed our usual understanding of private and public spaces. The artist decided to stop the flow of information, press pause and give the person on the screen more attention. The photos show screenshots from the videos, with the authors of which Tsykunova offers to enter into an visual dialogue. For the most part, these are not top bloggers with millions of views – the idols of their generation – but ordinary young people who are not afraid to be sincere and share their experiences. Tsykunova explores the fine line between longed for freedom of expression and the need to create provocative content for more views and comments. The dependence on the reactions of the audience leads to the fact that neither the viewer nor the video blogger himself can confidently distinguish genuine emotions from manifestations of feigned sincerity. “Exactly at the moment when an organic desire to speak out turns into a duty to regularly produce content and surprise subscribers, freedom is transformed into lack of freedom, and utopia turns into a dystopia,” the artist believes. The Yutyubeful series was presented at the artist’s personal exhibition at the Multimedia Art Museum (Moscow).