julia ismambetova

Artist member since 2021
Toronto, Ontario

I paint on silk.

For more than 20 years, from the very first time I was introduced to it during my university studies, I have explored the world of the ancient technique of batik. Since then, I have been redefining it as a modern media that brings the best of this traditional craft while at the same time reflects my own approach to it as well as my personal vision of integrating art in a contemporary interior.

Having developed original techniques, that I like to call “graphics on silk”, I create my art using exquisite silk, paints and waxes from Central Asia and Europe.

It has taken me a lifetime of testing, experimenting and creating to finally find the perfect combination of materials – the most exacting quality of silk and only certain brands of paints – that would be ideal, both for my creative self-expression and for the practical use of the finished artwork.

The result that I am ultimately satisfied with is a painting that is truly unique and with a brightness of colors that will keep pleasing the eyes of viewers for many, many years. To achieve this result, I use paints that are of archival standards, specifically manufactured for use on silk, and both UV- and water-resistant. The silk, personally sourced from the markets of Uzbekistan, is all-natural and of the absolute highest quality. The painting deserves no less.

I work on each painting, gradually layering paints on the silk’s surface with a brush, beginning with the lightest tones, then flowing to darker ones, highlighting colors and overlying them until they vibrate. Using hot wax, which will later be removed from the painting, helps to create distinctive, one of a kind, effects of splashing and fine cracking lines.

“Graphics on silk” is a complex and rather painstaking media that leaves no room for mistakes and, at every stage of the process, requires the artist’s patience, concentration, focus and, ultimately, mastery in order to produce impressive works of art. But I love the process of it — there are always magic moments of unpredictability in it. And there is always a reward for the experienced artist who is not afraid of experimenting with new ideas and innovative approaches. This method offers unlimited opportunities and rich diversity of textures; it inspires imagination and invites boundless exploration into the magic of art.

From this organic fusion of the ancient art of batik with modern elements and contemporary styled graphic compositions emerge paintings that are filled with light and an intensity of vibrant colors…


Julia was born and raised in Almaty, Kazakhstan, studied painting and other creative artistic pursuits from an early age and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from Almaty State University in 1995. In 2016, Julia moved to Canada to reside permanently in Toronto with her daughter and husband.

Julia has exhibited widely almost every year since 1998, in Kazakhstan, at Christie's Auction House in London (UK) and in Toronto. Individuals and corporations around the world, including in Kazakhstan, Russia, Spain, South Korea, the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Israel, have purchased her original artwork for their residences and offices.

Exhibitions 2017 — “A Retrospective”, Rosedale Art Fair, Toronto, Canada 2015 — “So There Were Stars”, Clay House Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2014 — “View Through The Window”, Artscape Wychwood Barns Community Gallery, Toronto, Canada 2010 — “Tête-à-Tête”, Art Centre Alma-Ata Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2014 — “Meeting On The Way”, Palace of Independence, Astana, Kazakhstan 2013 — “If A Soul Had A Profile”, Art Centre Alma-Ata Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2012 — “World of Children”, Art Centre Alma-Ata Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2011 — “Horsemen”, Art Centre Alma-Ata Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2009 — “Walks in the City”, Art Centre Alma-Ata Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2009 — “Ingenious View”, Art Centre Alma-Ata Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2008 — “Art Nomad”, Christie’s Auction House, London, England 2007 — “Melody of the Sun”, Central Exhibition Hall, SRCE Directorate of Exhibitions and Auctions of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Culture, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2006 — solo exhibition, Tandem Phillip Morris Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2004 — “Towards the Sun”, Central Exhibition Hall, SRCE Directorate of Exhibitions and Auctions of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Culture, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2003 — “All Muses Are Women”, ARK Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2000 — “History of Fish”, Tribune Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 1999 — solo exhibition, ABN AMRO Bank Kazakhstan, Almaty, Kazakhstan 1999 — solo exhibition, Tribune Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan 1998 — participated in the “Batik World” exhibition, A. Kasteyev State Museum, Almaty, Kazakhstan


Select Past Exhibitions

Christie’s Auction House, London, England
Art Nomad


Almaty State University (Kazakhstan)
Fine Art

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