Data + Design Project

Storytelling with Sand

Monday 01.16.2012 , Posted by

With only a few handfuls of smooth volcanic sand, a ligthbox, and a projector, Kseniya Simonova moves audiences with her sand art performance. The fluid gestures of her arms tossing and wiping the sand, all in sync with the accompanying music, brings her stories to life. Simonova’s face remains expressionless during her shows, letting her movement and sand reveal her true emotions.

When she was growing up in Ukraine, her mother, a painter and teacher of fine art, was instrumental in her highly creative upbringing. Realizing her passion for art, she attended and college for art and poetry, earning a degree in both. In 2002, she had a change of plans and became interested in psychology and eventually graduated with a degree specializing in Psychophysiology, or area between psychology and anatomy. Her final project being all about her artistic perception of reality led to the beginnings of her unique, sand art performances.

After getting married and having a child, she and her husband were struggling to make ends meet. Igor, her husband, knew of her hobby and encouraged her to enter into Ukraine’s Got Talent. After an 8 minute long, moving performance about a couple being separated during WWII Nazi invasions, she was ushered into the following rounds and eventually won. 100,000 euros and millions of Youtube views later, she is now traveling and performing her sand art shows all around the world.


Brad Woodard

Written by Brad Woodard

I am a graphic designer and illustrator who never seems to have enough hours in the day. When I am not designing something, it would be safe to assume I am either reading or writing about it. All of my work is made possible by cereal and Johnny Cash songs. See evidence of many sleepless nights in my portfolio at

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