• Buryat T.V.- Interview
  • Short about myself
  • Talking about my art

A Supplement to the Buryat T.V.-Interview of 1995

Basing on a dictation in 1959
that was partly completed in 1978, Canada and U.S.A.
(more under:www.Grey-Wolf-Guruev.com)

As an artist, selfeducated, being in jobs since my fifth year of age, who grew up till fourteen with only wild animals as friends I'll give here a statement about my relative The Animal. Animals of which kind ever but especially the wild, free living one - by our Evenkis' state of mind, in comparison with modern people, they are treaten more or less as smart individuels. They are more or less close relatives for all Northern Asian First Peoples members, if you follow our peoples' legends. By some anciently exceptions such is quite different in comparison with the European-American culture. But so still it is and was happen since thousands of years. A borderline you may see between our First Peoples' shamanistical belief and those places which are under the dictate of religions. Because those regions' people may only admire the beauty or the power of the beast but have not a true idea about the soul of an animal. Some might be curious for what heaven has created or they feel mercy with animals whilst we treat such relatives like a simple family-member; sometimes well sometimes bad. To speak out in advance, the theme worldwide 'Wildlife-Protection' advented in The West after people had realized what people and their exported civilization have done with nature and the beast worldwide, being now trapped by own visions of future. I guess here I have not need to reiterate the theme use of water, wood, mineral recources, animal in the global industry, which own only "Glasses of Profit".

Our people need, kill and use the beast whilst we give respect, songs of praise and prayers for the animal's soul, being same times thankful the existence of such relatives and for own survive. In my mind doesn't exist cruelty against my relatives. To keep an animal as a pet just to own a 'friend' was never happen with me. If a wild one like to join me, quite often it was happen by its own will, it may share a meal with me, it may like my shelter or gave only satisfaction to its own and my curiousity and joy. It's amazing how an animal can recognize you as a hunter, herder or as being only a neighbor. You like to observe a bird or a mammal? Just sit down and wait. You may wait a long time but it will come to you. And if it is happen it's for the only reason to see who are the intruder in its kingdom. I ate the meat of the roe and the deer took place right under my 'Iron Tent'. Birds have used my shelter bringing up their children right in front of my nose whilst I was busy with my daily work. And the highest trill you get if a wild living falcon takes place next to you to divide its prey just because you had help him ones to manage a difficult situation. Isn't great, isn't?

Now you, who belong to the modern world, may compare your everyday life with my life. Your breeding, your education have teach you that men is the master of nature and its beast and you treat it as you know it no better in no way else. But it is a wrong state of life and mind. It's wrong to ignore the nature and soul of an animal. How right I am you may see in the newest results of your own scientists printed in a report; recognitions which have been with my people since our nations were created ones.

Many discussions I had with your scholars, philosophers and preachers about animal's cleverness. Let's mention only two facts! My modern thinking counterparts spoke that animals doesn't use any tool and can not be creative as the human race can be. My answer was, some use tools indeed but the most have simply not a need for, being busy with various other tasks. Why shall an unattainable perfect created animal build up an airplane, a ship or car when it can fly, swim and run better than any human would be able for? Why must an animal create art whilst animals are artworks in themselves? A wild cat must not create a fancy, useful dress, a fish has no need for a make-up and ev'ry bird can sing better and more audible than a human can do. Some of our wild neighbors can build a home that's even better than we could do; a home that can face a heavy storm or showers being warm and cosy anyway. Animals recognize earthquakes and other natural catastrophs better and long before modern men with all their scientistical equipment can do so. By the way, in such case our herder, hunter and fisher are closer at the wild beast's knowledge than with the modern one. And what impresses me at most is the fact that animals' mind do not bear the idea of malevolence and war except they got teached by man. Not to mention the point of the beast's high sensitivity. Where the modern man have need of costly technics, animals can hear, see, smell always better and feel what no human could feel ever with its body. That's one of the reason why our shaman, if some old one still exist, have to turn some times into an animal to own the same possibilities; what is quite suspicious for the modern society. The latter theme is an extra theme. Being absolutely not in sympathy with hip-shamanism and worldwide in -meetings I wrote a very critical article you can read under the titel "About Shamanism and a little bit more". Second - Animals do not offer prayers, so modern people do argu. I'm not so shure about this if I remember what I've seen. And no soul they own? I guess you kiding yourself. Did you ever watch an animal-mother standing by her gone offspring? By the way but not incidental, to see an animal in a zoo owns not my favour at all, even if you talk about age and health of the beast, always enough> food and about "...otherwise the rare animals would be gone soon!" Who made some species rare or had brought them to extinct? Wasn't in your opinion 'god's highest creature' who couldn't find an end at all? And now you are trying to repair the world? I do not like to be a polemical guy but - imagin YOU have to live in a cage or in a fenced area maybe well feeded but out of your own world, nothing to do and overloaded with bothering eyes, strange noise and smell, stupid commentaries and chemical tests. How would YOU feel then? Or how about to live among YOUR own race but no space enough, without ways to get off or a scientist will grab YOU for the reason to make physical or chemical experiments with YOU to cause profit as much as posible? How about it?? And, do YOU realy love a pet whilst the foodindustry kill endless other animals in mass, just to let survive YOUR love? Do YOU really love animals whilst vacation have started to overflow the shelter for homeless animals? And to fill the basket of critic, to use a pelt in our cold regions makes sense but to cover the bum of a fashion lady I'm not so sure about this. Excuse my sceptical point of view but all this are true facts.

The news told me that man will dublicate, create or construct the animal new, acting like god. Isn't a proof for that the human being get mad? Watch what's happen with experiments in the field of microbiology, to 'defence and heal people'. My impression is that the human race will vanish the human race in the neerest future. As for me who doesn't belong to the modern society by soul and never will - you can take only this much from a pot as much is in there and if you put in what is unnatural you have to live with the results. Such words doesn't come from a sympathizer of the hip 'Green Movement'. People who speak and act same times in different ways, do not own my sympathy and esoteric folk shouldn't visit my tent. Such words come from a man who grew up with the wild beast, who belong to the great outdoor by his birth, traditional lifestyle, belief, heart and soul. If you count 'conservatism' with the true word 'conservation', keeping alive the nature in our way, better you count me into this direction. By all attested spoken facts you're not out of the game if YOU think that YOU could be a better human being if you turn into a vegetarian. Sorry! Even a plant own a own soul and feelings and that's proved too by modern scientists - quite late, whilst our people own anciently knowledge on the nature's causal coherences. It's realy amazing - so many facts about nature are known by our people since centuries and they are part of our nomadic ev'ryday life. But the modern societies have always a need for a proof of such facts. "The evidence needs the evidence" till the evidence is gone! No wonder that the world turns crazy. Shall this be a better world, this modern one? Your meat and vegetables doesn't tast anymore like our food does and that the modern world is pissing its garbage into the ocean from where at same time the fish is taken - don't call our First Peoples and cultures less developed! Get knowledge on our habit and tabus. We are not rank and fashion, therefor we shit not into our own cooking-pot.

I am a hunter, a fisher and was herder too. I'm an artist who devote devout his artworks the relative animal. Never I took more than necessary. I eat meat and take the pelt for the harsh Siberian winter but I admire my animal-relatives and adore my gods and goddesses who have created what is more than a miracle. How else can I do then than to praise and honor my relatives with my prayers and 'works, to create what seams to be all ready so strange in a modern world? A world that has quit nature as much as possible being sametimes always hungry for an intact nature and its wild living beast. How else can I do then than to give prayers for my animal-relatives' soul and ancestry? Being by now an old man, my last tasks will be to create how ever "A MONUMENT FOR ANIMALS", in the way as my people have done thousands of years before.

You dear reader of the modern world may think over 'cause YOUR own survival and those of your children is tatooed with a question-mark. I wish for everybody the joy of the blue unique planet with its magnificent nature will last. Those who will enter once maybe other planets - where our shaman have been already long time ago - can be only little in number. So what's happen with the rest of human race? Fools are those who believe in scientists' theory that the universe is not endless wide. No way else, our world's human race and our relative wild beast as well plant must survive on earth. On a very thin layer of earth, in rare air. Ain't no way out till our world will be aten and reborn by the everlasting circle of life and death of universe and its eternity. Take a real attentive look at the wild beast and you'll recognize we are living in paradise; no paradise will wait for you when you're gone as religions try to tell you. Religions are human work but the nature and its animals are the work of gods and goddesses and their countless helpers the spirits.

I guess that was all what I had to say.


1940 - As a result of an Evenk woman's affair with an European I was born in Siberia at the winter of 1940.
1961 - I emigrated to the F.R.G.. Taking up a great varity of jobs I've been living and working in 25 countries.
1976 - Without visiting any artschool I had to start my artistical career being busy with graphics, paintings, sculptures, textiles and design. Using only Siberia's various traditional styles for my own artistical base, my exclusive theme is 'NATURE & MAN' with the 'WILD ANIMAL' upon focus.
1994 - Keeping my nomadic lifestyle anyhow I took my place in Northern Asia. Mongolia and the Russian 'Republic of Buryatia' are now the region of my artistical activities.
1995 - Being married with a Buryat-Mongolian woman my beautiful and brave Evenk daughter Ajnana gave me a new task.
1998 - Droven by Buryatia's high unemployment rate, to let my own family survive and forced by the economical bad situation for Evenkis and equal Siberian First Nations, since three years I try to establish the 'CULTURE CENTER OF NORTHERN ASIAN FIRST PEOPLES' ART'. The aim is to cause education and training for my people and within me an extra job.
2002 - Seven years are gone with my fight for the 'Center'; a hard theme for western supporters.
2005 - Still restless I work on my routes between Mongolia, Buryatia, Russia, Finland and Germany to introduce my animal-relatives, our Evenkis' lifestyle, my artistical work and to find financial support for the still urgent needed culture-center. Now I'm an old man who runs still against the wind. The rest of my future will show me, will I reach the target of my visions.

More information under: www.grey-wolf-guruev.com and www.CultureCenterNorthernAsia.org


More than what was painted by modern men had impress me what can be seen in the cavern-paintings of the stone age man. Never beaten even by a Picasso gave me such artworks always the shivers and let the heart attack me 'cause, and this may be the reason for a man of different mind and belief, such kind of work is more than fine art. It is art coming from an other world that exhales spirituality in its purest form. Same I validate for the thousands of years old rock-engravings. To see ancient done works and to watch what's happen today gives our Evenkis' thoughts, and thus my own, a great relevance. Thoughts which can be symbolical translate in such way:

Ones the reindeer can't be herded anymore the human race won't be a human race anymore!

Such opinion you can find also in the, by western society so much admired, anciently myth of the Greeks that talk about "The Stony Age" and "The Golden Age". But the third, "The Iron Time" is part of the myth too that talk about the vanish of the human race.' It seems to me modern peoples keep on walking such way. Isn't the theme worldwide climate like the tip of a screw ?

My 'vitae doesn't contain any customary training in art. Neither an artschool nor an academy have seen my feet. All my artworks are the result of self- education and own training. The first years of my 'Artistical Career' were filled with expressing what keeps a man busy when he spend thoughts for the theme 'MAN & SOCIETY', 'MAN & NATURE'. Those time motivated me to develop a kind of painted 'Symbolism' telling stories within. Albrecht Dürer, Hieronymus Bosch, Max Ernst, Salvatore Dali & The American Realists gave me a great input - much artwork was perfect done but no real style was realy mine.

As happen so often in my life - by chance, whilst I had to paint a huge picture for an order of Vancouver's 'Sears-Tower' I became acquaintance with American First Nations' Artists. Our longlasting talks had bear also their questions about my blood, native place and spirit. My new temporary friends, having not any idea about Siberia's First Nations and their culture, gave me at least 'the key' for my future art-style and career. "You believe in Shamanism, wild animals were with you since birth, you own good 'technics - so why don't you establish your artwork on your greatest interest in nature and animals and use your Siberian roots?" made me more curious for my mother's and other Siberian nations' history and culture. Such themes had no relevance for me when I grew up in communist time. Result was - I started my present 'style, a unique style today and mine, and became an ethnographer incidentally. When ever I took place in the nature my creativity exploded like Kamchatka's vulcanos spit fire. Quite different to my past that had shown only headwork and excellent technics - now my artworks are done by belly and spirits.

In remembrance what was happen in my nomadic childhood, based in my belief and on my never lost connection with the wild nature and its therein living "relatives of mine", the animals, having good knowledge in Northern Asia's First Peoples' history, culture, tradition & art - all this found place in my own true unique artstyle. I adopted 'The Altai-Style' that can be found even in ancient Chinese works, had study 'The X-Ray-Style' of our Siberian thousands of years old pictograms and the typical spiral-lines of Turkic and Tungusic-Manchurian pictures showing wild animal Being combined with Mongolia's herdsman's spirit or palaeo-Siberian's mind, and my knowledge about the beast by itself plus my belief in Shamanism - all this create my artworks well. Our Evenki's artstyle follows the geometrical rules in the north and those of us who live in the south prefer more the rules of natural swinging lines. The latter I admire much, with the result that nobody can falsify my 'style.

Today, no perfect technics or 'Superrealism' do rule my works anymore but a lot of feelings and belief. My exclusive theme is 'Nature & Man' and not vice versa as happen before because for me men aren't the center of this world. The wild animal is the subject matter number one - also before much shown in my old works before any wildlife-protection got hip - as well telling about our nomadic world that is filled with reindeer-herding, cattle-breeding, hunt and fishery, with Shamanism and legends.

But these are strange topics in a modern and regulated world where only 'Time is Money' count. To make it clear - its O.K. to own money and I'm glad when people can buy my works.

But ones the nature is gone you can't eat money at all.

My point of view is, modern people have lost their relationship with nature; how can they understand then what my artworks express? And to watch, as ones happen, Mr. J. Beuys & a frighten coyote in a downtown exposition - it has nothing to do with nature and Shamanism as by the western artscene proclaimed. In general, this 'scene, always hungry for "what is hip and what not?", act confuse when they get in touch with my 'works. I'm not wondering anymore 'cause - if a golfer cut his lawn having a pair of nail-scissors in use how can such people understad what a reindeer is all about and a farmer, being in sorrow for cattle and profit, won't admire a wolf, not to talk about city-children who think that the cow's color must be lilac just because they have seen such so in T.V.. By the way, I be at daggers drawn with 'esoteric', with all who have not respect for animals and with those who grab for or violate our Siberian Shamanism.

Talking about my habit, nature and work - I've try to live the regulate life of middle classes but I couldn't go along with such one. Better for me is to live right below the stars, sun and moon. These are parts of my gods' and goddesses' power. I never had and can believe in by human being created 'The Only One God'; being in western tongues even 'The Lord' (why not female I wonder). Not to be chained by modern society's rules but living on what heaven, nature and our Evenki's tradition does teach me - this had always a great relevance for me. I never had a four corner studio as mine. All works, as long they tell about my wild relatives and the life in and with nature, were created outdoor. And, for instance, it is a great satisfying, thrilling and thoughtful work if you have the chance to sit nearby a bear and your irons carve what's in the bear's mind. Or you see the dancing cranes, you paint them and you wish to fly with them right in the sky, where no people and their rules surrounds you. It's realy a precious gift from heaven when pencil, brush and iron is lead by the spirits and not by yourself.

So I like to say, my artworks are not expressions of mine, it's art that's coming from my gods and spirits.

Like my far north living colleagues, if I start a sculpture no sketch is with me. Like my Chinese friends create calligraphics, if my brush keps working I easily create Mongolia's wild life on local newspaper's paper; later much admired in several exhibitions. It isn't so when I stay for certain reason in the west (trying to find support for the culture-center) where ev'rything is quite narrow and overloaded with law countless in number and noise. But soon I'm back in the wild nature and good air my hands take what ever is good enough for expressing what I have seen and felt. Whether I sit by the lake Baykal, in the taiga with the murmurousstream coming from a nearby brook or in the middle of the Mongolian steppe - all you need is a piece of birchbark or wrapping paper, a sun-bleached bone, a fancy stone or a strange curved piece of wood and the work will start just by itself. No studio can be so good than being surrounded by the wispering nature that is full of birds-songs, having above an open wide wide sky in magical colors and the perfumes of wild flowers and blossoms in your nose. Does the rain dance on your shelter, comes the darkness with the sunset, does the frost bites your fingers or your backbone is in trouble - being filled by expressions you have to start your work and you keep working as you never would do so for any profit. It's like magic! Ain't no fooling you, how often wild living animals had visit me being curious for what I'm doing I can't count. Isn't magical ? In the great outdoor I were with a pack of wolves. To sleep in the middle of a deer-family, as I did, isn't magical too ?

In comparism with western modern art and theme, I refuse as well to show the dark side of my people's life 'cause Northern Asia's everyday, and so mine, is already hard enough. Because of all do always my people try to find a balance as much as possible, even in artistically work. In western eyes such artworks looks mostly too much harmonized. Unfortunately, in present days and 'since policy has changed' some Asian artists try to imitate western expression and theme, just to be famous in N.Y. City or elsewhere in the 'Golden West'. That's not my fall. I prefer our own culture, tradition, belief and nature as theme. What ever I express is good enough to honor my animal relatives, to praise my nomadic friends and our lifestyle.

As for the nearest future, rooted in my belief and respect for the wild beast, now I work for the rock-art-project 'The Calendar of Animals' by using my style. Why ? It simply bothers me that the human race like to use animals and their attributes in which way ever, but have build monuments mostly for their personal glory, thinking that they are "the crown of god's creation". Wherever in this world - what would we be without the bad treaten beast? So I though it's time to create such work; meaning I had a vision.

An other wish of mine - I would be simply glad for if my own people, the Evenki, and equal First Nations too, especially children, would like to adopt my art-style that is actually their own. I have only borrow from them for lifetime - 'cause knowledge and riches you can't use anymore when you're gone. But a soul will keep on living as long as people remember you. How ever, it would be the greatest honor for me.

Talking about my art, me and the subject too was the theme. To give a statement here! Being a strong believer, a hunter and fisher, maybe ones again a herdsman to feed my family - absolute no appreciation I have for modern wildlife-managment, sport-fishery, trophy-hunt, mass-productions of meat, long-lasting transportations of cattle, animal-tests, zoological gardens, pet-shops and cruelty to animals!!

Ones more - underlining that I kill and butcher the beast, nevertheless it hurts my soul and belief to see an animal in a cage. Think vice versa ! How would it be if YOU would be treaden so? As for me I take only what's necessary for survival and I know how to make the cattle sleepy to butcher it then without bleeding giving same moment a prayer for its soul. That's the way as Mongolian herders are doing too.

Last but not least ! Viewer and collector of my artworks, admire my artworks. But it would be just good if they could learn how-to admire the nature, the miracle we live in, created by the everlasting heaven.

About my technics can be said: As for paintings of bigger size, it can be done on a wall, wooden panels, canvas, coverlets, a blanket or on wrapping paper of great length. Using mostly natural dyes to create my own 'broken colors' I like to work with swinging arm, if I start a work of great size. Doing graphics and small size paintings, this can be happen on wood, birchbark, wrapping paper or customary paper, even on newspapers as you shown in two catalogs, mostly I use then Russian or Chinese water-colors and India-ink. A typical part of my style is the use of selfmade stencils. This technic is an ancient technic coming from our Siberian ancestry who made stencils of birchbark and rawhide or dryed offals and fish-hide. The idea of stencil you can see as well in the beautiful Chinese silhouettes and carved panels. Great fascination I find in when I start the stencil's outline. I have to think in abstraction. In such way of expression ones my scalpel had cut almost one thousand stencils of different size and theme in a very short time. I simply couldn't stop. Now I have still plenty of them to use them for water- color paintings.

About my sculptures: That's a special theme! As you know by the top writings I'm a nomad and so I can not own a studio. Our Evenkis never carry a lot of things; they must be small and lightweight. So I made only sculptures which I can carry just by myself. Using only natural materials like bone, ivory, iron, copper, stone, rawhide, feather and selfmade color I'm always very curious for strange grown wood. It's like my spirits guide me to find already formed pieces and my hands do the rest. Even when my irons start already to carve the material, I never know exactly what the result will be. I never cut against the wood's structure to keep what's in already, to disturb not the wood's fibre's flowing and spirit. At the end ev'rything must be smooth as if I had create a huge netsuke. Using sand, dirt, grass and animal grease it takes houres to cause the final effect. The branded lines, showing as well the Altai-spiral, underline the inner structure of a body as you can see in the X-ray style of our ancient pictograms. Do I paint partly the sculpture; in some cases blue is the color of spirituality and red the color of living power. No anatomical super-realism is the aim but to let the sculpture show feelings and spirituality telling same times a story is most important for me.

All in all and as already said, all themes are with me as much they belong traditional to our First Peoples' life and our surrounding nature showing also natural and spiritual phenomena.

Analogous to our Shamanism and Animism; very much I shown in my works: A BEAR (never named 'bear' in my mother's tongue) can be an 'old person' or an 'unkle'. The FOX can be a smart shaman. A RAVEN may carry your soul whilst he's eating your dead corpus being same time a helpful friend. Some of the species FISH may be a drowned human being who's soul have to be brought back to mortal ground and thus out of the third world. The home of the haten MOSQUITOES too. The TIGER is the spirit and master of the southern taiga as the BEAR is the lord of its northern part. The REINDEER - how could our nomads life without it. So I named only a few of> my relatives, shown in my artworks as more or less intelligent members. You'll find hermaphrodites of the human race and hybrids showing animals with a human face or vice versa. They are a common part of our life. Sun, moon, stars, iron, a stone or tree, frost, water, wind and even the chance or the death - ev'rything and ev'rybody has a 'face'. And I paint or carve a visible voice, unique in artworks.

Being a believer, some works show the in Europe abused swastika that is in fact our thousands of years old symbol of our Asia's First Peoples' sun; one of the various gods who allow us to live till all of us will disappear in the everlasting circle of light and finaly in a 'black hole' which will create many of the new universe. Themes which belong to the most inner parts of Shamanism, such I'll never render in my artworks 'cause they are not relevant for European who are people of different mind. That's why you should note, whensoever you get in> touch with artists or a 'shaman' coming from our region and they offer you 'The Secrets of Shamanism', what is a new mode in present days, just do not listen to them 'cause they try only to cheat people and take your money> for own material success. Such guys are quite cunning and charlatans indeed. Not any of our real shamans, if still any exsist, would leave its native place, never ever, for the reason to grab money or to hit a conference as the media spread out. And those tourists and filmmakers who 'got in touch with a shaman', carring "true reports" back home, had seen only a good show supported by a bottle vodka.

As long I am able to express in my artworks what's in my soul and mind,what nature does offer, as long the reindeer dance with the wolf - no doubt I will tell stories in my own unique way. More informations you can find in my two catalogs which I offer at my own homepage. So, I guess now you had enogh read; am I right?

Taken from an interview of the channel 'The Buryat T.V.', I like to dedicate this record to my Evenk daughter Ajnana and to my Navajo children Michele and Uwe.

Summer, 1995