Prints for Ukraine:
At this stage, everyone is aware of the war in Ukraine. It’s a human tragedy, filled with suffering, and our heart goes out to those caught in this terrible situation.
At Kintaro, we have our personal feelings about the conflict, but we didn’t know how we could help as a company. Then Desert Nik reached out to us to help get his prints, created at Kyiv's front line, out into the world.
Nik is a tattoo artist who lived in Berlin until February, when he returned to Ukraine to support his loved ones.
We’ll let Nik tell you his story from here:
“I’ve been living and working as a tattoo artist in Berlin for the last eight years, but when the war started on the 24th of February, I knew I had to go back to Kyiv to support my family. It took me a few days to collect my thoughts and things and say goodbye to my friends, and another three days to reach Kyiv from Berlin.
All my friends and family live in Kyiv, and civilians and military people are dying here every day. I’ve been doing what I can to help by volunteering at a restaurant that creates meals for elderly people, and in the evenings, during the curfew hours, I paint.
The paintings you see here are the result. I know they might seem political or single-minded, but at this moment, it is the only way for me to process the world around me by translating it onto paper.
I look forward to the days when I can return to tattooing, but right now, it’s hard to see when this will happen. Please consider buying a print to help alleviate the suffering in Ukraine during these dark times.”
One of our missions at Kintaro is to support artists, so when Nik reached out to us, it felt like the right place to put our efforts. We believe in freedom, that normally means freedom of artistic expression, but right now, the people of Ukraine are fighting for their national freedom. So together with Nik, we present Prints for Ukraine, a series of 7 prints.
All proceeds from these prints, minus the shipping costs, will go to Doctors without borders, who are working to provide medical supplies and assistance to those in greatest need. You can read more about their efforts in Ukraine here.
We want to do our bit, however small, to help alleviate the suffering of the people affected by this terrible war. Please help us provide medical supplies and services to the people of Ukraine.
With a heavy heart, but a hopeful spirit.
- Ukrainian Daruma – Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance in Japan. This Kozak daruma represents Ukraine’s perseverance in the face of oppression and the longing to be free.
- A Ukrainian girl. Representing the struggle of the beautiful and strong Ukrainian women enduring the horrors of war alongside the men. She is both beautiful and haunted.
- Old Kozak smoking a pipe. Kozaks are a symbol of Ukraine and a symbol of freedom. Kozaks are known for their readiness and willingness to fight to protect Ukraine.
- A hand and sickle. Hardworking and honest agricultural people have populated Ukraine for most of its history. This painting represents these people standing fast and defending their land.
- Lone Kozak with a javelin. Based on the old Japanese painting: lone Ronin, this painting is a tribute to Ukrainian forces fighting uphill battles and overcoming in the face of tremendous adversity.
- Skull on a road sign. A tribute to the witches of Konotop who, according to a local, will make all the invading soldiers impotent.
- Snake trapping a two-headed chicken. This is the reality of Russian imperialism. Their two-headed eagle is nothing but a chicken –a paltry imposter of the eagle who fought in WW2.