Assel Sabyrzhankyzy, 27, said that she decided to draw Kenesary Khan because he was the last khan of the Kazakh people and the leader of the 1837-1847 anti-colonial movement.
"His image is imbued with the spirit of freedom. Kenesary Khan, unfortunately, tragically died in a foreign land, and until now, his remains have not been returned to his homeland. According to legends, when all his remains return to the homeland, our people shall find prosperity. This is a part of our history. My drawing and video send a message that we should remember our history and be proud of our ancestors."
With her art, Assel wants to show that using unique art methods and modern trends, you can inspire young children to get interested in history and art.
"These days you have to come up with something new and unusual to make sure you get noticed. Why do I draw khans from tiny people? Because khans inspired ordinary people to go on new endeavors, united people around him, raised their spirits, and set common goals for the people. The tiny men are part of my portrait painting system. One little man is just a small doodle. But a cluster of them is power – a full-fledged portrait. As the saying goes, no man is an island."
She mainly draws hyper-realistic portraits using oil on canvas.
This is not the only portrait of a Kazakh leader Assel has created from tiny stick figures. She made portraits of the founders of the Kazakh Khanate, Kerey Khan and Zhanibek Khan, and the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR Dinmukhamed Kunayev.
Last year, Assel simultaneously drew three pencil portraits of the founders of the "Alash" party, Alikhan Bokeykhanov, Ahmet Baitursynov, and Mirzhakip Dulatov. She went on to do the same with the three Kazakh sages – Tole bi, Kazybek bi, and Aiteke bi.