Artist Lilia Silva: “I Love Costa Rica And It Is The Place That I Hope Will Be My Home For The Years I Have Left”

    Russia her native country, China, Singapore, other nations and places were not enough to captivate Lilia as it did Costa Rica, the country where she feels calm and free...

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    Lilia Silva is an artist of Russian origin, who has been living in Costa Rica for five years, specifically in Liberia, Guanacaste.

    She was born with art running through her veins, but did not have the opportunity to develop it as a child because, in her opinion, she, her brother and her mother lived in an enclosed place controlled by her father.

    “I had no right to go out and even less to study something I liked.  That’s why I had to hide this part of me (art) and I started to paint for real while living in China. There I met many painters from both Russia and China. I participated in several art exhibitions and also opened a studio where I gave personal oil painting lessons. Later when we already moved to Singapore, I studied and graduated from LaSalle College of the Arts, BA in Fine Arts (2016 – 2019)” Silva detailed.

    Talking about her childhood, her parents’ teachings and her memories of what it was like, is due to what she herself told us about her father. For her, “father” is a threat and “mother” is the person who protects, the relationship between her parents was very difficult.

    The last years she lived in Russia she now calls hell. When she managed to escape, she went to China and then took her mom and my younger brother with her. “Since that time my mom lives with me. My brother already has his own family. And although the years as children have been hard I think this brings us together a lot. The relationship with my brother and my mom is very close.”

    Making art in these times and the personal impact

    Lilia told us that her years at the university changed her perspective on how she saw art, and that was because she learned about different aspects of culture and other people’s practices: “I understood that art is not just a pretty picture, art is also a message that can transmit a lot; a piece of art can start a war or generate peace, and the artist is the person who transmits that message,” she explained.

    She was always looking for her own path in art. It is no secret that every artist wants to do something different, something that will distinguish him or her from others, and Lilia in the last two years can say that she has found her own way in art, her own style.

    She began to work with the material that some may consider as garbage, but that for the artist is a treasure, we are talking about jícaros, totumos or taparos fallen from trees about 1 or 2 years ago and that were on the ground under the sun and rains, so they no longer have the same texture or color, but it is the most useful material in the type of art that Lilia practices today.

    Each of her works is made of small pieces of jícaros; it is like a mosaic of natural material. She applies the jicaro pieces to the wooden base and little by little assembles what is requested or what she creatively decides.

    Undoubtedly, the assembly process is usually very slow and requires a lot of patience, but the artist says that when she observes the result, everything changes, she feels fulfilled.

    Each work is unique and the most ambitious project that she is still finishing (she started it in August last year), is the 5 colones. “It is ambitious because of the amount of work involved. There was a moment when I thought I was not going to make it, but now that it is almost ready I am very happy because I did not give up”.

    It is worth mentioning that Lilia, in addition to working with the jicaro scraps, always focuses on oil painting, because she considers it more vivid than acrylic. Although she recognizes that, “in each painting technique one can achieve impressive effects”.

    You can’t extinguish the spark…

    As Lilia said, she was born with the spark of art, and it was more the task not to extinguish this spark the time she was in Russia. In her opinion, art is more for soul.

    “Let’s be honest, there are few people who can live only from their art and, unfortunately I am not one of those people, at least not yet, most of the pieces I do, is because something inside me asks me to do them” she stressed.

    Silva assures that art cannot be seen as “work”, “when you start practicing it that way, you will fail, art has to start with your desire to express yourself, to show your ideas to the world, and when people see your message in your art, that’s when recognition comes. It is true that nowadays it is easier for an artist to show his art to the world, before there were no digital platforms. Now, if you don’t use the platforms to show yourself to the world, it’s only because you don’t want to. We all have access to the digital world, but we must not forget that fame is not going to come overnight (although this happens too). Art has its slow and rewarding process. It requires a lot of effort. Sometimes you want to give up and do nothing more, that’s when the sparks of creating disappear. Also, there is the need to work to support the family, which prevents many from pursuing their passion and is very understandable.”

    With goals to achieve

    Sometimes, Lilia feels that she has not done enough and at the same time, she has doubts about the art she makes, but when she reflects and comes to her senses, it drives her to improve more and more.

    She is that artist, who also thinks that each work to be carried out will be even better than the previous one, for her it is a process of growth that never ends.

    Her dream is to have an art studio in Costa Rica, to have a space that will be dedicated only to art, and also to be able to give classes as before, she hopes to achieve it soon.

    The biggest project for 2024

    Among the biggest projects for this year is to build her house, to have a home of her own for her family. Regarding art, he plans to finish the work of 5 colons, do some portraits “and I also have a pending project, there are 7 paintings that represent 7 provinces of Costa Rica. There are many plans, there is not enough time for everything”.

    Exhibitions, awards and recognitions

    If we talk about how many works he has painted, it is a -difficult- subject for Silva, because he says he has lost control over the numbers, due to the fact that, for years he has created works of various sizes. “In total I think there are already hundreds of them”.

    Regarding the exhibitions of his art, they have been in Russia, China, Singapore, among other countries, he has not yet had the pleasure of making one in Costa Rica.

    To mention some of the exhibitions:

    2017 – “Light Up Braddell Heights & Arts in Wonderland” – Large format art installation which includes HDB block façade art, plank art and bench art. Collaboration work with Braddell Heights CACC, Bartley Christian Church Youth Group and 400 residents.

    2016 – “Dreams among the Light” Personal exhibition in Sanya, China.

    2015 – Russian Art Week autumn-2015, Moscow, Russia.

    2015 – Tigre Story, Primorye State gallery, Vladivostok, Russia.

    2015 – International exhibition of artists of the three countries – China, Russia, Mongolia. Manzhouli, China.

    2015 – Exhibition of traditional Russian oil painting, Weihai, China.

    2015 – Exhibition of traditional Russian oil painting, Sanya, China.

    2014 – Exhibition at the center of Russian art on the island of Hainan.

    2013 – Exhibition of traditional Russian oil painting, Vung Tau, Vietnam.

    2011 – All-Russian exhibition «Artists about Fleet», Vladivostok, Russia.

    2007 – All-Russian art exhibition “Young Artists of  Russia”, Moscow, Russia.

    Among the recognitions that Lilia has obtained are: Member of Honor of the International Federation of Artists and the National Union of Artists of Russia. Member of the International Art Fund of the Moscow Artists Association. “Interview in China on my personal exhibition: Singapur. Art contest:”.

    The most significant work or works that he has dedicated a lot of time and with which he has had ups and downs.

    The most significant work in his art path, he considers that he is still working on – the 5 colones -, the size of the work is 2.5 meters long, and it is worth detailing that it is a very complicated mosaic of jicaro, “I hope very soon to present this work ready”. In the work of the 5 colones combines what represents me as an artist today and also his interest in Costa Rican culture. “From the beginning this work was a challenge, first the base is a wooden plank that weighs a lot and it was difficult to bring it, then define the details of the work, segment the areas of colors. Everyone knows the old 5 colones bill and if you look at it well, it has many small details that are not well achieved with the eye. The photos of the original painting that is in the national theater that exist on the internet are not of high quality either. What helped me a lot in the end, is to visit the national theater in person and take additional photos to capture more details” he added.

    Beyond painting…

    Another of Lilia’s occupations in Costa Rica is imports. She has an import company from China, products that she brings in large quantities. “What we offer can be seen on the official website:”.

    She has several hobbies, most of them related to handicrafts. She likes to read in different languages, she always tries to keep active with the languages she speaks. She enjoys writing and making digital designs, she recently published a children’s book called “the adventures of Coco Ti. A magical journey through Costa Rica”. The book is available on Amazon: She is a multifaceted character, who will always surprise you…

    sHe admires many people, such as Jackie Chan. “In many ways who I am today is because of him. When I was still a teenager I was very inspired by the story of his life and he made me understand that only we decide where we are going to be tomorrow, there should be no such thing as “I can’t”.

    In the area of painting, he is inspired by several artists, among them, the Costa Rican César Valverde. “He is the contemporary artist of the 20th century and I like how he combines the simplicity of lines and large areas of color to create a distinct image. His works are easy to recognize among those of other artists. The -language of his art- distinguishes him and if you once saw a couple of his works you will always recognize them” she emphasized.


    Finally, she is a woman who was captivated by Costa Rica, she loves the country and it is the place she hopes will be her home for the years to come. “Here I feel calm and free. I have lived and also visited several countries. I have been in the largest and most populated cities in the world, I can say that there is no perfect place, what is good for one, does not work for another and we decide if we see the bad part or the good part. That is why if we go to read comments about Costa Rica sometimes we can come across negativities and, I do not deny it, there is much to improve, but for this we are the people who chose this place as our home and each one is if we can make the place better than before. I am very inspired by the nature that surrounds you here on all sides”.

    If you want to learn more about Lilia’s art and activities you can do so through her social media accounts: TikTok: liliasilva8151; Facebook: Lilia Silva; Instagram: Lilia Omoloeva and YouTube: LiliaSilva81519.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel

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