ince graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts Munich in 2015, I have worked in various artistic mediums, including photography, installation, audio, video, objects, and drawing. During this period, I have developed a considerable number of series and projects.

Since 2023, the focus of my work has shifted to installations that explore themes of water, nature, environment, time, and the coexistence of human civilization and nature. These ever-evolving installations encompass multiple media, specifically audio collages, video installations, photography, and found objects. The installations are site-specific and emerge from the material I find on-site, including local audio recordings, video, and photographs, both in digital and analog formats.

My photographic work, which captures reality while developing its own language, is characterized by observation, analysis, and the simultaneous listening to my inner voice, which consistently defies my mathematical logic. This approach has taught me to look beneath the surface, seek beauty in simplicity, and consciously question the border of kitsch. These elements connect many of my works.

The slow process of developing my series is an integral part of my artistic practice. The sensation of investing my physical energy into the artwork permeates all my works. In photography and audio, it entails covering kilometers to capture shots, waiting for the analog result, months of sorting, and precise color work through self-made prints. With objects, it involves kilometers of wire passing through my fingers and endless repetitions of movements. In installations, it means laying out half a ton of marble stones.

Fragility and detail are the third connecting elements running through all my works. The large videos in object installations depict natural forces like water or nature, making me feel small and helping me sense time better. They speak to the fragility of our environment.

My small-format photographs are precise and intimate, showcasing the beauty of reality while simultaneously questioning it. The same applies to the physical nature and visual impression of my objects, as well as the drawings inspired by them.

Julia Smirnova
@ Photo by Olga Boyko, 2020







1981 – born in USSR as Volga German. 1997 – moves to Germany.

Currently lives in Munich.

2003 – 2007 Munich University of Applied Sciences, Photo-Design, Dipl.
2009 – 2015 Munich Academy of visual Arts, classes of Gunter Forg and Jean-Marc Bustamante, Dipl.

Collections & Museums
Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (K’MoPA), JP
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, New York, US
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlung / Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, DE
Collection City Rosenheim, DE

Awards, Grants & Residencies
2023 – Studio grant from the City of Munich, DE
2022 – Residency at Le 108, Orléans, in cooperation with Künstlerhaus Schafhof and organisation La Miré, FR
2022 – Krumbacher Art Prize, DE
2022 – Residency at Nelimarkka Museum, Alajärvi, FIN
2022 – Residency at Salzamt Linz, in the guest studio of the Province of Upper Austria, The Art Collection, AT
2020 – Studio grant from the City of Munich, DE
2019 – VII. Ellwanger Art Prize, DE
2019 – 2nd place in the 13th Annual B&W Spider Awards, US
2014 – Young Portfolio Acquisitions, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, JP
2013 – Sponsorship Award from the City of Munich, DE
2011 – Musée de l’Elysée, production grant, CH
2011 – LfA Calender Prize, DE

Nominations (Selection)
2021 – 15th Arte Laguna Prize, IT
2019 – BLOOM Award by Warsteiner, DE
2011 – Lacoste Elysee Prize, top 10, CH
2010 – Katapult Award, top 10, DE
2010 – GetPublished Award, Haus der Fotografie Deichtorhallen Hamburg, top 10, DE
2008 – Canon-Profifoto Award, top 10, DE
2007 – Varta Digital Photo Award, top 10, DE



Ein Zimmer für sich allein, StadtHausGalerie Sonthofen, DE
Gallery Artoxin, Munich, DE
Alte Wache, City Hall Traunstein, Art Association Traunstein, DE
Schwarzweiß, Central German History Museum Krumbach, DE
Seidlvilla, Munich, DE

Fragmented world | Fokus Europa IV, Künstlerhaus Schafhof, Freising, DE
Mäander, Halle50, Munich, DE
Coexistence, GEDOK Gallery, Munich, DE
Kunst Aktuell, Art Association Rosenheim, DE
Herbarium, halle50, Munich, DE
Domagk Open Ateliers, Munich, DE
KULT Kunst, Central German History Museum Krumbach, DE
Changes, Political Academy Tutzing, DE
White, transparent, crystalline, preservative, Gallery of the City Traunstein, DE
More theater, Schlosspavillion Ismaning, DE
ArtMuc, MTC Locations, Munich, DE
Long Night of Museums, Domagk Open Studio, Munich, DE
Wunderkammer, halle50, DomagkAteliers, Munich, DE
30. Aichach Art Prize Exhibition, DE
Elemente, Radikale, Art Association Bad Wörishofen, DE
Annual Exhibition Art Association Landshut, Big City Hall Gallery, Landshut, DE
Leise, halle50, DomagkAteliers, Munich, DE

Retour Amont, Le Bol, Le 108, Orléans, FR
Small Formats, Art Association Rosenheim, DE
Miniartextil, Mairie de Marcq-en-Barœul, FR
The 52nd Year Exhibition, The Town Hall Gallery Landshut, DE
Backgrounds, Wertingen Castle, DE
KunstKiosk, Tiny Art Piece Gallery, Konstanz, DE
Clean Up, Gallery of the City Traunstein, DE
Artexhibition Ingolstadt, BBK Ingolstadt, Exerzierhalle, DE
KULT Kunst, Central German History Museum Krumbach, DE
Miniartextil, Museo del Tessile, Busto Arsizio, IT
Playing with nature, Political Academy Tutzing, DE
Art Days Trudering, DE
OJA 2022, Kulturforum Klosterkirche, DE
Summer in the city, Art Association Landshut, DE
Miniartextil, Le Beffroi de Montrouge, Paris, FR
Picture Market, BBK Ingolstadt, City Gallery Harderbastei, Ingolstadt, DE

Small Formats, Art Association Rosenheim, DE
What is feminine?, BBK Ingolstadt, DE
Death is a master from Ulm, Kunstpool Gallery, Ulm, DE
28th Aichach Artprize Exhibition, Aichach, DE
Collected Conditions, GEDOK Gallery, Munich, DE
The 50th Annual Exhibition, The Town Hall Gallery Landshut, DE
KULT Kunst, Krumbach Artprize Exhibition, Krumbach, DE
Miniartextil, Pinacoteca Civica, Como, IT
The future is present – re you ready?, Political Academy Tutzing, DE
The Annual Art Exbition, Ganserhouse Gallery, Wasserburg, DE
An unwritten Novel, Art Association Landshut, DE

Kunstverein Freising, Landratsamt Freising, DE
ArtMuc, Praterinsel, München, DE
Biennale Blau, Blaues Haus Diessen, DE
Blick Fang, Kunsthaus Kaufbeuren, DE
Kunst Aktuell, Kunstverein Rosenheim, DE
I might be staring at Infinity, YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku, AZ
PhotoZüruch, StageOne, Zürich, CH
Nur mit uns, Galerie der Künstler, BBK München, DE

Objects of Desire, Halle50, München, DE
PhotoMuenchen, Praterinsel, München, DE
VII. Ellwanger Kunstausstellung, Schloß ob Ellwangen, DE
New kids on the block, Halle50, München, DE
Kunst Im Karree, München, DE
L‘appartement 58, München, DE
Dolce Vita, Halle50, München, DE

ARTiges, Kunstverein Ottobrunn, DE
Spurensuche³, Blaues Haus, Dießen am Ammersee, DE

Finir en beauté, Galerie der Künstler, München, DE
Kunstmuseum Humboldschloss, Hettstedt, DE

Artist-Atelier Weissenhaus, DE
The place is not important, 84 GHz, München, DE
Keep Your Eyes Peeled, AFF Galerie, Berlin, DE
The place is not important, Seidlvilla, München, DE

Affordable art fair Hamburg, Galerie Nimmesgern Starnberg, DE
UNSEEN photo fair, Amsterdam, NL
Honey and Joy, Galerie Artsquare, München, DE
Es gibt kein dort, Goethe Institut München, DE
Ortswechsel, Kunstverein Freising, Altes Gefaengnis, DE
Young portfolio acquisitions 2014, K’MoPA, JP

Überblendung, Aff Galerie, Europäischer Monat der Fotografie, Berlin, DE
Does size matter?, Gallery Sage Paris, FR
There is no better place, BüKÜ, F-STOP, 6. Festival für Fotografie Leipzig, DE

Paris Photo, FR
Förderpreise 2013, Lothringer13, München, DE
Artist comes first, Festival international d´art de Toulouse, FR

Underworld, Galerie 5,6, Munich, Germany
Nuit des images, Elysee Museum, Lausanne, CH
Paris Photo, Galerie SAGE Paris
Places we live, Gasteig, Jula Festival, Munich, DE

Catched, EarlyBird, Munich, DE
A tale of three cities, Galerie SAGE Paris, FR
Place is not important, Galerie ASPEKT, Neustadt, DE
Neige, Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris, FR
Katapult Days, Frankfurt/Main, DE

Collection hiemale, gallery Baudoin Lebon, Paris, FR
Photo+Art Book, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, DE
VI Warshaw Festival of Art Photography, Warsaw, PL

Heimat auf Zeit, Galerie für christliche Kunst, Munich, DE
2. Kasseler Photobook Festival, Kassel, DE
Tumbani, groundfloor „Bayern Invest“, Munich, DE

Tumbani, Teehaus Tschajkowsky, Berlin, DE
Fotografika, Museum Literaturnoje Pridneprovje, Dnepropetrovsk, UA

Train Stations, Goethe Institut, Calcutta (Kolkata), IN
Fotofinish, Munich University, Munich, DE
I imagined it in a different way, Seidlvilla, Munich, DE

On the move, SARAI, Space for contemporary media, Delhi, IN
The own view, Technikzentrum FH Muenchen, Munich, DE

I like when the light goes on, Giesinger Bahnhof, Munich, DE
54 Characters, Preview Festival, Moscow, RU
3rd Current Photo Festival, Moscow, RU
2nd Current Photo Festival, Saint-Petersburg, RU

1st Current Photo Festival, Saint-Petersburg, RU

2020 – Kunst Aktuell, Kunstverein Rosenheim, catalog
2019 – VII. Ellwanger Kunstausstellung 2019, catalog
2019 – Fotoforum Magazine 2/2019, “Julia Smirnova”
2019 – Kunst im Karree 2019, catalog
2019 – Münchener Merkur Nr 172, “Treffpunkt für Künstler, Musiker und Philosophen”
2019 – B&W Spider Awards winners book Vol. I
2018 – Fotoforum Magazine 1/2018, “Aufnahmen in der Stadt”
2018 – “Artiges 2018”, catalog
2018 – Ammersee Kurier Nr 82, “Spurensuche”
2018 – Ammersee Kurier Nr 83, “Spurensuche” in Dießen
2018 – Münchner Merkur 15.05,2018, In der Gesichtern Vorfreude und Angst
2018 – Sueddeutsche Zeitung Nr 108, 2018, Menschen im Wartezustand
2017 – ARTMUC catalog, Oct/2017
2017 – “Im Bilde” Magazin, “Finir en beauté”, 3/2017
2017 – ARTMUC catalog, Mai/2017
2015 – FINK Magazine, “Auf der Suche nach dem eigenen Ich”, 4/2015
2015 – Sueddeutsche Zeitung Nr 81, Landkreis Freising,“ Gewohntes neu sehen”
2015 – “Wochenende” Nr 89, Freising, 18.04.2015, “Die Kunstschau mit int.Flair”
2015 – Sueddeutsche Zeitung Nr 89, Landkreis Freising, “Junge Kunst”
2014 – KMOPA catalog, “Young Portfolio Acquisitions 2014”
2014 – Stadtanzeiger 30.10.2014, “Eindrucke der Großstadt”
2014 – Die Rheinpfalz Nr 253, Bilder der Großstadt”
2013 – UND Das Münchener Kunstjournal Nr 53, Förderungswürdig
2013 – “Förderpreise und Stipendien 2012/ 2013” Kulturreferat München
2012 – “Underworld”, catalog, Gallery 5,6 Munich
2012 – “Heimat auf Zeit”, catalog, gallery „Für christliche Kunst“, Munich
2011 – PAGE Magazine, Katapult-Finalistin Julia Smirnova
2011 – Visual Independence Magazine,“Odessa”
2009 – MitOst Magazine Nr 21, Cover + pages 24-25