Mkrtich Tonoyan


I am Mkrtich Tonoyan, an Armenian artist, president of the AKOS Cultural NGO and co-founder of the "Art Commune" artists-in-residence  program, member of Atists' Union of Armenia.
I was born in Yerevan in 1974, on the 21st  September (the day which later became the Independence Day of Armenia). In 1990 I passed the exam to Terlemezyan Art College but instead of going to the College I went to war.
1990-1994 I participated in Kharabakh War. I went through all horrors of war-death, destruction, despair… I lost the best friends and was wounded myself.
Being on borderline situation I understood the real value of life. After the war I couldn’t find my place nowhere. The society was completely changed. When I went to the war, it was “Communism”, when I came back; it was new growing wild capitalism. And I stayed in army, to pass my military experience to young soldiers, because I had only this experience. I was able to speak only about war and it was very hard to live with the memories of the war. Then I found a way of liberation; it was Art.
I forgot that I had been a student of fine art college for several months, that I had known how to confront with the world structure, how to build a new "world".
“Let’s express these all memories, good and bad feelings through the Art”, I told myself and went to continue my art studying. In 1996-2002 I was in the Visual Art Faculty of Academy of Fine Arts in Yerevan.
I had articles and TV-talks on nowadays modern art problems in Armenia and around problems of local art and world movements. From 1994 I was the assistant of famous Armenian avant-garde artist Alexander Melkonyan who is the founder of a new direction of plastic conceptual art in Armenia , called "Military Art". 
In 2002 with my friends I founded "Akos" Cultural nod governmental organization and since that year I have been creating in the field of Contemporary Art and have participated in the local and international art events.
In 2006 I found ACOSS (Art Ceter of Social Studies) artist-in-residence program and was the director of the program. 
In 2008 Susanna and I found an artist residency program "Art Commune" at the ACSL NGO in Yerevan, Armenia and until the end of 2009 was director of the program.
Currently I am the president of the "Akos"s Cultural NGO and the director of the ACOSS artist-in-residence program, I continue my art, cooperating with local, regional and international art centers and galleries.
I have very good friends all over the world and love them.
I am married, have two daughters.

M. Tonoyan