Stanka Usha Tsonkova was born in 1952. She graduated from the School of Photography in 1973. Stanka Tsonkova has had over 20 solo exhibitions in the country and abroad: in Berlin, Tokyo, New York, La Rochelle, Bratislava, Budapest, as well as numerous collective exhibitions: in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, New York, Houston, Paris, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, Tokyo, etc.
Recent group exhibitions: 2019 /Open Art Files: Notes and Footnotes, curated by Vera Mlechevska and organized by Open Arts Foundation, Kapana Gallery, Plovdiv, 2020 /Genealogy, ONE Gallery, Sofia, Sparks of Imagination. On the Frequencies of the Beuys, curated by Vera Mlechevska, Square 500 National Gallery.
Usha has 35 years of experience in exploring the photographic language as a modern visual media. Experiments with photographic chemicals, processes and materials have given her the freedom to extend the boundaries of the specific purpose of photography as a document reflecting reality as it is.
These attempts she shares in her teaching and lecturing practice at the National School of Art in Sofia; the National School of Culture in Gorna Banya, Sofia, the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA) in Sofia, the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, the Atrium in Berlin; the Free University in Kreuzberg, Berlin, the Kyoto University of the Arts, the Tokyo Polytechnic University, the Star and Shadow in Newcastle, UK.
She has received awards in salons for contemporary art and experimental photography: 1990 – the Art of the Day salon in Budapest; 1986 and 1989 – Grand Prix in the New Artistic Pursuits Salon in Royan, France; 2003 – a 6-month scholarship of the Japanese Foundation for the Embrace-Stone Garden project in Tokyo.
Her works are part of the collections of the National Library in Paris; the Musée de l'Élysée in Lausanne; the Shadai Gallery in Tokyo, Japanese Foundation; the Zental und Landesbibliothek in Berlin; the National Art Gallery in Sofia; private collections in the USA, Japan, France, England, Germany, etc.