Luxembourg based Wild Project Gallery launches a new series, “Did you know…”, designed to introduce local audiences to the culture of a different country.
Wild Project Gallery opened a ten-person exhibition of emerging and established Kazakh artists whose work reflects the breadth of Kazakhstani culture 20 years after independence.
“Did you know…Kazakhstan?” is the inaugural exhibition of a new, annual series at Wild Project Gallery titled “Did you know?”, intending to introduce Luxembourg audiences to a culture of a new country. This first exhibition is the fruit of a joint effort between Wild Project Gallery and International Art Development Agency (IADA), an organisation with a programme dedicated to the promotion of contemporary Kazakh artists.
But why Kazakhstan? As the exhibition press release states,
Kazakhstan is the largest territory of Central Asia and as such, it raises a lot of interest and questions. However, after twenty years of independence, the idea that we have of this country remains vague, imprecise, intangible. Perception is the same with regard to contemporary art of Kazakhstan, while the cultural and artistic life is very intense.
The artists create in range of media and reside both in Kazakhstan and in various European capitals. Of the ten artists selected for this exhibition, those who live in Kazakhstan tend to be exploring the pictorial traditions of their home; their works are contrasted against younger, emerging artists living abroad who are confronting traditional Kazakhstan through the exploration of topics such as the difference between the Western and Kazakh representation of women.
Art Radar profiles six artists featured in “Did you know…Kazakhstan?”, currently on display until 11 June 2016.
Ada Yu (b. 1987) lives and works in Paris and is a multidisciplinary artist working in film, photography, performance and installation. Her works are inspired by old paintings and their ability to bring stories into plain sight. She works with a technique she created and calls “Decompostruction”, which she describes as,
a decomposition of reality and its visual representation, further construction of an alternative reality using defragmented matter to produce imagery. Every photograph or installation are staged and directed, as if they were frozen fractions of cinema.”
Gaisha Madanova (b. 1987) currently resides in Munich. Madanova emerged onto the art scene in 2007 as a member of the international collective Artpologist, who created a project titled “Transformation of space in Almaty” about changes in the urban environment and the impact of these changes on artists, across various generations, and their studios. Madanova also broaches the topics of surveillance and privacy, which have become increasingly lopsided in the years subsequent to the War on Terror and the transformation of the former Soviet bloc.
Askhat Akhmediyarov (b. 1965) lives and works near Astana, Kazakhstan. He works in several media including video, performance, installation and photography, to investigate the influence of Western culture on Kazakh culture and the way and in which Western culture is expanding in Kazakhstan. His work has the effect of making the viewer aware of the dissonances that exist in a world that is in constant flux.
Said Atabekov (b. 1965) was born in and continues to work and live in Kazakhstan. He was a founding member of the Kyzyl Traktor (Red Tractor Group), the first avant-garde art collective established in the 1980s during the political reform. Atabekov’s work, from the very beginning, has been a departure from and in opposition to Soviet collectivism. Having witnessed the social and political and upheaval that resulted in a transition from nomadic culture to Communism, and then to capitalism in less than a century, Atabekov is fascinated with the intersections and sites of impact that these conflicting cultures have had in Kazakhstan.
Galim Madanov (b. 1958) holds a degree in cinematography (All-Union of Cinematography, Moscow) and in philosophy and political science (Kazakh State Al Farabi University, Almaty). He has often worked in a duo creative team with fellow Kazakh artist Zauresh Terekbay, with whom he has presented in over 100 national, regional and international exhibitions. Madanov has been amongst the few contemporary artists who are rethinking painting as a medium by investigating its contemporary and social importance.
Almagul Menlibayeva (b. 1969) combines the style of the the Soviet Russian avant-garde Futurism school with the nomadic aesthetic of post-soviet Kazakhstan. Menlibayeva works in a number of media including painting, graphics, performance, video and installation. Early works included mythic portrayals of Central Asia’s steppe landscape, evoking the region’s ancient history whilst calling attention to current environmental challenges. She also deals head on with the question of women’s representation in contemporary Kazakhstan, straddling the divide between traditional Kazakh culture and Western representation.
Negarra A. Kudumu
- Lifting the veil: photography and video by Kazakhstan’s Almagul Menlibayeva – artist profile – February 2016 – inspired by fashion photography and documentary film, Kazakh artist Almagul Menlibayeva captures the unknown, multifaceted history of one of the most misunderstood regions in the world
- Kazakh artist Annya Sand on painting as meditation – interview – March 2015 – Annya Sand is an artist who specialises in abstract oil paintings, born in Kazakhstan
- 10 Kazakh artists to know now – January 2015 – from the diverse group of artists exhibited, Art Radar handpicks ten exciting Kazakh artists and artist duos you should know
- Kazakhstani art festival ArtBatFest calls for public arts submissions – February 2012 – the third edition of ArtBatFest is set to run in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from 25 to 27 May 2012
- Curator Rosa Maria Falvo on emerging Central Asian art scene – interview – December 2009 -in the complex world of identifying and valuing cultural and artistic significance, it is the curator who filters through the ‘noise’ to uncover the hidden gems that are relevant
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