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.

Kamilla Gabdullina, 'Oelun', 2015. © Kamilla Gabdullina

Kamilla Gabdullina, ‘Oelun’, 2015. © Kamilla Gabdullina

“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.

© Aza Shade 'Aza Shade, 'The Disappearing City', 20111, film 4m:30s. © Aza ShadeThe disappearing City', Film 4:30, 2011

Aza Shade, ‘The Disappearing City’, 20111, film 4m:30s. © Aza Shade

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, 'As cold as burned Phoenix can be', 2015. © Ada Yu

Ada Yu, ‘As cold as burned Phoenix can be’, 2015. © Ada Yu

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, 'Syndrome of Learned Helplessness', 2013. © Gaisha Madanova

Gaisha Madanova, ‘Syndrome of Learned Helplessness’, 2013. © Gaisha Madanova

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.

Said Atabekov, 'Troyan', 2013. © Said Atabekov

Said Atabekov, ‘Troyan’, 2013. © Said Atabekov

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, 2014

© Galim Madanov, 2014

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, 'My Silk Road To You 3', 2011. © Almagul Menlibayeva / Image courtesy American Eurasian Art Advisors LLC.

Almagul Menlibayeva, ‘My Silk Road To You 3’, 2011. © Almagul Menlibayeva / Image courtesy American Eurasian Art Advisors LLC.

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


Related topics: Kazakhstan, photography, Video, Gallery showsCentral Asia

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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