Marker: Central Asia and the Caucasus

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Education guide
art from central asia
and the caucasus
NOrth Caucasus
In 2014, Marker turned its focus to Central Asia and the Caucasus. Curated by the
artists Slavs and Tatars, this themed series of booth exhibitions and educational
initiatives includes gallery booth exhibitions, talks, research projects and
commissioned artists’ projects. Caspian Arts Foundation is the education partner of Marker 2014, supporting daily
tours of Marker, the appointment of an Assistant Editor and the production of this
education pack and other materials.
The aim of this guide is not only to provide greater context for Marker 2014, but
also to act as a guide for all those interested in the arts scenes of the Caucasus and
Central Asia, encouraging greater research and engagement.
The booklet includes a brief introduction to Marker 2014, courtesy of the curators,
Slavs and Tatars, a collection of short essays about the arts scenes of the region, with
thanks to ArtAsiaPacific’s Almanac, an image gallery and an extensive listings section
of resources and institutions in these regions.
Education Partner, Marker 2014
Caspian Arts Foundation, a not for profit arts and education
organisation, was founded in 2011 by Nina Mahdavi, after she
recognised the need for and importance of supporting students and
aspiring artists from the Middle East and North Africa in furthering
their education in the arts. Through awarding scholarships, Caspian
Art Foundation enables students to further develop their artistic
skills and realise their true potential through education, practice and
self-expression at the foundation’s affiliate partner, the University of
the Arts, London.
The core principle of the Foundation is to award these young artists
scholarships based on their capability, talent and need as opposed to
focusing on any particular culture or nationality within the region. By
doing so, the approach reflects a holistic view of the art scene in the
region and even extending beyond the visual arts to include fashion,
design, the performing arts, dance, music, theatre, curating and
creative writing.
Students gain access to unique opportunities allowing them to
experience, live and learn in Central London and to integrate into
a highly creative student body. Caspian Arts Foundation hopes to
attract many students and supporters in both its journey and cause,
and to create the space that is needed for these young talents to
grow and make their own contributions through their work.
Marker is Art Dubai’s curated programme of galleries and artspaces, which
focuses each year on a particular theme or geography. This section aims to
exemplify the fair’s role as a site of discovery and cross-cultural exchange,
and is a feature of Art Dubai’s extensive not-for-profit programming.
In 2014, Marker focuses on Central Asia and the Caucasus and is curated
by the artists Slavs and Tatars. This themed series of exhibitions and
educational initiatives includes gallery booth exhibitions, talks and films.
The five artspaces and organisations selected for Marker 2014 are:
·· ArtEast (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
·· Asia Art+ (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
·· North Caucasus Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary
Art, NCCA (Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Russia)
·· Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project (Tbilisi, Georgia)
·· YARAT Contemporary Art Organisation (Baku, Azerbaijian)
Marker features additional contributions by:
·· IADA International Art Development Association
(Almaty, Kazakhstan / Paris, France)
·· Mardjani Foundation (Moscow, Russia)
Slavs and Tatars worked with each space and their artists to present
existing and new work that together forms a collective exhibition
through a ‘regime of portraiture’, including faces, places and traces from
mid-twentieth-century painting to contemporary drawings and sculptures.
At the fair, Marker takes the form of a chaikhaneh or Eurasian (tea)
salon, to activate each work as a point of departure, to tell larger
stories touching upon questions of faith, language, landscape and
most importantly, how these notions are ritualised, interiorised
and hybridised beyond the often brittle politics of identity.
Marker 2014 is supported by ESBD.
Slavs and Tatars would like to thank Leeza Ahmady,
Laura Bulian, Ayatgali Tuleubek and the Central Asian
Pavilion, Venice 2013 team, and The Third Line.
Slavs and Tatars
Geography is a discipline as real as it is imagined, a subject as political as it
is poetic. Take MENASA for starters. When the Muslim world is defined or
imagined today — by the West or by Muslims themselves — it often includes
countries from North Africa to South Asia, strangely skipping a heartbeat
over the former Soviet sphere. But what of the Caucasus and Central Asia?
Coveted for its infamous trade routes, squeezed between
empires, and battered by the major ideologies of the 20th
and 21st centuries, the Caucasus and Central Asia offer a rare
and urgent celebration of complexity and pluralism in a world
increasingly seduced by the conventional and the orthodox.
Far from marginal, this region — Mawara al-Nahr, (Arabic for “what lies
beyond the river”) — has played a central role in Islamic history. It was the
renaissance home to Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, the founder of
algebra; Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, the astrologer who discovered that the earth
revolves around the sun; Ibn Sīnā, the polymath whose Canon of Medicine
was the standard text in Europe and the Islamic world until the eighteenth
century; and Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire — among others.
Art Dubai’s 2014 edition of Marker 2014 focuses on Caucasus and Central
Asia through a regime of portraiture: faces, places, and traces—from midtwentieth-century painting to contemporary drawings and sculptures.
Five participating organisations—hailing from the North Caucasus to
Kyrgysztan—join together to create a Eurasian version of a salon or
chaikhaneh, inviting viewers to engage with the portraits both as artifacts
and as works of art. Each tells a different story of identity, faith, nationhood
or language, and how these are interiorized, masqueraded, ritualized
and ultimately stretched to supersede today’s brittle identity politics.
On the occasion, we’ve invited five artists to publish books with
the participation of Paris-based onestar press. These publications
should serve as so many bricks to be thrown at the store-front of
imposed ideas—now as in the past—as to what it means to be a
Muslim, Christian, or Jew, or rather Abkhaz, Uzbek, or Armenian. Slavs and Tatars is a collective with solo exhibitions at major museums
— MoMA, Secession (2012), REDCAT (2013), Kunsthalle Zurich, Dallas
Museum of Art (2014)—as well as group exhibitions across the Middle
East, North America and Europe. They have published six books,
including a translation of the legendary Azeri political satire Molla
Nasreddin (2011, JRP-Ringier). Slavs and Tatars are represented by The
Third Line, Dubai; Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin; and Raster, Warsaw.
Participating spaces
Asia Art+
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Almaty-based Asia Art+ Public Foundation supports the development of
contemporary art in Kazakhstan and Central Asia through a variety of art and
cultural projects. Asia Art+ promotes multiculturalism throughout Central
Asia by showcasing complex and innovative art created by both established
and emerging regional artists. Its educational programme addresses a wide
array of audiences, from art professionals to students to members of its local
and regional communities. Director: Yuliya Sorokina
Aiteke bi 132, apt. 7
050000 Almaty, Kazakhstan
T: +7 727 233 4669 | E: [email protected]
Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project
Tbilisi, Georgia
Created to engage the public’s interaction with contemporary art, the Popiashvili
Gvaberidze Window Project is a permanent, public art space located in Tbilisi,
Georgia. Founded in 2013, the art space has presented a variety of exhibitions
featuring the works of international and regional contemporary artists,
often showcasing established artists alongside emerging local and regional
artistic talent. Director: Irena Popiashvili
Rustaveli Avenue #37
T: +1 917 690 8886 | E: [email protected]
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Created in November 2002 by artists Gulnara Kasmalieva and
Muratbek Djumaliev, ArtEast is dedicated to the development of the
contemporary art scene in Kyrgyzstan. Through a series of programmes,
seminars, exhibitions and workshops, ArtEast fosters outreach within the
community with an emphasis on issues of local, regional and national heritage.
Directors: Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev
32, Mira Prospect Apt.3
720044 Bishkek
T: +996 312 210 115 | E: [email protected]
North Caucasus Branch of the National Centre
for Contemporary Art
Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia-Alania, Russia
The North Caucasus Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA)
was established in 2010 and is the only state institution in the North Caucasus
region. A platform for the promotion of regional contemporary art to the larger
national and international communities, its programme of research, exhibitions
and educational activities seeks to develop dialogue through the common
cultural heritage of the Caucasus. Director: Gala Tebieva
17, Mayakovsky Street
362000 Vladikavkaz North Ossetia-Alania
T: +7 8672 700 708 | E: [email protected]
YARAT Contemporary Art Organisation
Baku, Azerbaijan
Founded in 2011 by Aida Mahmudova, YARAT is a not-for-profit organisation
dedicated to nurturing an understanding of contemporary art in Azerbaijan and
to creating a platform for Azerbaijani art, both nationally and internationally.
Project manager: Sadagat Isayeva
31-33 Asaf Zeynalli str.
Icheri Shexer, AZ
1000 Baku
T: +99 412 437 3970 | E: [email protected]
Additional contributions
IADA (International Art Development Association)
Almaty, Kazakhstan / Paris, France
IADA is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote contemporary art,
support artists from Central Asia and Europe and develop international cultural
Founders: Dina Baitassova, Indira Dyussebayeva, Laurent Lehmann and Saule
15 Rue Marbeau
75116 Paris
T: +33 6 99 302 157
Mardjani Foundation
Moscow, Russia
The Mardjani Foundation for Support and Development of Research and Cultural
Programs, named in honour of the eminent Tatar scholar and Muslim theologian
Shihabutdin Mardjani (1818 - 1889), was founded in 2006 as the result of
ten years of creative activities among a team of scholars and historians. The
Foundation promotes implementation of research, educational and cultural
projects and actions, aiming to preserve the cultural traditions of Eurasian
peoples whose past and present are connected to Islam.
69, Vavilova Street
T: + 7 495 956 0478 | E: [email protected]
Including articles first published in
ArtAsiaPacific Almanac 2014
AzerbaijanBY SARA RAZA
KazakhstanBY MING LIN
KyrgyzstanBY HANAE KO
Turkmenistan BY HG MASTERS
Uzbekistan BY SARA RAZA
The former Soviet state of Armenia holds an influential position internationally due
to the nation’s rich culture and history, as well as the reach of its diaspora. For 2013,
the city of Gyumri was selected as the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States)
Cultural Capital, and a state-funded committee organized art, theater and film festivals
throughout the year that celebrated Armenian culture and heritage. The capital Yerevan
has a strong Soviet ethos, but its cultural foundations are improving. The National
Gallery of Armenia presented “Hello” (6/4–9/4), which showcased renowned TurkishArmenian photographer Ara Güler’s iconic images of historical events and figures.
Yerevan’s main contemporary art venue is the Armenian Center for Contemporary
Experimental Art (ACCEA), founded in 1994 by Iranian-Armenian couple Edward
and Sonia Balassanian. The ACCEA hosts exhibitions, public programs and, from
1995 to 2009, organized the Armenia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. It is also
in the process of developing an independent study program for art graduates,
modeled after the one offered by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
This year’s lineup at the ACCEA included a solo exhibition of Anna Khachatryan’s
photographs in “One Day Project” (2/23), followed by “The Big Bang Theory”
(9/27–10/19), featuring red, yellow and blue abstract sculptures by Manan
Torosyan. The 17th annual Alternative Festival of Art, “Emancipate the Time”
(4/5–5/25), highlighted works that investigate the notion of artistic freedom.
Elsewhere in the city is the Modern Art Museum of Yerevan, founded
in 1972. This year its program included a solo exhibition of the young
Paris-based multimedia artist Taline Zabounian (7/2–7).
Opened in 2009, Cafesjian Center for the Arts, a multidisciplinary center
for art, film and music, is sponsored by the Armenian-American Cafesjian
family. It hosted “Chicken Paintings” (10/13–12/29), a series of Kafkaesque
paintings of grotesque fowl created by American artist Doug Argue.
Yerevan’s National Association of Art Critics, founded in 2005, holds curatorial seminars,
study programs and residencies, and established the Institute for Contemporary Art
(ICA), Yerevan, in 2012. This year the ICA hosted “To Perform and to Curate: Between
Two Practices of Constitution” (8/12–18), with a program of lectures, workshops and an
exhibition that brought together local and international curators, artists and academics.
Gyumri, the second-largest city in Armenia, is home to the Gyumri Biennial and
Official Country Name
Republic Of Armenia
Median Age
GDP Per Capita
US $5,900
Source: CIA World Factbook
the Gyumri Center of Contemporary Art, co-founded by artist Azat Sargsyan.
This year, the Armenian government drew the ire of the educational community
when it announced plans to consolidate the city’s main cultural institutes,
citing the low enrollment rates at schools. Under the proposal, the Gyumri
branch of the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts will merge with the state
conservatory and film institute to become the Gyumri Academy of Arts. The art collective 5th Floor Group participated in “Culture for the Eastern Partnership”
(10/4–6), an international symposium on Eastern European identity and culture that
took place in Lublin, Poland. Group member Aleksey Manukyan staged a drawing
performance at the accompanying Integrations–Meditations art festival (10/1–6).
Armenian-born Armen Eloyan displayed new expressionistic canvases depicting
cartoon characters at Tim Van Laere Gallery (12/5–1/25/14) in Antwerp. Also
in Belgium, Hamlet Hovsepian’s video works from the 1970s were included in
“The Collection as a Character” (6/7–9/22) at MHKA, Antwerp. Karen Sargsyan
showed his paper sculptures in “Coup de Ville” (9/13–10/13), a public art exhibition
organized by the WARP Contemporary Art Platform in Sint-Niklaas.
Elsewhere in Europe, “Ambiguous Boundaries” (3/29–4/14), a group show of Armenian
artists at InteriorDAsein, Berlin, included photographer Mher Azatyan and pop painter
Karine Matsakyan, among others. Eva Harut and Mariam Mughdusyan took part in
“Borderland” (7/12–14), a collaborative performance art project held along a riverbank
in Zittau, Germany. Azat Sargsyan showed his photo series “Public Constructivism”
(2008) in the group exhibition “1, 2, 3, b4” (6/18–9/1) at the Contemporary Art
Center of Thessaloniki, in Greece. Sonia Balassanian, Karine Matsakyan and five
other Armenian artists were included in “At the Crossroads” (3/4–12), a selling
exhibition of contemporary art from the Caucasus and Central Asia, at Sotheby’s
London. “Armenian Contemporary Art: Selected Works” (8/9–9/8), curated by Edward
Balassanian, was shown at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow.
In the United States, “Juxtaposition: Contemporary Armenian Artists” (9/5–14), hosted
by the New York Armenian Student’s Association, featured sculptor Christopher
Gasparian and painter David Kareyan, among others. The Toledo Museum of Art,
Ohio, showcased sculptural paintings by Varujan Boghosian (12/13–5/25/14).
Looking ahead to 2014, French-Armenian artist Melik Ohanian’s POLYLOGUES
– Double Edition, an archival monograph of his conceptual installation
and video works since 1995, will be published by Sternberg Press.
© AsiaArtPacific. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without prior permission from AsiaArtPacific.
Total Value of Art Exported
(UN Comtrade Database 2012)
us $13,531
Arts Funding
(Culture, Religion and Miscellaneous)
US $56,351,771
Art Programs
(University Level)
Student Enrollment
Source: National Statistical Service
Museums Exhibiting Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art Galleries
Contemporary Art Spaces
Art Foundations
(NGO + Private)
Source: National Statistical Service & AAP (non-official)
Acknowledgments: Edward Balassanian,
Anahit Safyan, Azat Sargsyan
Ilham Aliyev, the country’s long-standing president and son of the previous strongman,
was again returned to office in elections held in October; this result came as no surprise
since the election results were accidentally released before voting began. Despite recent
economic growth, there have been scant improvements on human rights and severe
restrictions on press freedom remain. The country remains in conflict with Armenia
over the Nagorno-Karabakh territories, inhibiting collaborative regional events.
Azeri cultural activities are centered in the capital Baku and receive support
from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, supplemented by the regional NGO,
the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation. Applied arts and crafts still
dominate the country’s state-run museums, including the Rustam Mustafayev
Azerbaijan State Museum of Art. Other state-affiliated organisations such as
the Vajiha Samadova Exhibition Hall at the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan and
the Yeni Gallery (formerly the Baku Art Center) organize regular exhibitions.
Baku’s prime nonprofit contemporary art space, Yarat Contemporary Art Space
was founded by artist Aida Mahmudova in 2011 and has steadily increased its
activities. In 2013, Yarat’s program included the summer urban festival “Participate!
Baku Public Art Festival” (3/12–9/12), which included Farkhad Hagverdi’s project
“Yard Art” (6/24–30), which transformed residential backyards with public art.
The Baku Creative Center continued with its mission of supporting local Azerbaijani arts
and crafts, and hosted the Azerbaijan Art Festival (6/4–10). The Center also mounted the
Official Country Name
Republic of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani (Azeri)
Median Age
GDP Per Capita
US $10,700
Source: CIA World Factbook
group exhibition “Inversion” (11/22–12/10), curated by Alekperli Ferekh, that focused on
social themes and included mixed-media artists Novruz Mamedov and Mehmet Rashidov.
Despite its completion in 2012, the touristic landmark and Zaha Hadid-designed
Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center has not yet been officially opened to the public. The
Baku Museum of Modern Art, initiated in 2009 by first lady Mehriban Aliyeva,
with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Fund, hosts major exhibitions such as
“Beyond Time and Beauty” (11/15–1/14/14), a retrospective of acclaimed Moroccan
artist Lalla Essaydi featuring photographs inspired by Orientalist paintings.
In 2012, two galleries dedicated to contemporary art were launched in
Baku. Yay Gallery, established by Yarat founder Mahmudova, held several
group and solo shows including “Stalemate” (1/16–2/16), which focused on
gender issues with works by Baku-based Afghan painter Reza Hazare and
mixed-media artists Fidan Seyidova and Nazrin Mammadova. The gallery also
mounted “Echo” (11/16–12/10) by emerging sculptor Mahmud Rustamov.
Total Value of Art Exported
(UN Comtrade Database 2012)
us $869,406
Arts Funding
(Arts and Culture)
us $143,567,571
Art Programs
(University Level)
Student Enrollment
Source: State Statistical Committee
At Gazelli Art House, director Mila Askarova tested the Baku art market with a selection
of artists previously shown at her London outpost, including shows by sculptor Jane
McAdam Freud (1/12–3/6) and mixed-media artist Olympia Scarry (9/21–11/30).
Abroad, Azerbaijan’s official pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, “Ornamentation”
(6/4–11/24), featured six artists exploring characteristics of Islamic art, with an
installation by conceptual pioneer Chingiz and images of contemporary society
by photographer Fakhriyya Mammadova. Parallel to the official pavilion, Yarat
commissioned the collateral exhibition “Love Me, Love Me Not,” curated by
Iranian-Swiss art consultant Dina Nasser-Khadivi, presenting art from Azerbaijan
and the Caucasus. The mixture of established and emerging artists included digitally
created interpretations of carpets by artist Faig Ahmed. In London, Ahmed’s
contemporary interpretation of the traditional Azerbaijani craft earned him a spot
on the shortlist for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Jameel Prize. In the United
Arab Emirates, Zeigam Azizov’s text-based works were featured in the Maraya Art
Center’s group show, “The Beginning of Thinking Is Geometric” (7/17–9/30).
Looking ahead, the sixth installment of the international Aluminium Biennale
will return to Baku with a mix of international and domestic artists, while the
local and international scene continues to embrace Azerbaijani artists.
© AsiaArtPacific. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without prior permission from AsiaArtPacific.
Museums Exhibiting Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art Galleries
Contemporary Art Spaces
Art Foundations
(NGO + Private)
Source: State Statistical Committee
Acknowledgments: Mary Amirova, Zeigam Azizov,
Jahangir Selimkhanov, Catherine Wilson
Since emerging from a decade of volatile, totalitarian statehood, Georgia has
embraced democracy and a growing economy. This transitional period has also birthed
an interesting contemporary art scene, inspired by modern-day political and social
upheavals, as well as the long history and deep cultural traditions of the country.
In October 2012, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia
announced the first-ever open call for curatorial proposals for the 55th Venice
Biennale’s Georgia Pavilion (6/1–11/24). The winning project, “Kamikaze Loggia,”
curated by Joanna Warsza from Poland, comprised of a shanty-like structure atop an
old building in the Arsenale, modeled after vernacular extensions added to Soviet
buildings in Georgia after the fall of the Soviet Union. The Pavilion hosted works
by sculptor Thea Djordjadze, architecture-researcher and artist Nikoloz Lutidze,
and Gela Patashuri with Ei Arakawa and Sergei Tcherepnin, among others.
Tbilisi, the capital city, is the main artery of cultural life in Georgia, home to many
of the nation’s museums and galleries. This year, two artist-run galleries opened in
Tbilisi: Gallery Nectar, which held several exhibitions, including a showcase of Shota
Bostanashvili’s architectural sketches and videos (12/12–30), and Gallery Container,
the first to focus on contemporary photography, which was inaugurated in June.
Commercial spaces in Tbilisi include Baia Gallery, which showed Kota
Sulaberidze’s landscape paintings covered with colorful dots (3/31–4/8),
and Art Gallery Vanda, which presented “Kiev-Tbilisi-Transit” (9/13–23),
with graphic and media art by four Ukrainian artists.
Official Country Name
Median Age
GDP Per Capita
US $6,000
Source: CIA World Factbook
The nonprofit Center of Contemporary Art – Tbilisi (CCAT) organizes exhibitions,
education programs and international projects. This year, CCAT held “SubTehran:
Subjective Truth from Iran” (6/21–7/12), which featured 19 established and
emerging Iranian artists, including photographers Sasan Abri and Gohar Dashti.
GeoAIR, founded in 2003, holds exchange programs and residencies for artists
from Georgia and the Caucasus. This year, GeoAIR organized the street art festival
“Art Active” (10/2–8) as part of the European Union-funded project Culture Factory.
The festival took place in the regional towns of Rustavi, Mestia and Zugdidi, and
included photographer Tamara Bokuchava and Spanish group Boamistura.
Artist-run space Tram also held cultural activities in various towns across
the country, organizing the folk art showcase “Telavi International Festival
– New Nadimi” (10/13–20) in the east Georgian city of Telavi.
The sixth Artisterium – Tbilisi International Contemporary Art Exhibition and Art Events
(10/4–14) took place at 11 different venues. Among the highlights were US-based
Georgian artist Lado Pochkhua’s photo series “Anatomy of Georgian Melancholy” (1993–
2004), which was presented at the National Gallery of the Georgian National Museum.
Abroad, Galleri Image presented video works by six Georgian artists, including Koka
Ramishvili and Levan Chogoshvili, at the Institut for X art space in Aarhus (8/31–9/8), as
part of the 2013 Images Festival in Denmark. Georgia was presented as a focus country
at ViennaFair (10/10–13) with a special group exhibition that included photographer
Natela Grigalashvili, sculptor Giorgi Khaniashvili and illustrator Maya Sumbadze, among
others. Amsterdam-based performance artist Nadia Tsulukidze co-wrote and staged
“Me and Stalin” (10/11–12) at Kaaitheater, Brussels. Seoul’s Gallery Sun Contemporary
organized a traveling exhibition of painter Alexander Antadze, which was held at Lotte
Gallery’s branches in Daejeon (11/8–12/3) and Anyang (12/6–1/8/14), South Korea.
Total Value of Art Exported
(UN Comtrade Database 2012)
us $2,126,188
Arts Funding
(Culture and Monument)
US $102,038,655
Art Programs
(University Level)
Student Enrollment
Source: Ministry of Finance, National
Statistics Office & AAP (non-official)
Museums Exhibiting Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art Galleries
This year, Georgian artists also took part in international auctions, such as painter Avto
Varazi, who was included in the selling exhibition “At the Crossroads: Contemporary
Art from the Caucasus and Central Asia” (3/4–12) at Sotheby’s London.
Contemporary Art Spaces
Looking ahead to 2014, in January Gallery Sun Contemporary will tour Alexander
Antadze’s show to Gwangju, while in February Baia Gallery will present a solo exhibition
series of the Georgian artists featured in Sotheby’s “At the Crossroads” show.
Art Foundations
(NGO + Private)
Source: AAP (non-official)
Acknowledgments: Beate Cegielska,
Magda Guruli, Anna Riaboshenko,
Wato Tsereteli, Nadia Tsulukidze,
Gvantsa Turmanidze, Joanna Warsza
© AsiaArtPacific. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without prior permission from AsiaArtPacific.
Ethnically and religiously diverse Kazakhstan facescontinuing challenges under
president Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country’s first and only post-Soviet leader. Despite
his self-proclaimed success in ensuring the stable conditions necessary for economic
progress, a crushing victory in the 2011 presidential election was followed by serious
disturbances in the west of the country, and criticism of his oligarchic practices is growing.
Although Kazakhstan has a rich cultural tradition in applied arts and music, fine arts
were only introduced under direct Soviet rule, which lasted from the late 1930s to
1991. Today, the government offers only limited support for contemporary artists,
who largely exhibit abroad. The Soros Center for Contemporary Art, the primary
organisation for artists, closed in 2009, limiting the domestic art scene’s activities.
The biggest art institution in the cultural capital of Almaty is the Kasteev State
Museum of Arts, which is known for a strong collection of fine art and applied art
that includes significant bodies of work from Russia, China, Japan, India and Western
Europe. After undergoing a much-needed renovation in recent years, the museum
reopened in February 2011. This year, to mark the 75th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s
oldest art-education institution, the Almaty College of Decorative and Applied Arts,
the museum hosted “The Golden Cradle” (11/15–25), launching a catalog and clothing
line in conjunction with the exhibition. In December, the museum celebrated the 80th
anniversary of the Union of Artists of Kazakhstan with a series of discussions (12/3).
The fourth International Contemporary Art Festival (ArtBat Fest), “Almaty: The
City as a Canvas” (9/6–10/6), featured installations by more than 30 Kazakh and
international artists and collectives in parks and public spaces around central Almaty.
Official Country Name
republic of kazakhstan
kazakh, russian
Median Age
GDP Per Capita
US $14,100
Source: CIA World Factbook
The country’s oldest gallery, Tengri Umai, showed “The Art of You | Light Up!”
(5/7–10), spotlighting Russian artist Leonid Tishkov’s “Private Moon” photographic
series (2003– ) recording the poetic journey of a neon moon installation, which has
been traveling the world for ten years. Later in the year, Almaty-born artist Anna
Margatskaya’s “The Process of . . .” (11/21–12/14) explored the dangers of consumerism.
Another long-standing player, Ular Art Gallery promotes socialist realism alongside
contemporary work. In September it hosted a solo exhibition of landscape artist
Rakhman Bertleu’s oil paintings (9/11). In Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, the most
notable shows take place at the Museum of Modern Arts. This year, to mark the
15th anniversary of Astana’s elevation to the position of capital city, it held “The
First Female Artist of Kazakhstan” (7/4–9/30), with works from 28 women artists,
including Aisha Garifovna Galimbaeva and Gulfairus Mansurovna Ismailova.
As in previous years, Kazakh artists gained more attention abroad than at home. For
the 55th Venice Biennale’s Central Asia Pavilion (6/1–11/24), Kazakhstan-born, Oslobased curator and artist Ayatgali Tuleubek, along with Tiago Bom of Portugal, brought
in works by several artists from across the region, including a site-specific, yurt-inspired
installation, Zhol (The Way) (2013), by Kamilla Kurmanbekova and Erlan Tuyakov,
under the theme of “Winter,” inspired by a poem by 19th-century Kazakh writer Abay
Qunanbayuli. In the hope that the country might have its own Venice pavilion in 2015,
the International Art Development Association, which promotes European and Central
Asian art, also hosted contemporary Kazakh artists at the Palazzo Bragadin. Its show,
“One Step/pe Forward,” gathered works by Gaisha Madanova, Said Atabekov, Galim
Madanov and Zauresh Terekbay that linked to the concept of the endless Kazakh steppe.
Erbossyn Meldibekov and Almagul Menlibayeva were among the Kazakh artists to
feature in “Lost to the Future: Contemporary Art from Central Asia” (10/25–12/10),
which explored the artistic legacies in countries of the former Soviet Union at
Lasalle College of the Arts in conjunction with the Singapore Biennale. Laura
Bulian Gallery, Milan, held a survey of husband-and-wife duo Elena Vorobyeva and
Viktor Vorobyev covering the previous ten years of their career (10/3–11/30).
Under the auspices of the French embassy, 2013 saw a celebration of French
culture through shows in Kazakhstan’s cultural hubs, including “Napoleon:
The Life, the Legend” (12/20–2/23/14) at the Independence Palace in Astana.
The exchange will be completed in 2014 when Kazakh artists, musicians and
performers descend on France for “The Year of Kazakhstan in France.”
© AsiaArtPacific. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without prior permission from AsiaArtPacific.
Total Value of Art Exported
(UN Comtrade Database 2012)
us $306,700
Arts Funding
(Culture, Sport, Tourism & Information)
US $750,961,161
Art Programs
(University Level)
Student Enrollment
Source: Agency of Statistics & AAP (non-official)
Museums Exhibiting Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art Galleries
Contemporary Art Spaces
Art Foundations
(NGO + Private)
Source: AAP (non-official)
In late July, the New York-based Open Society Foundation, a key benefactor for the arts
community in Central Asia, announced that its arts and culture program would stop at
the end of the year. Though the closure is a serious loss, the Kyrgyz art community is
still seeing development through alternative sources of domestic and foreign funding.
Contemporary art activity is centered in the capital Bishkek, which has a lively and
growing scene. The Gapar Aitiev Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts (GAKNMFA)
houses an extensive collection of 20th-century Kyrgyz and Russian art.
In 2013, the museum held “April 2010” (4/2–18), an exhibition of Nina Gorshkova’s
black-and-white photographs documenting the 2010 Kyrgyz Revolution.
The country’s leading NGO is the Bishkek Art Center (B’Art), founded in 2002
by the Artists’ Union of the Kyrgyz Republic and run by Shaarbek Amankul.
In 2013, B’Art held its “Nomadic Art Camp” again, bringing together around
30 local and international artists to create collaborative works. Results of the
workshop were exhibited at GAKNMFA (8/27–9/27), where B’Art subsequently
also held “Period: 1980–2013” (12/11–1/31/14), with paintings and sculptures
by 100 Kyrgyz artists from the Soviet, post-Soviet and modern eras.
The two-year-old independent art space Loft held “Fences/Future” (1/25–31), with
collaborative videos, photography, sound installations and performances by Bishkek
artists and international group Across Collective. ArtEast, run by artist couple Gulnara
Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev, held “Art of Interaction” with the backing of the
Official Country Name
kyrgyz republic
kyrgyz, russian
Median Age
GDP Per Capita
US $2,400
Source: CIA World Factbook
San Francisco-based Christensen Fund. The yearlong project started in January, and
held cultural workshops for residents of Bulan Sogottu, a village near Lake Issyk Kul.
The fifth edition of the “Lazy Art” workshop (7/7–14) was also held by Lake Issyk Kul at
a local yurt camp. Key figures from the Central Asian art community—including Kazakh
curator Yulia Sorokina, Kyrgyz artist Ulan Japarov and Uzbek photographer and activist
Umida Akhmedova—gathered to discuss their respective works and future projects.
The one-year-old Tolon Museum of Modern Art (TMMA) shows contemporary works
by local artists. The museum—along with Loft, the Cinema Development Fund of
Kyrgyzstan and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation—organized
the REFORMAT13 International Video Art Festival (8/29–9/5), at the hall of the
Artists’ Union of the Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek. Headed by TMMA director Gamal
Bokonbaev, it included screenings, seminars and an exhibition of experimental films
by more than 20 artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
London-based photographer Aza Shade represented Kyrgyzstan in the Central
Asia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (6/1–11/24). Shade, along with other Kyrgyz
artists, also participated in the selling exhibition “At the Crossroads: Contemporary
Art from the Caucasus and Central Asia” (3/4–12) at Sotheby’s London. Bermet
Borubaeva and Diana Ukhina of activist-artist collective StrekOOza discussed
Kyrgyzstan’s art scene in a talk series at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw
(7/10). Kyrgyz artists duo Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev took part in
the collateral exhibition “Lost to the Future: Contemporary Art from Central Asia”
(10/25–12/10) at the Lasalle College of Arts as part of the Singapore Biennale.
Looking ahead to 2014, B’Art will reprise its “Nomadic Art Camp” in
August and will also organize “No Entry Under 16!” in Bishkek during
November, with the participation of mainly Kyrgyz artists.
Total Value of Art Exported
(UN Comtrade Database 2012)
us $19,980
Arts Funding
Art Programs
(University Level)
Student Enrollment
Source: Compiled by Bishkek Art Center (non-official)
Museums Exhibiting Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art Galleries
Contemporary Art Spaces
Art Foundations
(NGO + Private)
Source: Compiled by Bishkek Art Center (non-official)
Shaarbek Amankul, Muratbek Djumaliev
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Since its civil war in the 1990s, this landlocked country in Central Asia has
remained economically unstable, with the lowest per capita income in the
region. Tajikistan’s foreign revenue comes mainly from exports of aluminum and
cotton, along with remittances from nearly one million Tajiks working abroad,
primarily in Russia, although the country’s GDP grew an estimated 7.5 percent
in 2013. With Persian roots, Tajik culture remains under-examined due to the
lack of interest in Soviet times and the political and social difficulties since.
The aftermath of Soviet rule, ongoing civil unrest and the limited economy have
created multilayered obstacles for local art development. The first contemporary art
exhibition was not held until 2006, as part of a collaboration with other artists in the
region related to the participation of Tajik artists in the 2006 Tashkent Biennial.
Cultural institutions are still relatively scant—Bactria Culture Centre (BCC) is perhaps the
most active and significant player. Established in the capital Dushanbe by French NGO
ACTED, this 12-year-old center provides multidisciplinary programs, aiming to create
a platform for contemporary art by providing a space for artists and by supporting
regional art initiatives. Among its many projects, BCC partnered with organisations
such as Open Society Foundation and Goethe-Institut Tashkent for its European Week
(11/16–24), which focused on introducing cultural activities to youths, and included
a workshop of critical animation organized by Tajik curator Georgy Mamedov, who is
currently the artistic director of STAB (School of Theory and Activism) in Bishkek.
Official Country Name
republic of tajikistan
Median Age
GDP Per Capita
US $2,300
Source: CIA World Factbook
Support for contemporary art was evident at the National Museum of Tajikistan, which
opened its renovated building in June and held its first contemporary art exhibition in
August. Curated by Anna Basanova and Faruh Kuziev, “Is It Hard to Be Young?” (6/22–
8/17) addressed issues faced by the younger generation, including hopelessness and
social segregation, and included Aziza Sultanova’s performance Art and Life (2013) for
which she painted her face in the same manner as her canvases and then sat in front
of them. In the same show, Bahriddin Isamutdinov and Damir Egamberdiev displayed
their photoseries “Reflection” (2013) which captured scenes of contemporary hardship.
Dushanbe Art Ground, a contemporary art center, conducted artist
residencies and workshops that culminated in the exhibition “Based on True
Story” (1/26), which looked at gender politics in Tajikistan through various
media including performance, video, photography and public art.
Other infrastructures are also showing signs of embracing the arts.
Total Value of Art Exported
(UN Comtrade Database)
Arts Funding
(Culture, Religion and Miscellaneous)
US $105,931,069
Art Programs
(University Level)
Student Enrollment
Source: Statistical Agency & AAP (non-official)
Opened in 2012, the National Library of Tajikistan is the largest library in Central
Asia. In July, it was the venue of the traveling exhibition “Tohoku – Through the
Eyes of Japanese Photographers” (7/3–21), organized by the Japan Foundation.
Around the region, in Bishkek, at the REFORMAT13 International Video Art Festival
(8/29–9/5), Alexei Rumyantsev screened a selection of his video art pieces.
Overseas, Sotheby’s London held “At the Crossroads: Contemporary Art from the
Caucasus and Central Asia” (3/4–12), their first selling exhibition of contemporary
work from the region. Tajikistan was represented by Rumyantsev’s The Wall
(2009), an installation in which silk was layered between tiers of red brick. Anton
Rodin and Sergey Chutkov were included in the Central Asia Pavilion at the 55th
Venice Biennale (6/1–11/24)—their project, Letters from Tajikistan (2013), portrayed
patterns of affinity and dissent across different strata of Tajik society.
An organisational restructure is in store for Dushanbe Art Ground in 2014. Currently
running as an independent art space, it will become a semi-governmental entity
when it merges with the state-funded Institute of Visual Arts and Design, one of
the major art schools. This partnership is intended to foster a rich visual culture,
along with critical exchange, through the promotion of contemporary art practice.
Museums Exhibiting Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art Galleries
Contemporary Art Spaces
Art Foundations
(NGO + Private)
Source: AAP (non-official)
Acknowledgment: Faruh Kuziev
© AsiaArtPacific. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without prior permission from AsiaArtPacific.
Since Kurbanguly Berdymuhamedov became president in 2006, natural-gasrich Turkmenistan has gradually opened up to international trade. Although the
country is home to a rich tradition of weaving and jewelry-making, in the postSoviet-era Turkmenistan’s artists have been instrumentalized in the service of
the personality cults that surround the country’s autocratic leaders. In June 2012,
an exhibition of sculptures by Erdem Tsybikjapov, the Russian cultural attaché in
the capital Ashgabat, marked the first time that nude figures had been permitted
to go on view. Travel abroad by Turkmen artists is largely restricted, leading
to their ongoing exclusion from most regional and international exhibitions,
including the Central Asia Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale (6/4–11/23).
Art activity is confined almost entirely to Ashgabat. The country’s main arts venue
is the Museum of Fine Arts (MAFA), which in November displayed canvases by
Russian 20th-century painters Svyatoslav and Nicholas Roerich—émigrés who
traveled widely through India and the Himalayas. Inaugurated in 2011, the Art City
district is where artists live and work and is home to the State Institute of Culture.
Opened in October 2010, the Exhibition Center of Fine Art has remained underutilized. In
April, an “art contest” for the depiction of the Ahal-Teke breed of horses saw the awarding
of USD 1,000 prizes to sculptor Saragt Babayev and painter Parahat Gapanchyaev.
Ashgabat’s primary private gallery, Studio Juma was formerly the workplace of sculptor
Juma Jumadurdy and is maintained by the late artist’s widow Natalya Jumadurdiyeva.
It hosts occasional events that remain largely unsanctioned by the government.
Since 2010, when the Ministry of Culture shut down its retrospective of the late Tokar
Tugurov (1944–2008), the Union of Artists has been largely ineffectual. Members
harshly criticized former chairman Babasary Annamuradov and sculptor Saragt Babayev
for slavishness to the politicians on whom they are reliant for public commissions.
In March 2012, MAFA curator Saparmamed Meredov was appointed chairman of
the Union, without members’ support. Several artists who objected—including two
People’s Artists of Turkmenistan, Gulnazar Bekmuradov and Chary Amangeldiev—were
fired from their positions at the State Academy of Fine Arts shortly thereafter.
© AsiaArtPacific. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without prior permission from AsiaArtPacific.
Official Country Name
Median Age
GDP Per Capita
US $8,900
Source: CIA World Factbook
Total Value of Art Exported
(UN Comtrade Database 2000)
us $1,822,054
Arts Funding
Art Programs
(University Level)
Student Enrollment
Source: AAP (non-official)
Museums Exhibiting Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art Galleries
Contemporary Art Spaces
Art Foundations
(NGO + Private)
Source: AAP (non-official)
Despite a rich artistic history, Uzbekistan struggles to escape the legacy of its Soviet
past, in political, economic and cultural spheres. The art scene suffered a major
blow on November 21 when Gulnara Karimova, daughter of the country’s president,
Islam Karimov, and chairperson of the main funding body for the arts, the Forum of
Culture and Art of Uzbekistan Foundation (Fund Forum), announced that its activities
would be halted temporarily. Many assume this is due to the political maneuvering
surrounding presidential succession—Karimova is seen as a potential candidate.
Since its establishment in 2004, the Fund Forum has organized the Tashkent
Biennale — the country’s sole contemporary art event — and other stateendorsed exhibitions. These remain heavily censored and restricted to the
capital, Tashkent, under Karimova’s patronage. In 2013, the seventh Tashkent
Biennale (10/22–27) took place across six venues with the theme “Different
Cultures – One World.” One of the highlights was a dome-shaped video
installation by Russian artist Alikhan, entitled Triptych . . . Architecture. Music.
Dance (2013), which showcased official images of daily life in Uzbekistan.
The majority of state institutions remain Soviet in structure and content. The State
Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan in Tashkent holds one of the largest collections of
art in Central Asia, with both regional and Western works of applied and fine arts.
The Gallery of Fine Arts of Uzbekistan, which opened in 2004, remains active. In
the western city of Nukus, the Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art houses an
Official Country Name
republic of uzbekistan
Median Age
GDP Per Capita
US $3,600
Source: CIA World Factbook
important Russian avant-garde collection—after a prolonged partial closure it appears
that USD 17 million has been allocated for the construction of two new buildings.
There are only two commercial galleries in Uzbekistan, both in Tashkent: Art+Fact and
Granart Gallery, which mount circumspect programs. Independent art spaces are rare,
with the exception of the Ilkhom Theatre, a recipient of a 2011 Prince Claus Award.
Total Value of Art Exported
(UN Comtrade Database)
Arts Funding
(Culture and Sports)
US $103,586,112
It hosted Global Art Lab in 2013, including a workshop by New York street artist
Gabriel Reese (4/20–30), coinciding with the exhibition “Refresh!” (4/23–5/4)
of street dance, photography and performance inspired by urban themes.
Art Programs
(University Level)
Another independent platform is the underground video and film festival, run by outspoken director Oleg Karpov. In 2013, Karpov presented
“How I Spent Last Summer” (09/15–19)—a collection of 15 films exploring
human-rights issues shown at a private movie theater to avoid censorship.
On the outskirts of Tashkent, the Chorsu Gallery hosted an exhibition
of local artists (10/26) from the historical city of Samarkand.
Student Enrollment
Government censorship remains a hindrance: it has been reported that writer
and artist Vyacheslav Akhunov was denied an exit visa to attend the 55th Venice
Biennale in June as a result of his political sentiments. He exhibited at the Sotheby’s
London Central Asian selling exhibition “At the Crossroads: Contemporary Art from
the Caucasus and Central Asia” (3/4–12) as well as at the 55th Venice Biennale’s
Central Asia Pavilion (6/1–11/24), alongside Uzbek filmmaker Saodat Ismailova.
Exhibitions from the state collections are planned in Doha at the Museum of Islamic
Art in 2014, and at the Orientalist Museum in 2015, while efforts are underway
to secure an official Uzbekistan Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.
Source: Ministry of Finance & Tashkent Biennale (non-official)
Museums Exhibiting Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art Galleries
Contemporary Art Spaces
Art Foundations
(NGO + Private)
Source: AAP (non-official)
Acknowledgment: Farhad Ahrarnia
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Altai Sadikhzadeh
Altai Sadikhzadeh (b. 1951, Baku, Azerbaijan)
studied at the Azimzadeh State Art College
in Baku. He continued his education at
the Faculty of Painting at the Surikov State
Academic Art Institute in Moscow from 1971
to 1977. The scope of Sadikhzadeh’s artistic
practice includes pictorial and graphic work,
sculpture and installation, and his work has
been featured in many exhibitions since
the 1970s. He has been a member of the
Union of Artists of the USSR since 1979
and a member of Baku Arts Centre since
1988. His works are held in national and
private collections in Azerbaijan, Belgium,
France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Norway,
Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK
and the US. From 2008 to 2009, he was the
designer of the Museum of Modern Art in
Altai Sadikhzade, Observers of the Planets,
2010, Oil on Canvas, 170 x 145 cm, Courtesy of
Courtesy of Baku MOMA
Reza Hazare
Reza Hazare (b. 1987, Zahedan, Iran) was
born to an Afghan refugee family and
now lives and works in Baku. Refused
citizenship by both Afghanistan and
Iran, Hazare explores his identity and
refugee status in his work. His paintings
and drawings expose the challenges of
coping with war as a young artist. Hazare
graduated from the Visual Arts School of
Tehran in 2005 and Azerbaijan State Fine
Arts Academy in 2012.
Reza Hazare, Nostalgya, 2009, Mixed Media
on Canvas, 120 x 140 cm, Courtesy of Yay
Stanislav Kharin
Stanislav Kharin (b.1973, Ukraine) graduated
from the Art and Graphic Faculty of the
North Ossetian State University. A past
participant of exhibitions and biennales
in Russia and Turkey, his work often turns
to the invisible link between the history
of his country, city and family with his
own biography and the subconscious. In
his project, ‘Poetic Entente or Occupation
of the Heart’, he explores the works of the
poets who have influenced him deeply,
as a well-organised block of potential
aggressors, because any culture is
aggressive per se.
Stanislav Kharin, From the Series “Poetic
Entente or Occupation of the Heart”
Takahashi Shinkichi, 2009, Acrylic on Canvas,
120 x 100 cm, Courtesy of NCCA
Ruslan Tsrimov
Ruslan Tsrimov (b. 1952, Russia)
graduated from the Art and Graphic
Faculty of the Karachay-Cherkessian
Pedagogical Institute. Having participated
in exhibitions in Russia, Estonia, Finland,
Germany, Korea, Turkey, the UAE, UK and
US, his paintings offer exquisite, delicate
colours that combine finesse with the
deciphering of mysterious laws of nature
— a transformation using the signs that
are known only to the artist.
Ruslan Tsrimov, Selfportrait, 2004, Oil on
Canvas, 70 x 50 cm, Courtesy of NCCA and the
Alimjan Jorobaev
Alimjan Jorobaev (b. 1962, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
lives and works in Bishkek. He belongs to a
generation of artists from post-Soviet countries
that have experienced continuous change since
the early 1990s, starting with the collapse of
the USSR and the establishment of newly
independent states.
His photographs often focus on the remnants
of the Soviet era, as seen in his work “Mirages
of Communism” (1995-2005). Jorobaev’s
photographs, showing people praying with their
backs turned to the communist leader, provide a
sobering chronicle of the ways in which ideas of
Soviet collectivism have been replaced by identity
politics and an obsession with nationhood.
Alimjan Jorobaev, Mirages of the Communism #4,
1998, BW Print, 60 x 40 cm, Courtesy of Laura
Bulian Gallery
Gulnara Kasmalieva
& Muratbek Djumaliev
Based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Gulnara
Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev
are cultural catalysts in the Central
Asian region, which is in many respects
a zone of silence. Trained both in film
and the visual arts, they produce video
installations that encapsulate everyday
life in Central Asia. Their practice embodies
the transition from a deeply rooted
tradition of art-making towards the use
of contemporary languages. Graduates
of Kyrgyz State College of Fine Art, they
accessed international ideas when studying
in Russia during the period of perestroika.
Returning to Bishkek, they experimented
with new technologies and developed
documentary-style videos and photography
that provide unprecedented representations
of Kyrgyzstan’s passage to independence,
as well as the impact of Soviet-era legacies
on life and identity. Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev,
Untitled (Horse), 2005, Color Photoprint,
40 x 60 cm, Courtesy Laura Bulian Gallery
Natela Iankoshvili
Natela Iankoshvili (1918-2007) exclusively created
figurative works characterised by an extraordinary
force of colour and brilliance. In her paintings,
powerful forms—confidently outlined with only
a few brush-strokes on a black background —
combine into elegant, expressive portraits and
vividly-coloured landscapes. After the collapse
of the Soviet Union, Iankoshvili was awarded
distinctions including the Shota Rustaveli Prize,
the highest honour awarded to artists by the State
of Georgia.
Natela Iankoshvili, Green Mountain, 1958, Oil
on Canvas, 100 x 85 cm, Courtesy of Popiashvili
Gvaberidze Window Project
Lado Pochkhua
Lado Pochkhua (b. 1970, Sukhumi, Georgia) lives and
works in New York. He graduated from the Sukhumi
College of Art in 1994 and the Tbilisi Academy
of Art in 2001. He has had solo exhibitions in TMS
Gallery and Old Gallery in Tbilisi and has participated
in ten major group exhibitions, at institutions
like the Georgian Embassy in London, UNESCO in
Paris and the Tbilisi History Museum (Carvasla)
and the National Gallery of Art. Pochkhua has
also taken part in international projects in Russia
and Azerbaijan, and has lived and worked in Georgia,
Russia, Azerbaijan and Hungary prior to moving to
the US. Lado Pochkhua, Landscape with Two Figures,
2011, Ink on Paper, 44 x 30 cm, Courtesy of artist
and Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project
Yelena & Victor Vorobyev
Yelena Vorobyeva (b. 1959, Nebit-Dag, Turkmenistan) and Victor Vorobyev (b.
1959, Pavlodar, Kazakhstan) live and work in Almaty, Kazakhstan, as artists,
writers and curators. As a married couple, the Vorobyevs began working together
on conceptual art projects in the early 1990s. They earnestly play with the world
using painting, photography, humour, stone, video, vegetables from their garden,
people’s reactions and more. The results are multilayered works that comment
either on the simplicity or complexity of life in Central Asia. They have exhibited
widely in Central Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe.
Yelena & Victor Vorobyev, Cellulare, 2009, Stone, 23 x 70 x 33 cm,
Courtesy Laura Bulian Gallery
Sergey Maslov
Sergey Maslov (1952-2002) Shortly before his death in 2002, Kazakhstani artist
Sergey Maslov started to write a novel titled Astral Nomads, from which Yuliya
Sorokina, Asia Art + founder, derived the name of the project, since it was
dedicated to the lives of a large number of contemporary Central Asian artists.
Given that he had no heirs, these artists and other friends and colleagues
became the keepers of his paintings, notebooks, sketchbooks, and self-published
magazines, which are currently being stored in their apartments. This mode
of preservation, however, obviously does not do justice to the significance
of Maslov’s legacy, and these materials require cataloguing, organizing, and
digitalization to offer insight into Maslov’s own practice and its importance to the
artistic scene he helped create.
Segey Maslov, Meeting with Death, 1988, Oil on Canvas, 98.5 x 100 cm,
Courtesy of Khalikov’s Collection
Murad Karabaev
Murad Karabaev (b. 1963, Tashkent, Uzbekistan) studied at the Republican College of Art and the AllRussian State University of Cinematography. He has participated in exhibitions at the Tokashimaya Gallery,
Singapore (1995) and the Salon of Independent Artists, Paris (2002). He also participated in the Tashkent
International Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2001 and 2013. In 2012, Karabaev exhibited a solo show, entitled
‘Qalandar. Mirror of Soul’ at the State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow, which was supported by the Mardjani
Foundation. Interaction with creative types, literature and cinematography have all played a significant role in
Karabaev’s artistic career. He began as a landscape artist, but later developed his own specific style, which has
evolved throughout his life.
Murad Karabaev, A Bedana, 2012,
Mixed Technique, 100 x 200 cm,
Courtesy of Mardjani Foundation
Vyacheslav (Yuri) Useinov
Vyacheslav (Yuri) Useinov (b. 1962, Fergana, Uzbekistan) graduated
from Belorussia’s Bobruisk College of Fine Arts in 1985, after which
he returned to Fergana and began to embody his figurative ideas in
picturesque cloths. In 1992, he opened an exhibition entitled ‘Gobelin
tapestry sculpture’ at the Samarkand State Museum of Arts and, in
1993, he moved to Tashkent where he still lives and works. Useinov
participated in the first Tashkent Biennial in 2001 and went on to win
the first prize both in 2005 and 2013. He also participated at the 52nd
Venice Biennale’s Central Asian Pavilion and Moscow Biennial in 2009
and 2011. In 2012, he took part in the the Aluminium Baku Biennial.
Useinov works in an array of media including paint, installation, video,
photography and textiles.
Vyacheslav Useinov, Collection of Cocoons, 2005,
Achnatherum Weaving, 190 x 120cm, Courtesy of
Mardjani Foundation.
Resources &
Further Reading
OrganisationS IN
Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art
1/3 Pavstos Byuzand Blvd.
Yerevan, 0010, Armenia
T: +37410 56.82.25
Contact: Arpa Hacopian
E: [email protected]
Gyumri Center of Contemporary Art
Ankakhutian Square 1
Gyumri, 3101, Armenia
T: +37 49 432 816
E: [email protected]
Modern Art Museum of Yerevan
7, Mashtots Ave.
Yerevan, 0002, Armenia
T: +374-10-535359
E: [email protected]
Suburb Cultural Center
42 Gyulbenkyan, 24 Apt.
0033 Yerevan Armenia
T: +3741 0 269064
E: [email protected]
Cafesjian Center for the Arts
10 Tamanyan Street
Yerevan 0009 Armenia
T: +374-10-54-19-32
E: [email protected]
19 Baghramyan 2nd deadlock
0019 Yerevan Armenia
T: +374 (0) 10 261 035
E: [email protected]
AJZ space
Sayat Nova Str. between #9 and #11,
0001 Yerevan, Armenia
T: +3745 5 352717
Contact: Taguhi Torosyan
E: [email protected] | [email protected]
Vagharsh Vagharshyan 24/3
Apt. 24, Yerevan, Armenia
T: + 37410 27 29 19
Contact: Hovhannes Margaryan
E: [email protected]
Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts
Isahakyan 36, Yerevan 0009, Armenia
T: +37410) 56-07-26 E: [email protected] | [email protected]
Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory
ACSL, 8 A. Hovhannisyan Str.
28 Apt., Yerevan, 0076, Armenia
T: +374 10 64 20 47
Contact: Susanna Gyulamiryan
E: [email protected] | [email protected]
Institute for Contemporary Art
8 Shara Talyan, Aygestan
0070 Yerevan Armenia
T: +374 91 362 915
Contact: Nazareth Karoyan
E: [email protected]
Baku Museum of Modern Art
5 Yusuph Safarov
Baku, AZ1025 Azerbaijan
T: +994 12 490-84-04 E: [email protected]
Georgian Museum of Arts #1 Gudiashvili St. Tbilisi, Georgia
T: + (995 32) 299 99 09 E: [email protected]
Yeni Gallery
4/6 Aziz Aliyev Street
Baku, AZ1005 Azerbaijan
T: +994 12 598 45 48 E: [email protected]
Sighnaghi Museum
#8 Rustaveli Cul-de-sac, Sighnaghi, Georgia
T: + (995 32) 223 24 48 E: [email protected]
YARAT Contemporary Art Organisation
31-33 Asaf Zeynalli Str.
Icheri Shexer, AZ
1000, Baku, Azerbaijan
T: +99 412 437 3970
Contact: Sadagat Isayeva
E: [email protected]
The National Gallery
#11 Rustaveli Ave. Tbilisi, Georgia
T: + (995 32) 2 15 73 00 E: [email protected]
Center of Contemporary Art
10 D Abashidze Str. 0102, Tbilisi, Georgia
T: +995 577 468 446 E: [email protected]
GeoAIR Team
Brother Zubalashvili 56A
0108 Tbilisi, Georgia
Contact: Sophia Tabatadze
E: [email protected]
Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project
Rustaveli Avenue #37
Tbilisi, Georgia
T: +1 917 690 8886
Contact: Irena Popiashvili
E: [email protected]
The A. Kasteev State Museum of Arts 30a Satpaev Street
Almaty, 480090, Kazakhstan
T: + 7 (727) 247 86 69 E: [email protected]
Tengri-Umai Contemporary Art Gallery
103 Panfilov Str. Almaty, 050004, Kazakhstan
T: +7 (727) 273 57 66
Contact: Vladimir Filatov
E: [email protected]
Bon Art Auction House 30a Satpaev Street
Almaty, 480090, Kazakhstan
T: +7 727 394 57 16 E: [email protected]
Ular Gallery
92 Panfilova Str.
Almaty, 050000, Kazakhstan
T: +7 727 273-10-13 E: [email protected]
Alma-Ata Art Centre
Ave Suyunbai, 151 (inside the Toyota Center Almaty)
050018, Almaty, Kazakhstan
T: +7 (727) 383 17 63 E: [email protected]
Almadeniet Public Foundation
15 Respublica Square, 209
Almaty, Kazakhstan
T: +7 727 2672593 E: [email protected]
PA «Eurasian Cultural Alliance»
79, Nurmakov Str.,
Almaty, Kazakhstan
T: +7 727 2778585 E: [email protected]
Asia Art+
Aiteke bi 132, Apt. 7
050000 Almaty, Kazakhstan
T: +7 727 233 4669
Contact: Yuliya Sorokina E: [email protected]
School of Theory and Activism Bishkek
Moskovskaya, 147, Apt. 5
720017, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
T: +996(312)976803 E: [email protected]
North Caucasus Branch of the National Centre
for Contemporary Art
17, Mayakovsky Street
362000, Vladikavkaz North Ossetia-Alania, Russia
T: +7 8672 700 708
Contact: Gala Tebieva
E: [email protected]
B›Art Contemporary
1 Karasaeva Street
720031, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
T: +996 (312) 53 17 85 E: [email protected]
The G. Aitiev Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts
196, Abdrakhmanov Str.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
T: +996 312 66 16 2 E: [email protected]
Tolon Museum of Modern Art
3, Litovskaya Str.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
T: +996 312 979 202 E: [email protected]
32, Mira Prospect Apt.3
720044 Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
T: +996 312 210 115
Contact: Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev
E: [email protected]
Mardjani Foundation
69, Vavilova Street
Moscow 117997 Russia
T: + 7 495 956 0478
E: [email protected]
Pechersky Gallery
4th Syromyatnichesky Lane
1/6 CCA Winzavod, 105120
Moscow, Russia
T: +7 495 280 07 72
E: [email protected]
Guelman Gallery
Winzavod, 4-th Syromyatnicheskiy pereulok, 1. str. 6
Moscow 105120, Russia
T: +7495 2281159 | +7495 2281339
E: [email protected]
Bactria Cultural Centre
M. Tursunzoda-12 Str.
734000, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
T: +(992 37) 227-05-54 E: [email protected]
The Tashkent House of Photography
4 Istikbol Street, Tashkent
100047, Uzbekistan
T: (+998 71) 233 51 68 E: [email protected]
The Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art
named after I.V. Savitsky
K. Rzaev Street, Nukus
230100, Uzbekistan
T: +998 61 222 2556 E: [email protected]
Museum of Fine Arts 16, Amir Temur Street Tashkent, Uzbekistan
T: + 998 71 2367436 E: [email protected]
Art and Fact Gallery
20, Sakyk Azimov Str.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
T: +998 232-03-60 E: [email protected]
Academy of Arts Exhibition Hall 40, Sh.Rashidov Avenue
Tashkent, Uzbekistan T: +998 71 156-3196 E: [email protected]
Art Gallery of Uzbekistan
Buyuk Turon 2, 700078
Tashkent, Uzbekistan T: +998 71 233-56-74
Project Universes in Universe
Heilbronner Str. 3
D-10779 Berlin Germany
T: [+49 30] 445 78 23
Contact: Dr. Gerhard Haupt and Pat Binder
E: [email protected]
Laura Bulian Gallery
20144, Milan, Italy
T: +390248008983
Contact: Laura Bulian
E: [email protected]
Av. des Eidguenots 21
1203 Genève, Switzerland
T: 022 344 14 70 E: [email protected]
Calvert 22 Foundation 22 Calvert Avenue
London E2 7JP, UK
T: +44 20 7613 2141
Contact: Sophie Schneider
E: [email protected]
16 Clifford Street, London
T: +44 (0)20 7734 6487 E: [email protected]
Caspian Arts Foundation
1 Gough Square, London
T:+44 (0) 20 7832 1359 E: [email protected]
Over the last seven years, Art Dubai, the leading international art
fair in the Middle East and South Asia, has become a cornerstone
of the region’s booming contemporary art community. Recognised
as one of the most globalised meeting points in the art world
today, Art Dubai places an emphasis on maintaining its intimate,
human scale while foregrounding quality and diversity.
Alongside the gallery halls, comprising Contemporary, Modern and
Marker, the fair’s extensive not-for-profit programme includes sitespecific works for Art Dubai Projects, radio and film; an exhibition of
works by winners of the annual The Abraaj Group Art Prize; the criticallyacclaimed Global Art Forum and Campus Art Dubai—the free Saturday
School for curators, artists and cultural workers living in the UAE.
Art Dubai is held in partnership with The Abraaj Group and is sponsored
by Cartier and Emaar. Madinat Jumeirah is home to the event.
The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is a strategic partner of Art
Dubai and supports the fair’s year-round education programme.
We would like to thank ArtAsiaPacific for their assistance with the Art Dubai Marker
2014 Education Guide.
Established in 1993, ArtAsiaPacific magazine is the leading English-language periodical
covering contemporary art and culture from Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.
Published six times a year, AAP includes features, profiles, essays and reviews by experts
from all over the world. AAP’s website offers up-to-the minute news reports, extracts
from current and past issues of the magazine, as well as supplementary and exclusive
multimedia content.
Since 2005, AAP has produced an annual Almanac edition, published in January, which
surveys the past year in the 67 countries and territories covered in the magazine. In
addition to news, exhibition, festival and country reports, the Almanac features special
sections such as Five Plus One, which spotlights five outstanding artists from the
previous year and one promising artist for the next year, and Reflections, a set of essays
written by prominent curators and cultural figures.
AAP also publishes exhibition catalogs and artist monographs, more details of which can
be found in the shop on this website.
For more details and statistics on the art scene of the countries of Asia Pacific please visit
© ArtAsiaPacific
Educational Guide
Designer: Moylin Yuan
Editors: Bettina Klein, Katya Serebryanaya
© Art Dubai. All rights reserved.
No part of this educational guide may be reproduced
without prior permission from Art Dubai.

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