Charcoal Art Exhibit Reveals Mining World

Astana held a unique exhibition of charcoal drawings created by local artist and head of the Men Qazaqpyn (“I am Kazakh”) project Bakhytzhan Bukharbayev. The medium was extracted from Karaganda mines, noted the artist as he worked.


Drawing by Bakhytzhan Bukharbayev. Photo Source:

Held Nov. 23 in the Palace of Independence, the official opening ceremony was attended by the leadership of Shubarkol Komir mining company, which is part of the Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), art critics, colleagues of the artist, guests and residents of the capital.

In his opening speech, Bukharbayev explained his idea to create using charcoal.

“I decided to use the charcoal to draw people who work with it every day. Moreover, there are so many colours and noise in today’s world, so that it is easy to forget what the purpose of all of this is. I wanted to show that beauty may lie just beneath our feet. Coal is an object with which many families start their day, but how many of us think how we can use it in a creative way? Unlike our children, who can see a mysterious creature in any tree, we have, unfortunately, lost this gift,” said Bukharbayev.

The artist thanked the display organisers and Shubarkol Komir for the opportunity to hold the event in three Kazakh cities.

While talking with guests, Shubarkol Vice President for Production Bolat Zhakenov emphasised the deposit marks the 30th anniversary of its development. The company’s main consumers live in the Akmola, Karaganda, Zhambyl, Almaty and South Kazakhstan regions of the country.

“The coal we produce has no analogues in the world. We are proud of the fact that this field is located in Kazakhstan. I am also glad that today, thanks to the exhibition, you can learn a little more about the unique Shubarkol field,” he said.

In addition to the 12 drawings, the show presented archival and contemporary photos and video materials about the field.

“I hadn’t expected that the work of an industrial enterprise could be told in graphic and, at the same time, such a vivid form. The paintings, photos and video are all very detailed and present the information about Shubarkol activities, which raise interest in the work of miners,” said Zhakenov, sharing his impressions with visitor Erdos Hamidullayev.

The exhibition closed in the capital Dec. 3. Five days later, it opened in the White Grand Piano gallery in Almaty and will welcome guests through Dec.16, followed by the final exhibit organised Dec. 20-27 in Shymkent.

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