ASTANA – The Has Sanat art gallery in Astana displays an eclectic mix of foreign and local artists to capital residents – but beyond being just a showplace, the gallery supports the development of art in Kazakhstan, working with artists, maintaining close relationships with them and continuing to follow their work and support them.
The gallery has been fully functional since 2003. “The gallery’s renovation took a very long time; I came up with its design on my own. Foreigners come to our gallery saying they have seen a lot of galleries but this is the best in Kazakhstan,” Director of Has Sanat Zhanat Ensebayeva shared in an interview with The Astana Times.
The gallery’s primary task is to familiarise the capital’s residents with unique creations by both local and foreign artists of different generations, uncover new names in the art world and create an artistic environment for developing young talents. Has Sanat means “true” or “genuine art.”
“All galleries do good deeds. However, we are not simply a salon or a shop that sells paintings, but an actual gallery that works with artists over many years. Some of our artists exhibit their works here twice or more. We do public relations and advertising, and they are often covered in the media,” she said.
Has Sanat conducts exhibitions of contemporary artists and sculptors. The gallery bonds with its artists, watching their growth even after an exhibition is over and the next is coming up.
“We love artists, that is why this all is genuine and mutual. We also try to attract more viewers by working with Astana residents and guests. About 13 or 14 years ago just random visitors were here; now we have fanciers of arts who constantly attend all exhibitions, and it is always very pleasant to see them because all the work being done at the gallery is done for people. It is very important for us that people visit galleries,” Ensebayeva stressed.
It has been 10 years since the gallery’s major international Altyn Gasyr (“Golden Century”) project started in 2006.
“We had a start in Moscow, in the city centre. … We were exhibiting 100 paintings by Kazakh artists. Then the exhibition moved to Warsaw, Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, The Hague, Vienna, Brussels, and other locations. We always exhibited at nice halls and museums and thereby introduced our country to viewers,” the director commented.
In 2009, she arranged an exhibition in London’s famous Sotheby’s auction house, where 30 paintings by Kazakh artists were exhibited for a month, with thousands of people viewing the work.
Back in Astana, an exhibition by well-known Almaty-based artist Vyacheslav Lui-ko was launched June 6 and is still open, Ensebayeva said.
“It’s his first exhibition in Astana and an interesting one. I recommend seeing it. Every exhibition that we have is unique and we select the artists very carefully. We are always on a high level; we can’t fall to the average level or below. The originality of each exhibition here must be undisputed,” she said.