Nur-Sultan hosts First Contact exhibition featuring artists born after Kazakh independence

NUR-SULTAN – In the Year of Youth, the Astana Art Show is supporting young Kazakh artists by encouraging them to explore experimental approaches in contemporary art. The show opened the First Contact exhibition June 2 displaying their artwork at the Palace of Independence in the capital. The show will run through Aug. 10.

Photo credit: Astana Art Show press service.

“The focus of this exhibition is the first generation of independent Kazakhstan, who were born in the period of the final fall of the Iron Curtain,” said First Contact curator Anvar Musrepov. “Through the art created by young artists this exhibition raises a question: what distinguishes the young tribe of modernity today from past young generations that Mukhtar Auezov had described in his last novel in 1977?”

The exhibition shows works of 22 selected artists who attended a month of workshops, public discussions and lectures in the capital on art trends in video, photography, installation and performance.

Photo credit: Astana Art Show press service.

“I am glad that in our city there are more cultural events being held, where we, artists, can fully open our potential and make a statement. It was great that for a whole month we have been living in art-residence, where we had lectures and workshops that helped us to master our skills, to learn many new things. We experimented with different techniques,” said artist Aruzhan Zhumabek.

First Contact, the initial exhibition of the larger festival, will be followed by Appearance. Dialogue of Memory, an international exhibition opening June 25, will be dedicated to the tragic events of the 1930s. As a part of the July 6 Capital Day celebrations, the festival will open Racing the Galaxy, the last international art exhibition, on July 4.

“This year, the scale of the festival has become more intense. I am very pleased to say that our state has started to support important cultural events such as this,” said Astana Art Show curator and director Dina Baitassova.

In autumn, the art initiative introduced capital residents to work using media other than canvas and paints. The Astana Art Show held the exhibitions Metamorphosis, Reload and Ghost Expedition that featured works of contemporary artists from Central Asia and Europe such as Ada Yu and Mika & Berkin. The displays attracted approximately 50,000 visitors.

In organising last year’s festival, the Astana Art Show was supported by Artios Art Advisory, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, National Museum and Ruhani Zhangyru (Modernisation of Kazakhstan’s Identity) Programme Office.

The selected artists are Rinat Abdrakhmanov, Aigerim Akenova, Aitegin Muratbek uulu, Anar Aubakir, Alpamys Batyrov, Aruzhan Zhumabek, Medina Bazargaliyeva, Syrlybek Bekbotayev, Bakhyt Bubikanova, Murat Dilmanov, Katya Kan, Nazira Karimova, Sabina Kuangaliyeva, Meruert Kunakova, Gaisha Madanova, Aigerim Ospan, Sonata Rayimkulova, Ramamurty (Aigerim Dzhumataeva and Anton Popov), Arman Sein, Darion Shabbash and Darya Trofimova.

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