Top Kazakh Photographer Reveals Stories of Independent Kazakhstan Behind Landscape and Wildlife Pictures

NUR-SULTAN – “Nature and Cities of Independent Kazakhstan” solo exhibition of Kazakh photographer and filmmaker Valery Ayapov is on display at The Palace of the Republic in Almaty. The exhibition runs through April 30.

Valery Ayapov.

The exhibition features 48 photographs of landscapes and cities placed on 2×3 meter stands. The ultra-wide print format helps the audience to enjoy the immersive photography experience.

Ayapov sees this exhibition as his professional duty to preserve and pass on the historical and cultural heritage for future generations. “Nature, environment, change of seasons and climate change are beyond time, politics, language barriers and international borders. It unites all human beings. My professional task is to help children and young people to find their potential. I want to teach young people how to stay curious and be observant,” Ayapov said in an interview for this story. 

Photo credit: Valery Ayapov.

While walking around the venue, Ayapov shares his memories about the pictures. “The main idea of the exhibition is to make large prints. We have already forgotten what the printed photo looks like. This is the Caspian Sea. I remember this picture. I am standing on a rock and trying to take a photo and here comes the wave. In my opinion, large-format prints give the effect of presence. It is also inspiring. It shows Kazakhstan from completely different points of view. The Caspian sea is magnificent,” he said.

The photographer believes that each generation needs to rediscover common truths. This ensures continuity of generation. Photography helps to broaden horizons and tell stories about nature, travel and adventure. It also instills pride and patriotism to see Kazakhstan in all its diversity.

Photo credit: Valery Ayapov.

“These pictures were made in February. The location is not far from the Charyn Canyon where the Burkutshi Festival, where the eagle hunters, called burkutshi, display their birds’ speed, was held. The kid works with a falcon. He is a very determined person. When you see this picture, you understand that there is a future. A young generation is growing up to struggle for its nature, for its country. The Charyn Canyon in winter is a rare picture because mostly tourists come here in the summer,” he said. 

Most of his time Ayapov is devoted to wildlife study, photographing ethnographic reconstructions, and observing the animal world. His works highlighting landscapes and photographs of wildlife can be seen at airports, train stations, offices and hotels nationwide. 

Last year, Ayapov launched a nationwide documentary series project titled Open Kazakhstan Wildlife and Adventure about the unique biodiversity of the country. 

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