Kazakh Artist Sees Her Mission in Making Art Accessible to All

ASTANA – Astana-based artist Aigerim Karibayeva, who sells her artworks domestically and internationally, sees her mission in popularizing art. She calls her style ethnic modernism and makes her works accessible to the public via collaboration with large enterprises. 

Aigerim Karibayeva. Photo credit: Astana Times.

Karibayeva discussed her creative path, goals, criteria for choosing projects for cooperation, and plans in an interview with The Astana Times. 

Being fond of drawing from early childhood, Karibayeva had no hesitations in choosing a future career path. After graduating from high school, she entered the Temirbek Zhurgenov Kazakh National Academy of Arts.

“As a child, I loved to draw, it was my brightest ability. It became clear at that time that I would become an artist,” said Karibayeva.

Showroom of Karibayeva. Photo credit: Astana Times.

According to Karibayeva, a defining characteristic of her style is a combination of the traditions of the past and the present.

“At some point, I realized that the term contemporary art did not characterize what I was doing. This is a very broad concept, and I wanted to express myself more clearly. It was important for me to tell people what I was doing to define my mission. We [Karibayeva and her team] were thinking about the style name and the phrase ethnic modernism came up. We consulted with an art historian Olga Baturina. She said that there was no such term, and we could use it. It reflects what I do today,” she said. 

Showroom of Karibayeva. Photo credit: Astana Times.

“Our cultural heritage and history inspire me. I like to see historical objects and antiques. People of the past centuries were delicately talented,” added Karibayeva.

The artist has made her creativity available to a large number of people by creating art merchandise. Scarves, posters, postcards and phone cases with her paintings are sold in the showroom and online. 

Karibayeva explained how the idea of popularization of art came about. 

“I have a degree in graphic design and I worked for many years as a designer. This part of art is strongly intertwined with marketing and brands. I can think both as an artist and a designer. I am also familiar with the principles of brand building. I wanted the fine arts to be in the daily life of a person,” said Karibayeva.

Painting “The Way” by Karibayeva. Photo credit: Astana Times.

She cooperates with state and commercial enterprises. One of the projects entails the design of the New Year’s wagon train in collaboration with Kazakh Tourism, the country’s brand manager for tourism and a subsidiary of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. 

Cooperation with the Rakhat chocolate factory was also welcomed warmly by the audience. The artist said she believes such projects have a patriotic effect on people. 

“People are happy when they see something native and beautifully presented. These projects mean a lot to me because they bring joy to my fellow citizens. It is important that a large number of people are able to contemplate the results of the project,” Karibayeva added.

New Year’s wagon train in collaboration with Kazakh Tourism. Photo credit: TengriNews.

She has ambitious plans, and her team is working on launching new products soon, including t-shirts, ceramics, diaries and wrapping paper. 

“We moved into our big showroom two weeks ago, which includes art products for sale and a workshop. This is a unique place in Astana and in Kazakhstan overall. This place is supposed to give impetus to development. I also hope to create my art exhibition,” she said. 

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