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LONDON, 18 September 2018 – The “Post-nomadic Mind" exhibition of Kazakh contemporary art, hosted by the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan jointly with the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the UK, has been unveiled in London.
Prominent British experts in art history, politicians, academics, and artists attended the opening ceremony.
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK Erlan Idrissov welcomed those present at the event.
“Only a small part of our modern culture has been brought to you to help you understand where we come from and where we are heading to. I am particularly proud that we have more than 30 modern Kazakh artists who took the trouble and labour of coming here and bringing these fantastic pieces of art. They are here to show you how our ancestors lived and perceived the world yesterday and how they are helping open the way to young artists to look into the future," said the Ambassador.
The exhibition is part of the Focus Kazakhstan project, which is being implemented as part of the Modernisation of Kazakhstan's Identity programme across four cities, London, Berlin (Germany), Jersey City (US) and Suwon (South Korea). The project includes works by 94 Kazakh artists.
The initiative also involves a two-part artist residency programme in Berlin, providing opportunities for young artists from Kazakhstan.
“The Focus Kazakhstan project's distinctive feature is a comprehensive approach to its implementation that consists of an exhibition part and an educational art residency programme in Berlin," said the Acting Director of the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan Leonid Kochetov.
The London exhibition displays the art history of Kazakhstan through a series of dialogues held by contemporary Kazakh artists, drawing from nomadic and shamanistic art influences, the Soviet Union's imposing of the western fine art tradition, the post-Soviet move away from traditional methods by contemporary artists, and the current era of open discourse and revival of previously suppressed culture.
There are 32 artists in the exhibition, including Almagul Menlibayeva, Yerbossyn Meldibekov, Gulnur Mukazhanova, Saule Suleimenova, and Aza Shadenova. They all use a common language of Kazakh post-modernism, working in various mediums including painting, photography, sculpture, installation and video.
As British arts expert, curator and writer David Elliott put it in his speech at the opening, “the exhibition goes back to socialist realism, early modernity, the start of modern art in Kazakhstan, and how artists, both ethnically Kazakh, and Russian colonists, have responded to this, and how this comes together in Kazakhstan today."
The “Post-nomadic Mind" Kazakh contemporary art exhibition will be open for visitors until 16 October. The venue will also host talks by prominent arts experts. One of the exhibiting artists Almagul Menlibayeva, along with the Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History Professor Griselda Pollock, and Professor Katy Deepwell of Middlesex University, will hold a joint talk on 27 September. Another talk will be hosted by Mr. Elliott and Professor Sarah Wilson of the Courtauld Institute on 5 October.
You can find out more about the London exhibition and the Focus Kazakhstan project by clicking the following link: https://focus-kazakhstan.com/.