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Archive for the ‘Kyrgyz’ Category

Curator Rosa Maria Falvo on emerging Central Asian art scene- interview

Posted by artradar on December 16, 2009


Way to Rome, by Said Atbekov, 2007. Uzbekistan.

Way to Rome, by Said Atabekov, 2007. Lambda print on dibond. Uzbekistan.

CENTRAL ASIAN ART CURATOR

Every industry has its gatekeepers, and the art world is no exception. In the complex world of identifying and valuing cultural and artistic significance, it is the curator who filters through the ‘noise’ to uncover the hidden gems that are relevant, and then presents that information in a meaningful and understandable way.

One may wonder how a curator becomes such an authority, worthy of deciding what fine art demands to be seen, and what does not. The engaged art enthusiast simply must know: who are these internationally active contemporary art curators, and what can they teach us?

Art Radar Asia catches up with Rosa Maria Falvo, an independent Italian-Australian based curator whose most recent project was the East of Nowhere show in Turin, Italy, which showcased artworks from Central Asia. She sheds light on the intriguing world of multicultural curatorship, the rising international interest in artworks from the likes of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and, most importantly– why Central Asian art is emerging onto the world scene now.

Where did you grow up and where were you educated?

RMF: I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, graduating with Honours in English literature at Monash University, majoring in theatre, psychology and sociology, and then completing a Diploma of Education. I have done various post graduate studies in Italy on language, art and culture, specialising in photography, cinema, and the 20th century avant-gardes.

Has this had any influence on your career in art, or your response to art?

RMF: I enjoy investigating differences and then looking for natural similarities. In the last 5 years I’ve really focused my curatorial thinking on the East–West dichotomy.

My Italian-Australian heritage has nurtured my open appreciation and desire for aesthetic and cultural reference points. I feel very fortunate to have this twofold awareness, which has given me unique insights and provides the foundation for my work.

Since 2000 I’ve been involved in promoting individual artists, designing exhibitions and contributing to publishing projects. As an independent writer, translator and curator I’ve established a fruitful international network.

In which countries and cities do you spend most of your time?

RMF: With dual citizenship, I live and work in both Italy and Australia, and travel regularly to various parts of Asia.

I do overland trips for long periods, such as throughout Myanmar, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Tibet, Mongolia, and Western China, meeting artists and collecting their work. These journeys are both personal and professional odysseys.

I’m particularly interested in the rich aesthetic traditions and contemporary responses of non-Western realities, and I collaborate with local artists, curators, galleries, museums and academic institutions in Europe, Asia and Australia…

I am the Asia-Pacific Publications & Projects Consultant for SKIRA International Publishing in Milan-Paris-NY. This involves establishing publishing and exhibition projects with major public and private museums, galleries, and artists throughout the Asia-Pacific Region.

Which cultures do you have a deep interest in or connection to?

RMF: I am deeply connected to Italy and also feel an affinity for Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, particularly Pakistan and India, given the many friends I’ve made and the cultural treasures I’ve experienced.

Dream, by Uuriintuya Dagvasambuu, 2003. Gouache on canvas 47 x 61cm

What types of art have you worked with in the past? Why those?

RMF: I’ve worked with Italian, Australian and Asian contemporary artists: sculptors, photographers, painters and designers.

I admire those who remain true to their own vision while mastering the technical excellence of their craft. How successfully they link the two is for me an indication of quality work, which is by definition powerful. Good artists are important cultural translators and visual conversationalists.

Do you collect art? If so, what is the most recent artwork you have bought?

RMF: I collect work on my travels, pieces that appeal to me aesthetically and intellectually. I take an interest in artists as people, and I like to know as much about their creative process and psychological view as possible.

The most recent works I have collected are by Adeel uz Zafar, a talented Pakistani painter and illustrator, working with notions of the larger-than-life canvas of life, and Uuriintuya Dagvasambuu, an emerging Mongolian painter who reworks the traditional Mongol zurag technique into contemporary themes.

Have you noticed a rising interest in Central Asian art?

RMF: There’s a rising interest in Central Asian art, because there’s tremendous shifting in this part of the world’s geopolitical and cultural realities. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the ex-Soviet republics are pulling and pushing at an amazing speed.

There’s growing curiosity from those who know very little besides what is shown on TV and ever deepening analysis from those who have long been aware and well travelled.

The allure of ethnicity, exoticism and culture shock is often a visual pretext for the real essence of a show like this, which is to present an account of the changing face of contemporary Central Asia.

This international awareness is recent if you consider that the first Central Asia pavilion took place at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005, where newly established post-Soviet states Kazakhstan (with artists Khalfin, Maslov, Meldibekov, Menlibaeva, Tikhonova, Vorobyeva, Vorobyev), Kyrgyzstan (Boronilov, Djumaliev, Kasmalieva, Maskalev) and Uzbekistan (Akhunov, Atabekov, Nikolaev, and Tichina) represented a “regional group” curated by a Russian, Viktor Misiano. This heralded the development of the Central Asian art scene.

Emerging from a monolithic Soviet Union we see extraordinary complexity and fermentation on issues to do with struggle, conflict, and identity. That a place like Afghanistan nurtures its own contemporary art scene, however fledgling, is testimony to the unflagging spirit of special individuals dedicated to the arts. Rahraw Omarzad’s ‘Closed Door’ video provides a playfully eloquent metaphor for the obstacles facing ordinary Afghanis in the context of violence and corruption.

Have there been many Central Asian art shows, or was East of Nowhere introducing completely unseen art to Italy?

RMF: There have been few initiatives on Central Asian art outside Central Asia. ‘East of Nowhere’ was a natural and ambitious outgrowth of a previous premiere show entitled The Tamerlane Syndrome: Art and Conflicts in Central Asia in Orvieto, Italy (2005), curated by my expert colleagues, Enrico Mascelloni and Valeria Ibraeva, who each have 30 years of experience in this region of the world.

Men Praying on the Central Square in Bishkek, by Alimjan Jorobaev.

What kind of response did you get?

RMF: We’ve had very positive responses. This industrial area of Turin – Via Sansovino- is being redeveloped by Fondazione 107. Visitors have made a real effort to seek out this show and been impressed with the space, which is a beautifully reconverted warehouse. The variety of work and line up of both important and emerging artists has excited Italian and European media, which have been particularly complimentary; commenting on the panorama of talent and the contextual analysis of multiple narratives.

How do you personally measure the success of an exhibition?

RMF: I think a successful exhibition stimulates questions from those who were otherwise unaware of what is out there and raises the quality of debate amongst those who do.

Obviously, once there is growing public interest the art system brings the process of monetising art. Prices have certainly risen and it’s very interesting to watch what is happening in this part of the world.

What excites me is the open, honest and often young creative energy that has no direct dependence on a predetermined art market.

What themes do you see within Central Asian art, and why are they capturing the imagination of an Italian audience?

RMF: East of Nowhere offers a daring mix of impressions about a ‘Greater Central Asia’: accelerating globalization, contemporary nomadism, and pre-Soviet and Islamic traditions.

These 32 artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Mongolia take us beyond borders (which are not just arbitrarily reshaped, but often draw a blank in the minds of Westerns), violence, and Hollywood, into a new awareness of post-Soviet experience and ethnic affinities.

Said Atabekov’s Way to Rome, which is the cover image of our exhibition catalogue, recalls Marco Polo’s journey through Central Asia as the epitome of East-West encounters. For this photographic series Atabekov travelled throughout Kazakhstan, capturing daily life and landscapes, documenting the emblems of tradition and transformation. Of course, his work is also an ironic play on the ‘Path to Europe 2009-2011’ announced by Nursultan Nazarbayev in his presidential address to the people of Kazakhstan in 2008, which outlines his foreign policy for developing multilateral strategic cooperation with Europe in technology, power engineering, transport, trade, and investment. This promotion of Kazakh ‘prosperity’ highlights the paradoxical relations between Central Asia and Europe.

Alimjan Jorobaev’s Men Praying on the Central Square in Bishkek shows people praying with their backs to a sculpture exalting Lenin. Issues on collectivism, religion, identity politics, and nationhood are universal concerns, but they are in particularly sharp focus in this region of the world. I’m pleased to say that Fondazione 107 in Turin will continue to present projects based on the legacy of pioneering artists, curators, and collectors.

EW

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Posted in Afghan, Central Asian, Curators, Gallery shows, Globalisation, Identity art, Interviews, Islamic art, Italy, Journey art, Kazakhstani, Kyrgyz, Mongolian, Nationalism, Political, Professionals, Profiles, Religious art, Rosa Maria Falvo, Scholars, Tajikistani, Uzbekistani | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

East of Nowhere, important exhibition of rare post Soviet Central Asian art in Italy, 2009

Posted by artradar on August 26, 2009


CONTEMPORARY CENTRAL ASIAN ART

Artworks from Central Asian artists hailing from nations that were formerly Soviet republics, including Kazahkstan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, are on display in an inaugural event launching the new space of Fondazione 107, in Turin, Italy.

Way to Rome, by Said Atabekov, 2008. Lambda print on dibond, 80 x 120 cm. Tashkent district, Uzbekistan. Lives in Shymkent, Kazakhstan.

Way to Rome, by Said Atabekov, 2008. Lambda print on dibond, 80 x 120 cm. Tashkent district, Uzbekistan. Lives in Shymkent, Kazakhstan.

The exhibition, titled East of Nowhere: Contemporary Art from post-Soviet Central Asia will feature over 100 works of 32 artists and groups from a region that has been a hotbed of cultural and political upheaval, and has become extraordinarily relevant to the fate of other nations, both economically and politically, within modern times. Regarding the choice to exhibit the Central Asian collection for Fondazione 107’s first event, Federico Piccari, president of Fondazione 107 and a practicing artist, explains:

“This exhibition is part of our cultural program, which is focused on creating a practical synergy between contemporary art and industry. With this inaugural event we begin our ongoing commitment to promote artistic initiatives in an open and actively evolving context, linking Turin’s dynamic cultural setting with other creative and multicultural realities. Our collection of Central Asian artwork is among the best available from this region and provides an exciting backdrop for our future role within the international art scene”.

Red Flag, by Oksana Shatalova, 2008. 5 lambda prints on dibond 180 x 155cm each. Rudny, Kazakhstan.

Red Flag, by Oksana Shatalova, 2008. 5 lambda prints on dibond 180 x 155cm each. Rudny, Kazakhstan.

Curated by Enrico Mascelloni, Valeria Ibraeva, and Rosa Maria Falvo, in collaboration with Federico Piccari, the show depicts pieces by artists both young and old, and focuses on the transformational experiences of social struggle, addressing difficult topics including political boundaries, cultural identity, and personal reorientation within a collapsed society. The works are especially meaningful because they indicate Central Asia’s response to the turmoil in its recent history is to reinvent itself within the context of its ancient roots, regressing to pre-Soviet and even pre-Islamic cultures.  Co-curator Rosa Marie Falvo says:

“Here the ‘journey’ is not just a metaphor for the interchange of cultures, it becomes the very context of creativity itself. Images as distinct as Rahraw Omarzad’s shrouded Afghan female faces, whose stares declare the heroic silence of personal expression; Davaa Dorjderem’s maternal Mongolian maidens choreographed in tranquil swan-like poses; Georgy Tryakin-Bukharov’s improvised Kazakh ‘piglets’, outsized in life and association with a menacing bureaucratic ‘wolf’, not only speak of conventions and aspirations from within their country, society and culture, but go beyond to show the multifaceted conditions of ‘Central Asian’ contemporary life. Instead of artists thinking of something new to say, we see the juxtaposition of new opportunities to say what they have not been able to say until recently. This kind of soul searching is by definition fresh and defiant; less within a common philosophy, goal or experience and more like an integral part of an ancient Greek chorus commenting on the contemporary drama.”

The Third One, by Rahraw Omarzad, 2005. Video still. Afghanistan.

The Third One, by Rahraw Omarzad, 2005. Video still. Afghanistan.

Artist List:

Afghanistan:
Khadim Ali
Rahraw Omarzad
Sheenkai Alam Stanikazai

Kazakhstan:
Said Atabekov
Georgy Tryakin-Bukharov
Natalya Dyu
Rustam Khalfin
Irina Maslikova
Erbossyn Meldibekov
Almagul Menlibayeva
Gulnur Mukazhanova
Moldakul Narymbetov
Ekaterina Nikonorova
Oksana Shatalova
Regina Shepetya
Aleksei Shindin
Saule Suleimenova
Diana Yun
Malik Zenger

Kyrgyzstan:
Talgat Karim Asyrankulov
Arthur Boljurov
Ulan Djaparov
Shailoo Dzheksembaev
Alimjan Jorobaev
Talant Ogobaev
Hudsovet Group
Z.A.D. Group

Mongolia:
Uuriintuya Dagvasambuu
Davaa Dorjderem
Dugarsham Tserennadmid

Tajikistan:
Gennady Ratushenko

Uzbekistan:
Vyacheslav Akhunov

The show runs from May 28 through September 25, 2009 in Turin, Italy. View full Press Release.

-contributed by Erin Wooters

Related Posts:

How art from half of Asia has been missed- interview Leeza Ahmady ACAW director- May 09

Rarely exhibited art and more firsts at Asian Contemporary Art Week New York 2009- Apr 09

Central Asian art joins mainstream market- Dec 08

Art fair Shanghai breaks new ground with Best of Discovery emerging artists- Financial Times, Artkrush- Sept 08

Related Links:

‘East of Nowhere’ Press Release

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Posted in Afghan, Italy, Kazakhstani, Kyrgyz, Mongolian, Tajikistani, Uncategorised, Uzbekistani | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Rarely exhibited art and more firsts at Asian Contemporary Art Week New York 2009

Posted by artradar on April 30, 2009


ASIAN CONTEMPORARY ART WEEK 2009

For the first time since its inception in 2004 Cambodian and Tibetan artists will be on show in the 200 artist, 8 day event to be held in New York May 10-18th.  But this is not the only first for ACAW in 2009.

The event which, according to Asia Society director Melissa Chiu, aims to present “the latest trends in Asian contemporary art” will also highlight the new vitality and increased international profile of artists from Central Asia and the Middle East.

Coming up soon on Art Radar is an exclusive interview with ACAW director Afghanistan-born Leeza Ahmady and her ground-breaking initiatives to change the perception of Asian art. In the art world, Asia traditionally refers to East Asia but Ahmady speaks passionately with us about how she has made it her mission to overtun this narrow definition and why it is important.

 

Qiu Zhijie, Failing City, installation 2009

Qiu Zhijie, Failing City, installation 2009

 

Also new at this year’s event is a platform called Open Portfolios, a series of 20 artist talks and performances, each of which will focus on one aspect of the artist’s work and allow visitors to get up close and personal with artists. Artists involved include Qiu Zhijie (China), Mitra Tabrizian (Iran), Zaher Shah (Pakistan) and Zarina Hashim (India)  at the Museum of Modern Art the husband and wife team Muratbek Djumaliev and Gulnara Kasmalieva from Kyrgyzstan. Seven selected artists will discuss their work in exclusive interviews available on www.acaw.net

In an astounding display of commitment to public education despite the weak economic climate, the ACAW team and the 35 participating venues will together present over 60 events, most of which are free to the public. In fact this year’s event has a record number of artists on show and includes many countries whose artists rarely exhibit work in the United States.

Countries represented include: Afghanistan, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

For a full program visit the  Asian Contemporary Art Week site.

Related posts:

Interview with Leeza Ahmady, director ACAW 2009

  • Part 1: How art from half of Asia has been missed
  • Part 2: Pockets of change in Asian art infrastructure
  • Part 3: Excitement at Asian Contemporary Art Week despite recession
  •  

  • 5 eighties born Cambodian artists in historic survey show Forever Until Now Mar 2009
  • Tibetan art moves away from its religious origins Sep 2008
  • Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for coverage of important Asian art events

    Posted in Cambodian, Central Asian, Chinese, Gallery shows, Iranian, Kyrgyz, Middle Eastern, Museum shows, New York, Nonprofit | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Central Asian art joins mainstream market – Eurasianet

    Posted by artradar on December 27, 2008


    Metal Truck Caravan Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek

    Metal Truck Caravan Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek

    CENTRAL ASIAN ART

    The strong presence of Central Asian artists at recent art fairs and exhibits in New York is helping to underscore the fact that the region has joined the mainstream of the international art market reports Eurasianet.

    A special exhibition titled Given Difference at the Asian contemporary art fair in New York in November featured six artists from Kazakhstan, Georgia and Turkey.

    Kazakhstan

    Kazakhstan was represented by two rising stars of the Central Asian art world — Erbossyn Meldibekov and Almagul Menlibayeva.

    Menlibayeva videos punkshamanism

    Almagul Menlibayeva’s works attempt to distill traditional practices, ideas and imagery into a contemporary art form. Often described as punk-shamanism, Menlibayeva’s videos are theatrical and laden with complex references — from tribal symbolism to images of the communist industrial past.

    a-new-silk-road-installation

    A New Silk Road installation view

    One of Menlibayeva’s videos shown at the New York art fair — Headcharge — is a story that casually begins in a restaurant in the city of Almaty and gradually slips into a disturbing ritual performed by the female protagonists. The video shows several urban young women eating a sheep’s head and feeding each other, thereby underscoring the juxtaposition of traditional nomadic beliefs with today’s urban lifestyle. Step by step, the film gives way to a parallel reality, referring to shamanistic travels between worlds.

    Born and raised in Kazakhstan, Menlibayeva currently lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. Art curators say she often depicts the cultural and spiritual traditions of her native country as erotic and strongly feminine dream sequences.

    Menlibayeva’s second film, Kissing Totems, is a surrealistic journey inspired by her childhood memory of walking past Soviet factories, seeking the help of a shaman to cure her mother’s severe illness. With what seems to be the clear influence of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s enigmatic style (particularly the bleak interiors of Stalker), the split-screen video follows a girl, accompanied by her mother, entering an abandoned industrial complex filled with birds. The video then takes a surreal turn when she encounters female-like creatures, called peris.

    Meldibekov: photographs of leaders and Peak Communism

    The other Kazakh artist presented at the Asian art fair, Meldibekov, explores the question of belonging, but through a different prism. His series Family Album (made together with his brother Nurbossyn Oris) are historic photographs of groups of ordinary people — families or friends — posing in front of a public sculpture of their country’s leaders. Each old picture shot during the Soviet period is matched by a newer one of the same people at the same spot but with a different sculpture behind them — a change in the figure with whom they are associated, determined by the state and history.

    Meldibekov looks at the figure of the leader as fetishized by ordinary citizens. He also shows people as if both empowered by virtue of proximity to the great leader and the due diligence of paying homage to him.

    Meldibekov has recently begun a series entitled Peak Communism which was also featured at the New York Asian Art Fair. The artist inverts cheap metal pots and bowls and moulds their tops to show their shapes as different shapes — such as Communism Peak, Lenin Peak and Peak of the Pioneer.

    Kyrgyz art: video and photography at Winkleman New York

    Elsewhere, an exhibition of Kyrgyz artists Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev, entitled A New Silk Road, is on display these days at the Winkleman Gallery in New York City. The show runs through January 10. A series of photo images and a 5-channel video, shot along the highways and small villages connecting China through Kyrgyzstan to Europe, capture the determination and resourcefulness that define this mountainous and economically impoverished region and provide snapshots of how local and global economics are intertwined.

    • Eurasianet for more
    • Winkleman Gallery for A New Silk Road images and artist bios
    • To represent Central Asia and the Caucasus in 2008 Shanghai art fair Best of Discovery, curator Sara Raza has alighted on the work of the outlandish Kazak performance artist Erbossyn Meldibekov and also on the emerging Georgian artist Sophia Tabatadze (see post click here)

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    Posted in Central Asian, Emerging artists, Kazakhstani, Kyrgyz, Market watch, New York, Photography, Political, Trends, USA, Vehicles, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »