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Kazakhstan’s Recycled Art

17 Mar

Kazakh artist, Saule Suleimenova, has found a novel way of dealing with some of the masses of plastic bags that litter Kazakhstan – by recycling them into artworks.

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Saule Suleimenova’s ‘Civil Registration Office’ – note the shadowy police figures lurking in the background

Saule Suleimenova’s latest exhibition – called “… Somewhere in the Great Steppe”- features a series of paintings made entirely from discarded plastic items such as carrier bags and tablecloths – the style is known as cellophane painting. To see  how the bags are recycled into paintings, check out this video.

 

The exhibition opens with images from the steppe across the four seasons and then travels into the city, taking in village life along the way. The collection is part of her ongoing projects I’m Kazakh and Aruakhs (Spirits of Ancestors), which combines  archive images of Kazakhs against a backdrop of present-day scenes.

The themes in this exhibition are bang up to date with a triptych called ‘Civil Registration Office’ which depicts the chaos in registration centres at the start of this year when Kazakhstan introduced new laws to track the movements of its populace and assert its control over this formerly nomadic people.

The exhibition is open daily from 10.00-19.00 in Almaty’s Aurora Space, which is located by the Abay Opera and Ballet Theatre,  on the corner of Baiseitov and Zhambyl Street, but you’ll have to hurry if you want to catch it as it closes on 23 March.

 

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Kazakhstan: Peeking Behind the Shiny Façade

28 Mar

Here’s a link to an interesting NYT blog featuring the work of Japanese photographer Ikuru Kuwajima.  He’s been living in Kazakhstan since late 2010  and has been working on some great projects.

One captures the contrasts between indoor and outdoor life in Astana, Kazakhstan’s chilly capital, and another focuses on the desolation of the Saryshagan Soviet-era anti-ballistic missile testing site on the west bank of Lake Balkhash.

Edgy Almaty Art

21 May

Almaty-based artist Justin Mulrooney, who is originally from Ireland, has launched a new website containing two collections of his provocative artwork.

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He works in the medium of photograms – photographic images made without using a camera. The image is made by putting an object between a source of light  and paper that is sensitive to light.

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Images from the  first collection – Vertebrae – caused a stir among Almaty’s art cognoscenti when exhibited at the Tengri Umai gallery in 2009. The other collection –Maps -is based on his travels around the world.

Athens