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30НА комфорта

16.12.2021 - 20.02.2022

30 years of independence of Kazakhstan. 30 years old is the average age of the ten artists, who tried to leave their "comfort zone” during two months of the art residency program.  

In recent years, there has been a variety of discussions around the "comfort zone": from passionate calls to immediately leave this zone and never return there, to ardent criticism of such methods by apologists of Maslow's Pyramid of Needs, who are convinced that the "comfort zone" is the place where basic human needs are realized (satisfaction of physiological needs, security), and therefore it is the first condition for a harmonious life.  

But what exactly is this? A "comfort zone" is a metaphysical space that gives not only a sense of physical comfort, but also psychological safety. Here we protect ourselves from everything that goes beyond our usual routine (although routine can also be creative), which minimizes the risk of awkward and stressful situations. However, this "everything" is a real life. By getting the obvious benefits of "ordinary happiness," low anxiety and lack of stress, we deprive ourselves of so much more: a change, a life as a research, a life as exploration, a life as a journey, a life as a challenge, which in the end allows us to develop, makes us better and changes the society we live in.  

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In other words, if the point of getting out of the comfort zone is any situation that brings new impressions and new images, then the exhibition presents to your attention the works of the participants of the first Art residency program @afstudios_kz (Art Future Studios):

Maria Peskova, Sheker Shakir, Munisa Gulieva, Alisher Zhurgenov, Kadyr Maksutkan, Talgat Zhumagulov, Galymzhan Balsary, Alexandra Kalacheva, Mugamilla Pirmantai, Moldir Sagyndykova

The exhibition features more than 30 final works by the authors, created with the support of Qazaqstan Oneri project in cooperation of Art Future x LOTTE Rakhat.  

Maria Peskova

1998, Almaty. Graduated British Higher School of Art & Design.

"I believe that the way of the artist is an exploratory one. In my projects, I explore the theme of appropriation and the role of human existence in the post-Soviet area. The main purpose of my work is to create a revolutionary manifesto that reflects the reality of the past in the present day. The combination of plasticity of images and constructive forms immerses me in the creation and contemplation of collective images, with all their historical, cultural, aesthetic and artistic values. The process of evolution takes place through the transition of forms, in a combination of different techniques. My research is a challenge to myself that helps to reveal facets of my perception of the past and to convey a world that is at once so distant and so close to me”.

Description of the work of the art residency project:

In my work, I explore the transformation of time in a period of 30 years.

The focus of my work is on finding my authenticity through the prism of the women of my family (my grandmother, mother and I) and our ethnicity.

30 years is the period of time in which my family has undergone drastic changes, depending on the time.

My grandmother, who was born in Altay, moved to Kazakhstan for unknown reasons, where she spent her whole life, but she never told me why she ended up here.

My mother in her 30s was in deep expectation of the child she had wanted and waited for a long time, but to her deep regret, according to doctors, she could no longer have children.

For me, 30 years is a time when I am searching for myself, exploring my own kind, exploring my authenticity and healing through, the things that are happening in my life. The cycle of time is one of the themes that interest me through my artistic practice. The number 3, which is present in my work, is part of a reflection on the cyclical nature of time, a deep search and directly linked to my primary and vital aspects. From generation to generation, we look for what sits deep in our subconscious to understand who we are and what we are here for. Cyclicality is what brings us closer to the high, to harmony, faith, hope, love and acceptance of self.

"Spirit of Three Generations", ditpich / plexiglass, photo collage/100x100cm/2021

"Ethnicity prints", triptych/monotype, cyanotype / 160x120cm / 2021

"Holy, bright, desirable" / collage, mixed technique/50x50cm/2021

"State of eternity" / canvas, oil / 100x100cm/ 2021

"State of refinement" / canvas, oil / 100x100cm/ 2021

"State of comfort" /canvas, oil/100x100cm/2021

"Lullaby to Svetlana" /silk, monotype/300х150cm

"Lullaby to Mary" /silk, monotype/300õ150cm

"Lullaby" /silk, monotype/300õ150cm

"Portrait of mother" /cyanotype/40х35sm

"Diving into the past", series of works / cyanotype, monotype/D10/2021

 

Munisa Gulieva

1980, Almaty. Artist, production designer, costume designer. KAZGITIK named after Zhurgenov (1999), on speciality the director, the artist - animator.

"Art for me is a world where I can make my own rules, which is especially important for a woman in an oriental family".

Description of the work of the art residency project:

Project-research "Existing reality in an unreal, changing space" or "Reality is real in unreality".

Realization of the project: painting on a mirror, installation with a mirror.

Mirror as a symbol of the world around. Image on the mirror - my feelings and thoughts. As in life, we leave our impressions in different places, we "draw" images from feelings in our memory.

They are like picturesque stamps on photographs in our memories. When we take snapshots out of our memories we relive those feelings that we had in the past through the images drawn on them.

Reflection is always impartial, like mathematics - precise and cold. Only we fill it with meanings, dreams, words and movement.

The mirror is a tool for identifying oneself in space. Accepting one's own image, trying to replicate existing images, to imitate. To be accepted by others, to be understandable, not irritating.

The mirror is a tool for creating a new image supplemented with colour, form, a new language of movement. Self-expression and irritation.

Is what you draw on the mirror real? Does it exist in the space in which it is reflected?

Only the image remains a constant of reality and permanence, a fulcrum in a changing space. Exactly like the meanings with which our reality is filled.

Objectives:

- Exploring my role in the reality provided, trying to 'fit' into the space around me, through my images.

- Exploring myself, through comparison.

"Mirror Nude" / Oil, mirror acrylic. Diptych, 79x124cm / 2021.

The image of the naked female body is always a taboo, but, why? In this diptych I place the viewer in different angles of looking at this body. The viewer sees himself and the figure at the same time and becomes a participant in this intimate moment

"Artist's Chair" / Acrylic, mirror acrylic

70x121 cm/ 2021.

The question of finding one's place. An artist is not always in his favourite occupation. A vocation does not bring material prosperity or ensure a continuous creative flow. It's a life of compromise and search. The search for a warm creative place. The search for the perfect creative paradise.

"Reflection" /Acrylic, mirror acrylic

70x100cm/2021.

Playing with reflection. Can we reflect ourselves? Do we reflect ourselves the way we feel? Are we perceived as we broadcast ourselves?

"A Window to Paradise" /Acrylic, mirror acrylic

89x124cm/ 2021

Dreams always exist in a given reality.

"Przewalski’s Woman" /Acrylic, mirror acrylic. 83h111sm / 2021 g.

The story of a strong woman. Strong, timid, docile.

 

Talgat Zhumagulov

1987, Semey. Abay Humanitarian College majoring in Woodworker. Graduate of the Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T.K. Zhurgenov majoring in "Sculptor". Started his creative activity in 2008 and took the 3rd place in the International Festival "Delphic Games" in Almaty. He is a participant of international symposiums and festivals in Russia, Kazakhstan and Cyprus.

"The main thing for me in my work is to find forms to express feelings".

Description of the art residence project:

Sculpture, ceramics. Series with the theme - relations: "he and she", consists of three compositions.

Each of the three compositions are static forms of two heads, in the middle of which there is a free space or hole, symbolizing a kind of transition from one stage of a relationship to another. At the same time, each composition correspondingly depicts a particular stage of a relationship. Falling in love, romance; love and rejection; mature love or the Absolute of Love. Represents the journey, the growth, the stages of change of feelings in a couple.

Using qualities of chamotte, its properties, its texture, observing basic principles of working in ceramics I tried to show archaic character of images and also to use emptiness of internal parts of sculpture sides as continuation of composition conception, to show interaction of emptiness and internal forms.

"Attraction", sculpture / chamotte, glaze / 90x69x35 / 2021

"Face to Face"/chamotte, glaze/ 82х67х27 / 2021

"Fusion", sculpture / fireclay, glaze / 100x47x29 / 2021

 

Mugamila Pirmintai

2000, Almaty. Graduated from ACDPI named after Gogol, Caspian ASAID, in the field: design of architectural environment.

"I work in the complex graphic technique of linocut, which is a high printing technique. In this type of printing, the ink is transferred to the paper from high spots on the printing plate, and the artist carves indentations in the paper, which the paper should not touch."

A description of the art residency project work:

On the project, I explored the role of women in our society. And in recent years, my compositions have focused on this very theme. Through my works I want to show both love and respect, but also fears and different scales of feelings that every woman experiences in her everyday life.

"Swaddling" / linocut / 127×120cm / 2021

She is swaddling a baby and her whole life so far consists of a newborn baby. The swaddling is long and it comes in and gathers on the young mother's head. With this she wanted to show that all her thoughts so far are of swaddling, in general of everyday life. This is an important part of every woman. Many are reborn, qualities that have long been asleep in us are awakened, the real us is awakened. In this swaddling, many feelings are awakened that we have not previously encountered.

"Care" / linocut / 120×137cm / 2021

A 3-4 year old child is drinking from a drinking bowl, he is thirsty. The drinking bowl is supported by his mother, a woman's hands. The baby is standing on blankets, soft and warm. As a sign of the mother's care for her child.

"Sagym" / linocut / 120×132cm / 2021

It is a work about a woman, maybe dreaming of having a child, or maybe she has made her dream come true. But on the other hand, it is a drama, a longing for motherhood that never existed. Everyone will see something different in this work and it's up to the author to interpret it further. At the back we can see the blocks of bricks, and a black stripe of a block on the belly. These are the blocks of the mind. On the opposite side we can see that she has been able to get out of these blocks.

"Experience" / linocut / 147×122cm / 2021

This is a work about a bride. As we see there are two of them. It is a conversation and transfer of experience. This can be seen through the iconicity in the piallas (traditional tea-cups). Each has their own half of the piala(experience) and they share it with each other.

"Circle" / linocut / 100×115cm / 2021

A minimalist circle linking all these works.

So the concept is that all these characters have something in common. They have completely different ages and periods of life. And it's a kind of circle, the wheel of life (that's why there's a circle in the middle).

 

Alexandra Kalacheva

1982, Almaty. Painter and illustrator, member of the Union of Artists. The Republican art college of Almaty on a specialist "machine graphics" (2001г). In 2005 year she has graduated the faculty "painting" on a specialist "artist - muralist" of the Kazakh National Academy of Arts after T. Zhurgenov. Also a master's degree at the Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T. Zhurgenov (2007). 2005-2010 she taught at the Painting Department at the Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T. Zhurgenov.

In the graphic sheets and picturesque works she shows refusal of realism in favor of stylization, conventionality and decorativeness. The form is flat and the expressiveness of the lines clearly delineating it is given paramount importance.

Description of the works of the art residence project:

Somewhere in a parallel universe, humans set off on an expedition to colonies the planet Venus, an expedition that could have been almost successful if not for one thing, only female humans survived on the planet. Years later the planet Venus was inhabited only by women, who created their own unique world, but was this world perfect, that was the question?

"Colonisation of Venus" / Series of circular paintings 12 pcs. / 50x50cm / acrylic, collage / 2021

 

Moldir Sagyndykova.

1988, Almaty. Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T.K. Zhurgenov. Since 2012 has been engaged in pedagogical activity in boarding school and college at KazNAI. Moldir is a student of artists such as Malik Deisenbaev, Omirbek Zhuvanazov, and Zhumakyn Kayrambaev.

"In my works, my enthusiasm for post-impressionist works is often seen. Paintings and graphics reflect my worldview and spirit. The themes of my compositions are taken from everyday life."

A description of the works in the art residency project:

Due to the pandemic in the world, all people found themselves in isolation at home and not even able to go out into nature.

But it was when they closed all the borders that we came to know and admire the fact that there are beautiful places in our country which we didn't know and hadn't seen before. Everyone started posting pictures of the beautiful local surroundings one after another on all the social networks.

In my works I tried to show the places not as just beautiful nature, but as "ornaments" created by nature, as "pearls" of nature itself.

It is an heritage that cannot be appreciated. I have depicted nature in silver and gold colors, and the lake in the center as a jewel.

A series of paintings titled "The Pearl of Kazakhstan, a natural achievement, yet striving for Western ideals"

"Kolsai", "Winter", "Silver"/canvas, acrylic/ 120x120cm / 2021

"Kobeituz", "Autumn", "Gold"/canvas, acrylic / 120x120cm / 2021

"Big Almaty Lake", "Spring"/canvas, acrylic/ 120x120cm / 2021

"Kolsai", "Summer", "Emerald"/canvas, acrylic / 120x120cm / 2021

"Kurak" / 210x210cm / 2021

 

Galymzhan Balsary

1988, graffiti writer, artist and illustrator.

"The main idea in realizing my work is the search for creative expression through pop culture. In the process of research, I turn to ancient images (ethno-futurism), to find a new language for expressing my ideas. I often experiment by mixing different genres and techniques. I start my creative process with classical painting, experimenting and bringing it up to cubism and abstraction, using new artistic tools (spray paint, markers)"

Description of the works of art residence project:

"The Qazaq context...".

Three works devoted to the "Kazakh context" in the pop-art style reflecting the reality in Kazakhstan through the prism of humour and references to the artists of the older generation.

"QAZAQ BUSINESS - SOGYM" / (canvas, acrylic, spray, markers) /  150x150cm / 2021

The first work of "QAZAQ BUSINESS - SOGYM" is a fantasy and some sur, here I wonder what would be if such a famous Netflix cartoon as "Bojack the Horseman" was made in Kazakhstan! Bojack the Horse in a Kazakh context would be just meat for the winter - Sogym - and the director and protagonist of this "movie" would be Nurlan Koyanbaev (director of the "Kazakh Business" film series) .

"BAQYT EMES"/ canvas, acrylic, oil, spray, markers /  150x150cm / 2021

The second work in the series is an homage to the work of S. Aitbayev (1938-1994) "Bakyt" (canvas, oil, 1966), which is part of the permanent exhibition of the Kasteev Museum of Art. In this work I explore our reality from domestic violence, to the barbarity of the authorities, particularly the police, as well as simple human stupidity, which does not lead to happiness, but rather the opposite! Accordingly, the title of my work is "BAQYT EMES".

"OTYZ JYL" /canvas, acrylic, oil, spray, markers / 150x150cm / 2021

The third work in the series is also an homage to the work of Abylkhan Kasteev (1904-1973), the founder of Kazakh visual arts, entitled "Turksib" (oil on canvas, 1969). In my work, I draw a parallel between the Soviet past and the present of independent Kazakhstan. In doing so, I pay tribute to the pioneers of the Kazakh art world and try to translate their work into a new contemporary language in the new reality.

With these three works I would like to add a final point (or maybe a starting point). Since many artists were a reflection of the reality they lived in, I decided to reflect it in my own way, not to please anyone, but as a manifestation of my true self and my attitude to today's agenda. As it happens with us art people are rarely active in expressing their attitudes, and are often just toothless artisans, afraid to add something new or to influence the development of art in Kazakhstan. While the younger generation is already here and already eager to make a change!

 

Kadyr Maksutkan

1988, China. Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T.K. Zhurgenov.

"For me, harmony in the colours, on the canvas, is very important. The combination of warm and cold tones, the lightness of the lines and outlines are more important in the format of the painting, as they give the image and character to the picture rather than just drawing. This achieves a personal style and creates value. "

A description of the work of the art residency project:

In my project, I raised the issue of an impending disaster - it is not a natural disaster of nature, but something that people themselves create in our time. People have started to compete with each other and prioritise material values while spiritual values have been devalued.

In this age of globalisation, art has become a business which has led to a creative crisis and this is the real disaster.

"Zhut" ("CALAMITY") / 120×110cm, oil on canvas / 2021 - series of works

 

Alisher Zhurgenov

1990,Aralsk . Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T. Zhurgenov on a speciality "easel painting". Since 2014 is engaged in teaching activities in Almaty College of Decorative and Applied Arts named after O. Tansykbaev. Since 2016 he has been a member of the Union of Artists of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Alisher works in different genres of painting, such as historical, domestic genre, portrait, landscape, genre composition and in his works can be traced quite established individual handwriting and style. The characters created by the painter are bright and expressive. In his work he seeks forms to convey themes of his research on Kazakh culture that are rooted in ancient times but are reflected today.

A description of the art residency project works:

Although each person is individual, not like the other, the same pattern emerges in all in the process of development and is reinforced more and more - individualism and selfishness. It was alien to Kazakh culture, but in the last 30 years in the process of globalization we have taken some good things from it, but also lost some important cultural traits, which for centuries dominated as values, archetypes in consciousness, helped to survive in the harsh conditions.

Throughout history, we always see what happens as something common, a whole, although in the end, it is most often initiated by the interests of units, all the wars, all the crises of the world and our history. There are always those who rule and vertically influence the masses, who in the end pay the price, often not by force, but by choice. I wanted to show this idea by means of a chess game and the national game of "tug-of-war" in the paintings on the sides of the diptych. On both sides I painted in bright, saturated color that they are chasing giant pawns, sitting on the ground of pleasure with each other, while in the centre the people in the black gloom are fighting themselves. Destroying themselves for other people's interests.

"Mind Games" / canvas, oil / 127×101cm / 2021.

"Mind Games" /Canvas, oil / 130×90cm / 2021.

"Mind Games" / canvas, oil / 130×180 cm / 2021 (diptych)

Sheker Shakir

1996, Almaty. Oral Tansykpaev Almaty College (2016) majoring in Easel Painting. Kazakh National Pedagogical University named after Abay. Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University, fine arts and drawing. The artist has been teaching arts and crafts for the second year in the school of additional education and from this year she introduces the study of digital programs to the circles.

"I am interested in topics formed at the interface between 'relationships' and the specifics of information. Art, for me, is a tool that helps me find answers to my questions. Sometimes these answers, as in science, discredit each other but are necessarily a stepping stone to the next reflection. Actually, the question and answer session is more of a post-production, after the creative part, where you trust in what's going on without being processed or having any meaningful clichés imposed on the processes. More often than not, the world seems to push you into some experiments and then you collaborate and co-create with the material”

Description of the work of the art residence project:

The felt helped to keep warm in winter and protected against dust and insects in summer, when the lower part of the felt covering was lifted up to ventilate the room. I had the idea to replace reeds with wires, which greatly enhances the possibilities, whatever shape it takes - it retains its identity and will be able to be transformed while living, which is also inspired by key aspects of Kazakh culture, like nomadic way of life. Flexibility of consciousness, openness to new perceptions and the removal of old "packages" inherent in a rigid dimension. I love the alternation of new and old materials, after the flexible shim-shi, I have found a similarity to the mat in the film work. It is just as double sided and there are more than these similarities. I think it is not for nothing, enveloping the perimeter of the mats, it closes the circle of the yurt at the door, if necessary, twisting into a spiral over it. I think by locating it in such an important place, the shim-shi was a reminder of the "law of resonance". How the inner state of a person is reflected in the surrounding space. How to concentrate attention on something, recreates that image in density.

Coming back to the theme of "acceleration". Technological progress and its possibilities are in fact a fractal manifestation of the true possibilities of human interaction with each other and with the world. Matter learns itself through these manifestations, allowing us to remember what we are really capable of. It's like a training ground, you can see how since the invention of typography the pace of information processing has accelerated, its perception as if it were stereo. What will be the next spin?

"Aq Bulaq balga aynalaq"/ digital art / 140x110cm / 2021

"SUYIM" / installation / mixed media / 2021

"Seeing Light Seeping Through the Gap Beams the Nimbus of Hearts"/ lenticular print / 33x43 cm / 2021

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MUNISA GULIYEVA
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TALGAT ZHUMAGULOV
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MOLDIR SAGYNDYKOVA
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MUGAMILLA PIRMANTAI
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GALYMZHAN BALSARY
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ALISHER ZHURGENOV
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KADYR MAKSUTKAN
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SHEKER SHAKIR
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ALEKSANDRA KALACHEVA
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MARIA PESKOVA
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