Bishkek, the Berlin of Central Asia? Part 2 – The Loft
Business and Economics, Kyrgyzstan, PhotoblogOne Comment
Following on my theme from earlier last week, while in Bishkek this past summer, I was really interested in the signs of global youth corporate culture spreading into Kyrgyzstan. Probably the clearest example is the artist and start-up collective called The Loft (loft.kg), which serves simultaneously as business cluster, exhibit space and art studio.
Some of these photos were taken at different times of day. And again, apologies for the terrible quality.
The Loft is situated in an old factory on the outskirts of Bishkek. In fact, one side of the building (the left door in the photo) is still operational, producing medical equipment — and it’s rather creepy.
Inevitably, part of the aesthetic are some artifacts from the Soviet era, in this case prints and paintings that had been in storage since the 1980s and that were unearthed during renovations last year.
The coolest office is probably that of iMedia (imedia.kg), a design company. They’ve left in place much of the original industrial character of their space, right down to a decorative chain and hook.
Similarly, the office of Banda (banda.kg) has preserved and adapted much of the building’s previous aesthetic.
The office for the events management group, Sun People (sunpeople.kg), however, has the complete opposite aesthetic approach. They’ve totally remodeled their space so as to resemble a living room, replete with bar.
And then we come to Siroca — I must confess, I don’t remember what kind of company they are — who have simply opted to grace their walls with paintings, including of a certain well-known Kyrgyz director…
In general, it’s a swank place, and perhaps surprising to those who think of Kyrgyzstan simply as an impoverished and “backward” (by globalized standards) country.