Saule Suleimenova’s exhibition “Buses and Bus Stops”, Tengri-Umai Gallery, May 29-June 29, 2007
[inspic=18,left,,0]Attending the opening of the personal exhibit of Saule Suleimenova is a chance to see the evolution of an artist who is capturing the daily life of the streets of Almaty. Saule captures the moments that are the “new” Almaty. She uses her personal aesthetic and media (wax and pigment on paper) to capture the streets of Almaty in transit.
Saule is able to make sense of something that otherwise may not have been seen as interesting if not something one wants to forget about in their daily commute. The colors and images of her work are the passing moments that one experiences when waiting and riding in public transit. You can almost feel the rush of wind of an open bus window. You can almost feel the pushing of passengers in a smelly stuffy bus. You can almost hear the sound of the bus gears grinding and rattling as you feel it jerk below you as you hold on for dear life. The sounds and smells of the streets are the only thing missing here when Saule captures these moments and makes art out of the daily commute.
The wealth from oil has contributed to the rise of automobile culture in Kazakhstan. Almaty may not be a city planned to have so many automobiles. Most of the drivers may have questionable driving skills, but no doubt about it there are more cars in Almaty than ever. From my experience if I’m on the streets of Almaty I can probably see a car accident once or twice a day!
Saule sees this rise in traffic and commute time in the daily lives of the people of Almaty and makes art from her observations. She depicts this new way of life developing in the rapidly changing city during the oil and architectural boom of 21st century Almaty.[inspic=19,right,fullscreen,thumb]
Saule Suleimenova born in 1970 is one of the Perestroika artists who was an active member of the Green Triangle art collective. Over the years, Saule proved that she is not a static artist. She is often working on different series at one time. For the last few years she’s been working on several series depicting the daily lives of traditional Kazakh and contemporary Kazakh society and how the lines often blur between them. In addition, she has works depicting love and intimacy. She has also taken part in art based on performance.
Her long relationship with the Tengri Umai gallery is seen here. Many works from her previous series are also on display in the upstairs gallery. I should note that the artist and the curators of the gallery have worked very hard to make a flawless exhibit that is professional if not a little too contained and sterile for an artist like Saule Suleimenova.
The sponsors of the exhibit also printed a wonderful catalogue to go with the exhibit that includes Saule’s poetry.
“Buses and Bus-stops” will run from the 29th of May to the 29 of June 2007.
Tengri Umai’s new location is 103 Panfilova St. Almaty Kazakhstan. Ring the doorbell. The gallery is located on the Rabat across from TSUM in the city center.
Telephone number: +7 327 273 57 66
Web site: www.tu.kz