About

Asel Kadyrkhanova's artistic research looks at art as a medium of memory. Her specific focus falls on cultural memory and trauma in post-Soviet Kazakhstan. As a postgeneration artist, she explores the question of traumatic "inheritance", seeking to confront symptoms and narratives that persist in postcolonial and post-totalitarian societies.

Kadyrkhanova works across media. Initially trained as a painter, she began to combine her painting and drawing practices with time-based and site-based media. She finds interest in the concepts of embodiment, haptic visuality, place and language, with many of her works employing strong visual metaphors to address lasting Soviet and colonial legacies.

She received her PhD from the University of Leeds in 2021 and an MFA from Newcastle University (2011). Currently, she teaches art as an Assistant Professor at the College of Humanities and Education of Kimep University, Kazakhstan.

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Artist statement

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Education

2016 – 2021

2009 – 2011

2005 – 2007

2001 – 2005

PhD (Practice-led) University of Leeds, UK

MFA, Newcastle University, UK

MA Painting Kazakh National Academy of Arts

BA Painting Kazakh National Academy of Arts

Scholarships and Fellowships

2018

2016

2009

CEC Artslink Fellowship, USA

Leeds Anniversary Research Scholarship

Bolashak Scholarship of the President of Kazakhstan

Publications

2021

The Endless Time After: Art as a Medium of Memory in Post-Stalinist Kazakhstan, in Stalinism in Kazakhstan: History, Memory, Representationed. Zh. Abylkhozhin, M. Akulov, A.Tsai, Lexington Books, Lanham

Teaching and consulting

2021 – on

2019 – 2021

2022

Assistant Professor (Fine Art), College of Humanities and Education, Kimep University, Kazakhstan

Teaching Assistant, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies (FAHACS) University of Leeds, UK

Member of the Consulting Board, Umit 2.0 Programme to support emerging artists, Tselinny Centre for Contemporary Art, Kazakhstan

Conferences and symposia

2022

2020

2019

2019

2019

2018

Witnessing, Memory, and Crisis, School of Art, Heritage and Memory, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Prisms of Silence, Communicating Difficult Pasts, International Symposium, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn

Dreams and Atrocity, International Symposium, Humanities Research Institute, Sheffield University, UK

Third Annual Conference of Memory Studies Association, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain

The Seventh Annual Doctoral Research Workshop

Art and Culture – Actors or Representatives? Central Asian Research Network, Royal Holloway, University of London

Annual Conference of CESS Central Eurasian Studies Society, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA 

Recent exhibitions and screenings

2022

2021

2019

2019

2018

2018

2018

2017

2017

2017

Moving Image from Central Asia, Davra Collective public programme, Documenta 15, Kassel, Germany

Calvert Journal Film Festival, London, UK

Living Memory, Almaty City Museum, Kazakhstan

CITATION, an exhibition within European Artistic Research Network (EARN) conference, Leeds, UK

Focus Kazakhstan: Post-Nomadic Mind, Wapping Project, London, UK

At the Corner: City, Place, People, Tselinny Centre for Contemporary Art, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Mixer Sessions III, Mixer Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey

Windows of Tolerance (solo show), Project Space, University of Leeds, UK

Suns and Neons above Kazakhstan, Yarat Contemporary Museum of Art, Baku, Azerbaijan

Internal Memory: Not Enough Space?  Video screening programme by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

Artist Talks

2018

2018

2018

2018

Artist Lecture, California College of the Arts, SF, USA

Artist talk, Silk Road House, Berkeley, CA, USA

Paired dialogue with Inga Lace at Artists and Global Citizenship: CEC Artslink Assembly, Lenfest Center for the Arts, Columbia University, USA

In conversation with Dr Katy Deepwell, Almagul Menlibayeva, within Focus Kazakhstan project, Wapping Project, London, UK

Artist Residencies

2018

2015

2015

Artist  in Residence, California College of the Arts, CA, USA

Protagonists: The Invisible Pavillion of Kazakhstan, group residency by IADA during 56th Venice Biennale. St Erasmo, Italy

The Eighth River, group residency and land art exhibition, Ile Alatau National Park, Kazakhstan

Summer Schools

2017

2013

'Memory in the Digital Age: Comparative Genocide Studies', Bergen-Belsen Memorial Centre, Germany

Summer School for Theories and Practices of Contemporary Art, Eurasian Cultural Alliance, Tien Shan Astronomic Observatory, Kazakhstan