An exhibition of young Kazakhstani artists, On Love and Other Teachers, brings together the works of sixteen Kazakhstani artists, all under the age of 35, whose artistic practices span across diverse media such as video, performance, painting, installation, and graffiti. The exhibition's central themes revolve around the concept of love, including expressions of passion, desire, nostalgia, and empathy, as well as more personal narratives connecting the artists' unique experiences to those of the viewing public. Ultimately, On Love and Other Teachers seeks to translate an individual's experience of love, a "universal" human emotion, to the shared collective consciousness and urban condition.
The exhibition's title is borrowed from a film by exhibiting artist Ada Yu. Her work incorporates photography, choreography, and installation.
Syrlybek Bekbotayev's installation is calling attention to the political and social realities of those who inhabit these areas, their families and loved ones. Aigerim Mazhitkhankyzy's installation is comprised of symbols connected to archaic tribes that the artist re-contextualized as modern road signs. The installations by Alexandra Ali, Suinbike Suleimenova, and Ainur Kozhabayeva transform a part of the garage into a surreal and romantic space. The use of neon light and color creates an almost futuristic aesthetic, psychologically interacts with viewers and seduces them.
Graffiti artists Andrew, Dmn and Rekon also utilized the exhibition space as their canvas. Together, these artists, whose work is usually associated with youth culture and underground venues like a parking garage, recreate a domestic environment before returning it to the "streets" through their respective writing styles.
Asel Kadyrkhanova's installations invoke the power of memory, innocence and wonder through the artist's use of unexpected objects and surreal colors.
The paintings of Sholpan Sharbakova, liberated from their stretchers, are displayed as sculptures. Anya Sand and Kamilla Gabdullina work in more traditional media, specifically drawing and painting. Their subjects range from inanimate objects with symbolic significance to emotional portraits and abstracted figurative landscapes. Finally, artists Anastasiya Silkina, Alpamys Batyrov, and Ainur Kozhabayeva also employ painterly abstraction in their respective works to touch upon various aspects of human emotion and relationships, both personal and universal.
Together, the exhibition juxtaposes different visions on the eternal subject of love, as understood by each of the invited artists. The resulting works express emotions – desire, lust, bliss, and even suffering – that help us understand something important about ourselves as individuals, while teaching us greater lessons about the nature of humanity as a whole.