An Expert Evaluates Central Asian Art Trends
The collapse of the former Soviet Union had a devastating impact on arts and culture in Central Asia and the Caucasus. The creative processes of artists, writers and musicians have suffered as they have struggled to adjust to market realities. In addition, the popular market for arts and culture has contracted, as the general population now has fewer resources to devote to leisurly pursuits. Despite the difficulties, some artists persist in creating new works. Irina Yuferova, owner of the Voyager art gallery in Almaty, Kazakhstan, spoke to EurasiaNet about the latest trends in the Central Asian art world.
EurasiaNet: What difficulties do artists face? Do they have problems supporting themselves?
Yuferova: Yes, that is why some of the artists try to produce so-called commercial paintings, and at the same time spend some time on developing new projects. Others apply for different grant programs. But unfortunately there are few organizations that are willing to support modern art. Most of them work with educational programs, or in the social field. That is why I believe that organizations like the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts [based in Almaty] is very important. It is one of the only institutions in the city that supports artists.