August 22, 2014


5th International Contemporary Art Festival
28 August–29 September 2014


ARTBAT FEST celebrates urban art and contemporary culture through a series of public installations and curated exhibitions in alternative venues. For its fifth edition, the festival returns to Almaty with more than 30 artists, both local and international, and a focus on social progress.

SmartCity is an art project exploring the potential impact of art on social behavior favorable to the environment and society. The project also studies the aesthetic impact on the development of infrastructure of the city. Its concept is based on the principle of using art and design to improve public space, focusing on the role of creative disciplines in urban development programs and the goal of balancing social, economic and environmental issues with infrastructure needs.” 
–Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, curator, 5th International Contemporary Art Festival ARTBAT FEST—SmartCity

The core of ARTBAT FEST is the Public Art Project, comprised of site-specific installations woven throughout Almaty’s pedestrian area locally knows as “Arbat.” By weaving these artworks into the city’s urban fabric, ARTBAT FEST promotes contemporary art’s exposure to a broad public audience. Participating artists include Sam Adams and Mohammed Jan (UK), Aleksander Lysov (Russia), Martin Denker and Friedermann Banz (Germany), EVOL (Germany), Pavel Kiselov (Russia), Rashad Alakbarov (Azerbaijan), Société Réaliste (France), Pierre Laurent (France), Refunk (Netherlands) and MishMash project (Russia). Said Atabekov (Kazakhstan), Sarlibek Bekbotaev (Kazakhstan), Saul Suleimanov (Kazakhstan), Georgi Triakin-Bucharov (Kazakhstan) and Smail Bailiev (Kazakhstan) and performances by Salvatore Viviano (Italy) and René Stessl (Austria).

In addition to the Public Art Project, ARTBAT FEST presents a series of exhibitions in diverse venues across Almaty.

ON LOVE and Other Teachers, a group show occupying a vast underground parking garage, brings together 17 young Kazakh artists whose work relates to the exhibition’s themes of emotion, passion, desire and empathy. The exhibition’s title is borrowed from a film by artist Ada Yu, who will also stage a performance during the vernissage. Other participating artists include Alexandra Ali, Syrlybek Bekbotayev, Kamilla Gabdullina, Assel Kadyrkhanova, Aigerim Mazhitkhankyzy, Sholpan Sharbakova, Anastasiya Silkina, Suinbike Suleimenova, Alpamys Batyrov, Ainur Kozhabayeva, Annya Sand, Andrew, DMN, REKON, and Alexy Shindin. ON LOVE will transform the gritty garage into a seductive and surreal environment, with an “art bar” and various pop-up events. Produced together with the IADA (International Association of Art), ON LOVE is curated by Dina Baitassova (Kazakhstan) and Emilie Trice (USA). 

Kazahk artist and curator Gaisha Madanova and the Dutch artist group REFUNK have teamed up for two projects: The Non – Central City Project, located in the Koktem micro-district, and the Communication Playground Youth Project on Abylai Khan Street. Conceptualized by Madanova, who’s currently based in Germany, the work will be visualized on site by REFUNK. Utilizing industrial and household materials, REFUNK creates full-immersion installations and champion the philosophy that everyday materials can and should be elevated to the realm of art. 

Beginning September 4, Artwin Gallery, a Moscow gallery recently established by sisters Madina and Mariana Gogov, will present a solo exhibition by established Ukrainian artist Oksana Mas at the Kasteyev State Museum of Art in Almaty. 

“The main purpose of ARTBAT FEST is to create a communication platform for cultural exchange between representatives of international and Kazakhstan’s artistic communities. In addition, we aim to bring a new artistic vision to the urban development of our young and emerging city.” 
–Igor Sludsky, Head of the Public Association Eurasian Cultural Alliance

The Eurasian Cultural Alliance is a non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 2011 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Today the Eurasian Cultural Alliance works towards socio-economic development of the Republic Of Kazakhstan in the fields of culture and creative economy. The main goal of the Alliance is the promotion of Kazakh modern art, Kazakh artists and cultural projects locally and abroad. 

More information and the detailed program on

Curator: Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt
Organisers: Eurasian Cultural Alliance 
Strategic Partners: The Major’s Office of the City of Almaty, RDI and IADA
Partners: British Council in Kazakhstan, Alliance Française, Goethe-Institut Kazakhstan, Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantin Sorokin Foundation, Artwin Gallery, Buro 24/7, Almaly Shopping Center, Serik Booxikov Workshop and shopping mall TSUM Almaty

Press Kazakhstan: Olga Veselova
T +7 701 888 26 57 / pr [​at​]

Press International: BOOMBOOMpr
T + 7 499 557 00 20 / bruno [​at​]