Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev’s installations explore the harsh political and economic realities of their native Kyrgyzstan, emphasising the difficulties of everyday life in Central Asia. Their work highlights the dexterity that characterises the people of this impoverished region. Music often plays a significant role in their installations, adding a visceral touch to their matter-of-fact footage of everyday life.
Kasmalieva and Djumaliev’s solo and group exhibitions include Something about Contemporary Nomadism, Aspan Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan (2017); A Global Table, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands (2017); 3rd Aichi Triennale, Japan (2016); 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane (2015); Brooklyn Bridge, The Cube Project Space, Taipei (2013); One Sixth of the Earth. Ecologies of Image, MUSAC, Leon, Spain (2012); The Eye is a Lonely Hunter: Images of Humankind, Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, Germany (2011); Lonely at the Top, M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium (2010); Artes Mundi 4, Wales International Visual Art Exhibition, National Museum Cardiff, UK (2010); Scènes Centrales, TriPostal, Lille, France (2009); Naked Life, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (2007); Sharjah Biennial 8 (2007) and Venice Biennale (2005).
Kasmalieva and Djumaliev have received the Prince Claus Award, Amsterdam (2010), and also nominated for Artes Mundi 4, Wales International Visual Art Exhibition and Prize, National Museum Cardiff (2010).
Kasmalieva studied at Kyrgyz State College of Fine Art (1975–1979), the Department of Graphics, Moscow Academy of Fine Arts (1980–1986), and Tallinn Academy of Fine Arts, Estonia (1988–1990). Djumaliev studied in the Department of Sculpture, Kyrgyz State Art College (1980–1984) and Mukhina Academy of Art and Design, St Petersburg, Russia (1984–1991).
Kasmalieva and Djumaliev were born in Bishkek in 1960 and 1965, respectively. They continue to live and work in their birthplace.