Central Asian Project


Central Asian Project is a collaborative exchange organised by Cornerhouse, SPACE (London), and AsiaArt+ (Almaty, Kazakhstan) dedicated to forging new links between the UK and Central Asia. Encompassing exhibitions, artist residencies and cultural exchange, the project aims to increase communication and cultural understanding by acknowledging and reflecting upon the prejudices and preconceptions that are held about other cultures.

UK based-artists Dinu Li, Ruth Maclennan and Shona Illingworth will exhibit work developed during residencies in Central Asia.

Dinu Li’s photography and video investigates issues of identity in contemporary Kazakhstan, looking at dualities between urban and rural, local and global individual and collective. Maclennan’s film Valley of Castles (Hunting Eagles) explores human identification with the golden eagle, a powerful symbol used throughout history on flags and heraldry, whilst Shona Illingworth works with video and sound to examine issues of dislocation.

Kazakhstan-based artist Alexander Ugay will premiere a new series of photos and video completed during a three month residency at SPACE, in summer 2006. Ugay’s practice involves ‘cinema-objects’ in the form of short, experimental films, parables and performances recorded on 16mm Soviet-era video cameras. Central Asian-based artists, Vyacheslav Akhunov, Natalya Dyu and Almagul Menlibayeva, will show their media works alongside their UK colleagues, whilst also developing new works to be shown in a final joint exhibition in Central Asia.

The first joint exhibition of its kind in the UK, Central Asian Project will show at Cornerhouse, and SPACE (Sat 17 February – Sat 14 April), linking events and activities at both venues, before showing in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

space logo


asiaart + logo


Exhibition supported by:

 arts council logo 3



   visiting arts logo

 british council logo


   open society institute



air astana logo

Exhibition launch sponsor

   baltika logo

9 Feb – 1 April 2007
list of works:

Dinu Li

Episodes of Time, 2006/07
Video Installation (3 screen DVD projection)
14 min 30 sec

Slightly Less than 4 Times the Size of Texas, 2006
Digital colour prints on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
Series of 18 prints (Variable sizes)

Ruth Maclennan

Valley of Castles (Hunting Eagles), 2006/7
Video projection with sound, 19 min 50 sec
Thanks to Alexander Ugay, Valery Kortun and Alexei Shindin

Untitled, 2006/7
Series of photographs, sizes variable

Capital, 2007
Video installation with sound, 16 min
Thanks to Elizabeth McGrath, Robin Banerji, and Ben Martin. Elizabeth did the voiceover, and Robin and Ben helped with the recording in the BBC studio.

Shona Illingworth

Execution Ground, 2006
Slide projection

Karlag, 2007
Video projection, 16 min
With special thanks to Yuliya Sorokinin, Guldana Safarova and Larisa Pletnikova and for the generosity of the people in Dolinka and Karaganda who helped me to make this work.

Alexander Ugay “Sasha”

Two Banks, 2006
Series of 7 photographs, A3 size, black and white
Thanks to Yuliya Sorokina

Dog Show, 2006
Video, 10 min 18sec
Produced while on residency at SPACE, London

Vyacheslav Akhunov

Grain for Canary II, 2006
18 min 58 sec
Original idea, director, camera, editor: Vyacheslav Akhunov

Corner, 2004
8 min 50 sec
Director, camera, editor: Vyacheslav Akhunov
Original idea by Vyacheslav Akhunov and Sersey Tichina

Almagul Menlibayeva

On the Road, 2004/05
Performance for Video, MiniDV, 7 min 44 sec, colour, sound
Directed by Almagul Menlibayeva. Camera: Suhita Derova, Valerii Kartun. Performance by Moldagul Narinbetov (Kizil Traktor), Almagul Menlibayeva and Timudjina. Sound by OMFO. Courtesy of Galerie Davide Gallo, Berlin

On the Range, 2004/05
Performance for Video, MiniDV, 5 min 4 sec, sound
Project / directed by Almagul Menlibayeva. Camera: Suhita Derova. Performance by Saltanat Tashimova, Sayana Tezekbayeva, Aliya Sharipbayeva and Almagul Menlibayeva. Courtesy Galerie Davide Gallo, Berlin

SteppenBaroque, 2003-04
Performance for Video, MiniDV, 11 min 14 sec, colour, sound
Directed by Almagul Menlibayeva. Performance by Saltanat Tashimova, Sayana Tezekbaeva, GABO and Almagul Menlibayeva. Camera: Ablikim Akmollaev. Sound selection by OMFO. Dedicated to my seven ancestors. Photo: Renato Salo. Courtesy Galerie Davide Gallo, Berlin

I will never forget this, 2005
Performance for Video, MiniDV, 6 min 10 sec, colour, sound
Director: Almagul Menlibayeva. Performance by Saltanat Disheva, Sayana Tezekbayeva, Gulnur Mukajanova, Almagul Menlibayeva. Reediting by Alexei Tchernyi. Camera: Alexandr Prohorov. Music by OMFO. Courtesy Galerie Davide Gallo, Berlin

JIHAD, 2004
Performance for Video, MiniDV, 4min 48 sec, colour, sound
Director: Almagul Menlibayeva. Performance by Almagul Menlibayeva. Producer, Camera, Sound, Editing: Elena Derova. Musik for film by OMFO

Apa, 2003
Performance for Video, MiniDV, 4 min 23 sec, colour, sound
Director: Almagul Menlibayeva. Performance by 7 Shaman women from Almaty. Working crew: Vadim Antabaev, Ablikim Akmollaev, Arich, Valery Kartoon, Renato Salo. Soundscape by OMFO

Steppenbaroque, 2003
Series of 5 photos on Hahnemuehle Paper, various sizes, colour
Original format 35 mm, printed digitally by David Williams

Natalya Dyu

Melancholy, 2006
Flash movie on Computer

I love Naomi, Naomi loves fruits, 2001
Video on Computer

CAP 17 Feb – 14 Apr 2007
Artists and works


Shona Illingworth

Video, Projected, 2007 (approx 7mins)

Video, Projected, 2007 (6 mins)
With special thanks to Yuliya Sorokinin, Guldana Safarova and Larisa Pletnikova and for the generosity of the people in Dolinka and Karaganda who helped me to make this work.

Ruth Maclennan

Valley of Castles (Hunting Eagles)
Video, Projected, 2006/7 (20mins)
Thanks to Alexander Ugay, Valery Kortun and Alexei Shindin

Video Monitor, 2007, (3mins)

Dinu Li

Chronicle of a Dream Foretold
Director: Dinu Li
Video, Projected, 2006/7 (15mins) Editor: Peter Wobser
Producer: Yuliya Sorokina
Casting Director: Eva Bekher
Location Manager: Mariya Glebova

Vyacheslav Ahunov

Grain for Canary
Video, Projected, 2006 (15mins)

Video, Projected, 2004 (9mins)

Natalya Dyu

I love Naomi, Naomi Loves Fruits
Video, Monitor

Almalgul Menlibayeva

Apa (Ancestors)
Performance for Video, Projected, 2003 (5mins)

Alexander Ugay

Photo-series, 2006

Dog Show
Video, Monitor, 2006 (10mins)

Also exhibited is a video showreel composed by Yuliya Sorokina including other works by contemporary artists based in Central Asia:

Vyacheslav Akhunov, Ulan Dgaparov, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Murat Dgumaliev, Rustam Khalphin, Sergey Maslov, Almagul Menlibayeva, Kyzyl Tractor Group, George Tryakin-Bukharov and Yelena & Victor Vorobyevs.


Bookworks. £10.00

uriel orlow  and ruth maclennan

The issues that the artists Uriel Orlow and Ruth Maclennan raise in their converation inevitably relate to their abiding concerns of archiving and human memory, of how to attempt geographical, historical and other truths, and of differences between pesonal recollections and the collective personal memory for which archives hold the evidence – or some of it. This readymade archive of text and images associatively explores the sensatiosn aroused by our engagement with the past through its material and discursive remains.


Picture This, £16.95

web- ghostingExploring the role of the archive within contemporary film and video practice, this new book from Picture This incorporates essays by Eddie Chambers, Jane Connarty, Amna Malik, Uriel Orlow, Lucy Reynolds and Erika Tan. This publication explores the seductive, even spellbinding effect of archival film on the viewer, evoking a sense of time and nostalgia or conjouring fantasies of history. Ghosting focuses on artists working with the moving image, and the ways in which the archive itself, or archival or found materials have been central to the practice of a number of artists whose work deals with issues of identity, memory or history.

distributed by Cornerhouse publications


Viewpoint Photography Gallery, £7.95

cover of bohemia

Between 1994 and 1996, Dinu Li intermittently lived and worked in Czechoslovakia, staying with a Czech family. Over this period the family’s own photographs were gradually shown to Dinu, who began to refer to them when making his own pictures. The family archive prompted Dinu to look at this catalogue of private memories and to echo and reveal them in his photographs – the repetition of events and themes in family life set against the background of a changing country – birth, growth, separation, marriage, joy, anguish and death.

distributed by Cornerhouse publications



Available from March 2007

Inspired by his mother’s memories, originally told to him as bedtime stories, Dinu Li’s beautiful new collection of photographs Mother of All Journeys triggers a powerful sense of nostalgia. The Gallery Bookshop will be hosting a launch for this book, which is published by Dewi Lewis, on Thursday 22 March from 6pm.


CAIR, £10.00

cover of ten thousand liTen Thousand Li touring exhibition is the unique exposure in Britain of contemporary lens-based work by artists of Chinese descent. Infused by Chinese sensibility, the artists Dinu Li, Yuen-Yi Lo, Yeu-Lai Mo, Pamela So use contemporary visual tools and media in their practice to represent their experiences of living in Britain today, celebrating the cultural fusion that has taken place as a result of the currents of migrants who have taken long cultural and physical journeys. This catalogue seeks to extend the life span of the exhibition tour and contextualize some of the discourses that have arisen.

distributed by Cornerhouse publications



Bukon Studio in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan was founded in 2003, bringing together 20 young artists and designers, led by artist-designer Aidai Asangulova. The distinctive items produced include a range of clothing and accessories, which combine traditional Kyrgyz techniques and materials with a more modern approach. The Studio also develops and implements creative and experimental projects, and organises exhibitions and craft fairs.

In conjunction with the exhibition Central Asian Project, the Gallery Bookshop has a range of items for sale by Aidai Asangulova and Bukon Studio, including jewellery, scarves, bags and gloves. The full range of items can be viewed in the shop.


Like these? You may also be interested in the following titles from the Cornerhouse Gallery Bookshop…


Shisha, £30.00

mapping jpegIn 2002 Shisa initiated the ambitious ArtSouthAsia programme, which encompassed a series of exhibitions and residencies from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Preston, Manchester, Oldham and Liverpool, and a ground-breaking conference at Manchester Art Gallery. Mapping ArtSouthAsia is the legacy of this unique programme, which was visually recorded by photographer Nudrat Afza. An intriguing insight into a new visual and academic discourse between Asia and the West, celebrating the visual and conceptual memories of ArtSouthAsia.

distributed by Cornerhouse publications