Born in 1965 in Bes-Terek, Uzbekistan, Said Atabekov currently lives and works in Shymkent, Kazakhstan.
Said Atabekov began creating art in 1993 as a member of the Kyzyl Tractor artist group. As a witness to the successive waves of social and political change in Kazakhstan, an area which saw a transition from nomadic culture to communism and then to capitalism in less than a hundred years, Atabekov explores the intersections and local impact of often conflicting cultures and skillfully identifies and animates elements that reveal their deeper paradoxes. Like many of today's artists, Atabekov's work spans a variety of media, from video and photography to sculptures and installations. His use of ethnographic signs is heavily influenced by recollections of the Russian avant-garde and Post-Soviet realities, along with an intimate and often touching analysis of his condition as a contemporary artist. While acutely aware of the attractiveness of the exoticism associated with iconographical stereotypes of Central Asian art, he often refers to them with a touch of irony.
Notable recent exhibitions include Suns and Neons above Kazakhstan at the Yarat in Baku (2017), The Other & Me at the Sharjah Art Museum (2014), the 5th Moscow Biennale (2013), Central Asia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011, 2007, 2005), Ostalgia at the New Museum in New York (2011), Time of the Storytellers at the KIASMA in Helsinki (2007), 9th Istanbul Biennale (2005).