Smail Bayaliev

Born in 1952 in the village of Iskander, a former South Kazakhstan region now belonging to Uzbekistan, Smail Bayaliyev graduated from Tashkent College of the Arts. Since 1981, Bayalieyv has lived and worked in the city of Shymkent, Kazakhstan, where he was a part of the first stages of the formation of the art collective Kyzyl Tractor.

By the early 1990’s, Kyzyl Tractor became one the most recognizable artistic phenomena of its time. Starting his artistic journey through painting and collage, Bayaliyev has slowly transmitted massive public art pieces, performances and mixed-media artworks which often involve the use of kashma, a central Asian wool. Bayaliyev’s work centers around classical and regional themes, picturing still-lifes of horses and nomadic heritage that is encrypted in cultural codes of today’s society. Bayaliev has create his own unconventional way of deconstructing and revisiting these themes. His sculptures of horses are often left undone and raw, uncovering the ontological incompleteness of those animals when it comes to their roles in the past vs. modern society. In his other series, Bayeliev was inspired by suprematism, surrealism, and cubism, placing those rather western movements into an authentic context of Central Asian crafts and motifs. An active and contributing member of Kyzyl Tractor, Bayaliev’s signature exhibitions have included the seventh biennial in Tashkent, the 2003 quadriennale in Prague, ARTBAT FEST 8, and other local and international exhibitions.

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Thinking collections, telling tales: “Focus Kazakhstan” Part III in Jersey City – artist profile + curator interview

Jersey City’s Mana Contemporary hosts the third instalment of “Focus Kazakhstan” featuring the work of Kyzyl Tractor Art Collective.

Art Radar speaks with curator Leeza Ahmady about the collective’s work amongst nomadic, Sufi and Shamanistic philosophies.

Art Radar, October 23, 2018


Contemporary Kazakhstan

To get an idea about the Kazakhstan contemporary art scene we asked eight competent people of art for some insights. Dina Baitassova, founder of IADA International Art Development Association, Galina Koretskaya, specialist on questions of development and cultural policy in Almaty Mayor’s Office Department of Culture, artists Galim Madanov, Zauresh Terekbay, and Almagul Menlibayaeva, independent curator and artist Gaisha Madanova, Igor Sludskiy, head of the public association “Eurasian Cultural Alliance” and organizer of the contemporary art festival ArtBatFest in Almaty, and the young filmmaker Malik Zenger talk about the artists to follow and what is happening in contemporary culture in Kazakhstan.



The Museum of Contemporary Art in Strasbourg, France is currently presenting a selection of work by Kazakh artists. 

The ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan is a land of rich ancestral histories, plural cultures and radical artistic inspirations. The poetically titled exhibition “Life is a Legend” (2014) is a groundbreaking show that reveals a hitherto unknown side of Kazakhstan.

Art Radar, January 30, 2015


Kazakhstan's art team exhibition unveils in New York

A retrospective exhibition of Kazakhstan's Kyzyl Tractor (Red Tractor) art team themed Collection of Thoughts: Making up Stories has unveiled in New York under the Rukhani Janghyru program as part of Focus Kazakhstan project and the Asian Contemporary Arts Week.

KAZINFORM, 18 October 2018