Central Eurasian Art Exhibition beuys on/off: felt, fat, and fictions

Sep 3 (Fri) 9:00-18:00
Sep 4 (Sat) 9:00-21:00
Sep 5 (Sun) 9:00-18:00

Goethe-Institut Tokyo, Foyer

beuys on/off

beuys on/off is a cross-disciplinary art project organised by the Goethe Institut Tokyo to commemorate the centenary of German artist Joseph Beuys.

The EURASIA program of beuys on/off  invites Tokyo audiences to observe and reflect on felt, fat, and fictions in Central Eurasian contemporary art curated by Dominique Chen, an information scientist from Japan, and Selbi Jumayeva, a researcher from Turkmenistan. The in-person exhibit runs from September 3 to September 5 at the Goethe Institut Tokyo. The EURASIA program welcomes a broader audience to meet the artists during an online public launch of the exhibition on September 2.

On the 100th birthday of Joseph Beuys, Dominique invited Selbi to join him in co-leading the EURASIA program of beuys on/off project by Goethe Institute Tokyo. Dominique initially planned to organize an offline postal relay across Eurasia, but instead Selbi curated an unique opportunity for him to learn from, connect with, and immerse into the complex and multifold arts, science and culture community of contemporary Central Eurasia.

Starting his program as a ‘search for Eurasia’, a mythical Beuysian concept evoking collision of the West and East as manifest in Joseph Beuys himself, under the guidance of Selbi, Dominique gradually arrived into a reality of many de/entangled Easts of his own linked, looped, and shared with and his Eurasian peers. This curated online journey became an exchange of artistic perspectives, conceptual insights, and personal experiences documented in more than 60 hours of meetings and 500 pages of notes for Dominique and Selbi. This exhibition beuys on/off: felt, fat, and fictions stitches a few of those notes together with reflections of artists from Central Eurasia who truly own the felt in contemporary art, indulge in the fat of everyday life, and embrace the fictions in Central Eurasia.

Participating Artists

Chingiz Aidarov, b. 1984, Bishkek/Moscow
When canvas and brushes were not enough, Chingiz Aidarov realized that his own mind is his ideal studio: free of charge and limitless potential for maneuver. He employs his body as art material and the urban commons as an exhibition venue, documenting his performances on the go. While freeing himself from the walls and materials of institutionalized art, Chingiz embeds himself and his peers into the physical and cultural totality of public space and its possibilities. Trained as a painting teacher at home in Kyrgyzstan, Chingiz Aidarov is currently a labour migrant in Russia.

Ziliia Kanchurina, b. 1992, Ufa/Vienna
Native to Bashkortostan, Ziliia reimagines images of the warrior shield for her community, situating herself in the postcolonial condition while deriving her own handcraft practice from other techniques synthesized from across Central Eurasia. She creates large-scale art installations and theatre sets to address cultural dis/connection amidst intense Russification pressures. As part of her daily art process, Ziliia turns her observations and reactions into felt sculptures.  Ziliia currently studies at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and holds degrees from Russian Institute of Theatre Arts GITIS, Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow, and Ufa College of Art.

Altynai Osmoeva, b. 1988, Bishkek
Coming from a family of generational artisans, Altynai creates mixed media installations and metal-on-felt paintings that reflect the centrality of folk art in Kyrgyz nomadic livelihoods. She has spent her career travelling across Eurasia from Western Europe to Asia Pacific, including the Middle East, Central and South Asia. Altynai researches and practices textile art traditions while co-creating together with artisans around the world. Altynai holds a degree in Fashion Design and Print from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of Arts London.