International and regional experts

Said Abu Shaqra -director of the Umm al-Fahm Art Gallery.

The gallery was founded in 1996 in the heart of Umm al-Fahm, as the initiative of artist Sayid Abu Shaqra, who to this day serves as the gallery's director and head curator. Jewish and Arab artists' works can be found at the gallery, as well as works of other Arab artists and from the Western World. This gallery is said to be the meeting place for Israeli and Arab artists.

Thomas Elsen (Germany) - Head and curator of the Neue Galerie im Höhmannhaus and the Center for Contemporary Art in Glasspalace - H2, Augsburg, Germany.

In 1996, Thomas Elsen founded the Neue Galerie im Höhmannhaus, a new space of experimental art. In 2006, he also founded H2 - Center for Contemporary Art at Glasspalace.

H2 is a temporary exhibition hall and experimental space at the same time. The 2,000 m² exhibition halls are located in an industrial building, a former spinning and weaving mill. In addition to exhibitions, temporary installations, tours, concerts and film screenings, the center offers a public art library of the 20th and 21st centuries, an art library and educational programs.

Thibaut de Ruyter is an independent curator, based in Berlin and active since ten years in Germany, France and the former Soviet Countries.


In 2014 he made his first trip to Central Asia, followed in 2015 by the curation of « ALUAN » (an exhibition on paper for Kazakhstan) and «  Die Grenze », an exhibition questioning the border between Asia and Europe through contemporary art and that was displayed at the Palace of Creative Youth in Tashkent early this year.

Vyacheslav Useinov was born in 1962 in the city of Fergana (Uzbekistan). In 1985 he graduated from art school in Bobruisk (Belarus) with a degree in stone carving.
He participated in all-union, republican, regional and international exhibitions.

The works of Vyacheslav Useinov are in the Samarkand State Museum, in the Ferghana Regional Museum, in the Directorate of Art Exhibitions in Tashkent, in the State Museum of Art of Uzbekistan. Tashkent city, in private collections and galleries in Russia, USA, France, Italy, Japan, Australia and Israel, as well as in the collection of the World Bank in Washington. (USA)

Tamara Janashia (Georgia) is arts manager and consultant with a proven record of more than 18 years of working in the field of culture and carrying out of different cultural activities.

She is the founder and executive director of the NGO Culture and Management Lab (est. in 2010) which is active in the realm of arts management, cultural exchange and works on the issues of cultural policy and strategic development of creative industries in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Visual artist and writer Donald Fels is active in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He also studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of Washington. Fels has been a Fulbright Fellow to Italy (1985-6), a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar to India (2004-5), and in 2019-20 is a Fulbright Scholar in Uzbekistan.

He participated in the 2010 Venice Architectural Biennale, Prospect.2– the American Biennale in New Orleans in 2012, and in 2015, India’s biennale, held in Kochi, Kerala. His work is in collections worldwide.


From 1995-2015, Fels was a trustee of Seattle’s contemporary art museum, the Henry Art Gallery. He has written about art and culture for The Seattle Times, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, ARCADE, crosscut, The Seattle Weekly, City Arts, The SF Chronicle, the LA Times, and Le Monde. He was founding President of the Board of Directors of REFLEX, the art magazine.

Valentina Kiseleva (Belarus) - Director, curator and manager of the "Ў"  Contemporary Art Gallery in Minsk.

Valentina was born in 1966 in the city of Angren, Uzbekistan. Since 1979, lives and works in Minsk, Belarus.

In 2004, Valentina founded the PODZEMKA gallery and, until 2009, she was its director and curator. From 2009 to the present, she is a co-founder, director, curator and project manager of the Gallery of Contemporary Art "Ў".

Ulan Japarov (Kyrgyzstan), architect, head of the Museum Architectural Studio ("Museum"), curator of contemporary art projects.

Ulan Japarov was born on September 5, 1960 in the city of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In 1983 he graduated from the Frunze Polytechnic Institute, faculty of architecture.

From 1999 to 2003, annually published the literary and artistic almanac "URBI et ORBI", where he served as editor-in-chief. At the moment he is the head of the architectural firm Studio MUSEUM (chief architect).

Since 1997, Ulan has been a regular participant in contemporary art exhibitions in Kyrgyzstan and abroad, and also serves as a curator of many projects.

Bokonbaev Gamal Dzhapievich (Kyrgyzstan) - artist, curator from Kyrgyzstan. Born November 26, 1958 in Bishkek. He graduated from the Frunze Polytechnic Institute, Faculty of Architecture. From 1981 to 1985 he worked as a senior architect of the Main Architectural Directorate. After three years he worked as a graphic designer at the Kyrgyz Advertising Agency.

From 1988 to 1993, Gamal Dzhapievich worked in the FUTURA cooperative, and after that he was a free artist. In 1996, he joined the Union of Artists of the Kyrgyz Republic. From 2005 to 2007, Gamal Dzhapievich worked as the editor-in-chief of the almanac for the culture of Central Asia “KURAK”, and from 2008 he became the editor-in-chief of the periodical “CX” of the Union of Artists of the Kyrgyz Republic.

From 2010 to the present day, Gamal Bokonbaev has been Chairman of the TOLON MUSEUM Public Fund. Since 2012, he has been working as a senior lecturer in the Department of Design of the Architectural Environment of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in Bishkek, and since 2013 he has been a lecturer of the Union of Artists of the Kyrgyz Republic.

In 2018, Gamal Dzhapievich was awarded the title “Honored Worker of Culture of the Kyrgyz Republic”.

Cholpon Tentieva (Kyrgyzstan) - art critic, curator of international exhibition projects.

Cholpon was born on April 12, 1981. Lives and works in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

In 2012, she became the head of the marketing and development department of the KNIIII named after G. Aitieva, over the years, museum-educational programs have been developed: “Meetings at the Museum” (art lecture hall), “Interactive Museum”, “Museum without Borders” (inclusive education for children with disabilities, children from orphanages), “ Weekend at the Museum ”,“ Vacation at the Museum ”,“ Quarter of the Arts ”, etc.

In 2014, she organized the sociocultural event in the country, “Museum Night”.

Since 2016, Cholpon has been the director of the exhibition hall of the Union of Artists “Oak Park”. He is also deputy director of the Memorial House-Museum M.V. Frunze. Since 2017, she has been an independent expert of Taza Coom in the development of cultural kadam.

Recently, Cholpon was appointed head of the Department for the Preservation and Development of the Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of Kyrgyzstan. In addition, she is the founder of the OYOUM creative group and often takes part in international projects.

Julia Sorokina (Kazakhstan) is an independent curator of contemporary art, lecturer, author of texts. She is a member of CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art). Julia teaches at the T.K.Zhurgenov Kazakh National Academy of Arts and is the editor of the Central Asian Art History Journal

Julia Sorokina was born on February 22, 1965 in a family of landscapers in the city of Schuchinsk (Kazakhstan). At the moment she lives and works in Almaty (Kazakhstan).

In 1987, Julia graduated from the Kazakh Pedagogical Institute. Abay (Almaty, Kazakhstan), faculty of graphic arts. In 1992, she also graduated from the graduate school of cinematology at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (Moscow), as well as art management courses in 1998-1999 at the European Summer Academy of Culture and Management (Salzburg) and the Institute of Cultural Studies (Vienna, Austria).

Since 1999, Julia has been Chairman of the Board of the Asia Art + Public Foundation, co-founder of which she became in 1996. In 2017, she received a PhD degree from the Kazakh National Academy of Arts. T.Zhurgeneva. Participated in a number of residences and prestigious foreign programs.

Aigerim Kapar (Kazakhstan) - curator, founder of the creative communication platform Artcom. Co-curator of the Festival of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design Astana Art Fest. Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Aigerim was born in 1987, lives and works in Astana. She oversees and organizes exhibitions, urban art interventions, discussions, lectures, workshops, collaborates with museums, galleries, scientific and educational institutions.

In 2015, Aigerim, together with the art community, founded the open platform “Artcom”, which is engaged in the creation of an enabling environment for the development of contemporary art and culture in Kazakhstan. “Artcom” brings together cultural figures, art and scientific institutions to exchange experiences, search for channels of interaction with society and implement joint interdisciplinary projects.

In 2017, Aigerim initiated the informal school Art Collider - when art meets science. Where artists and scholars jointly conduct art research, lectures and discussions on relevant topics. School results are presented at exhibitions, publications and video materials.

Marat Sagit (Kazakhstan) - sculptor, production designer.

From 1984 to 1989 he studied at the Alma-Ata Theater and Art Institute as a designer. After graduating from the institute for nine years, Marat participated in exhibitions of underground art (painting), also studied and practiced the art, philosophy and spiritual culture of India.

Nigora Akhmedova (Uzbekistan) - Doctor of Arts, professor, curator of contemporary art exhibitions, as well as an academician of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan and an honorary professor of the Kazakh Academy of Arts named after A. Zhurgenova.

Main research interests: art of Central Asian states of the twentieth century. - beginning of the XXI century, contemporary art.

Nigora Akhmedova graduated from the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. I.E. Repina in St. Petersburg - Faculty of "History and Theory of Art". For a long time, she headed the department of "History and Theory of Art" at the National Institute of Arts and Design named after K. Behzad.

In 2003, Nigora defended her doctoral dissertation "Features of the development of painting of Central Asian states." Over the next six years, she headed the Department of "Fine Arts" of the Institute of Art Studies of ASRUz.

At present, he is the chief research associate of the Fine Arts department of the Institute of Art Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan.

Alexey Ulko, born in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) in 1969. Studied English at Samarkand University and obtained an MEd TTELT degree from the University of St Mark and St John (UK). Taught English and Literary Analysis at the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages and since 2003 has been working as a freelance consultant in English, Culture Studies and Art.


Has been making experimental films since 2007 and is an active writer about Central Asian contemporary art. Current artistic interests: experimental cinema, photography, visual poetry. Member of the European Society for Central Asian Studies, the Association of Art Historians (UK) and the Central Eurasian Studies Society (USA).  

Barno Turgunova (Uzbekistan) - project curator, art manager.

In 1981, she graduated from the Department of Psychology at Tashkent State University (now the National University of Uzbekistan), and two years later completed her postgraduate studies in social psychology at the Institute of Psychology in Moscow. In 1994, Barno graduated with an MBA in Business and Management from Leuven, Belgium.

Since 1999, she began her career in international organizations. In 2003-2014, she worked at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) as the National Manager for Culture and the Arts and Leader of the team for the Regional Program for Arts and Culture.

Victoria Erofeeva (Uzbekistan) - art critic.

In 2012, Victoria graduated from the Kamoliddin Behzod National Institute of Arts and Design with a degree in theory and history of fine art. From 2016 to the present day, he is the manager and art critic of the gallery of the private gallery ZERO LINE. Participates in the organization of exhibitions and events in the gallery, writes articles and lectures on art for adults and children.

In September 2018, she became a member of the Goethe Institute project (Tashkent) for cultural managers of the Cultural Academy of Central Asia for art managers.

Victoria Erofeeva is the author of analytical articles on the work of Uzbek artists, exhibitions of contemporary art and art education.

Gulnara Ishmuratova (Uzbekistan) - curator, art manager.

Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. From 1996 to 2000 she studied at the department "Costume Designer" at the Republican College of Art. After four years, she studied at the Department of Art History at the National Institute of Arts and Design. K. Bekzoda.


From 2004 to 2008, Gulnara was the head of the exhibitions department of the Directorate of Art Exhibitions at the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. In 2008, she became a member of the Creative Association of Artists of Uzbekistan. For the next six years, she was the curator of exhibitions at the Youth Creativity Palace.


From 2015 to 2017 she was a senior researcher at the Art Exhibitions Directorate at the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. In 2017, Gulnara worked at the Youth Creativity Palace.

Daler Rakhmatov (Tajikistan) - screenwriter, director. Member of the Union of Filmmakers of Tajikistan.

Daler is the director and screenwriter of more than 20 documentaries, as well as commercials and social videos. His project "Papa, mom, my younger sister and Antalya!" Produre au Sud Workshop, Festival des 3 Continents, France, 2012

Also, Daler was a member of the jury of the International Film Festival "Moscow Premiere", Moscow, 2019.

Sevara Ganibaeva (Tajikistan) - art critic, author and co-author of many articles on the visual arts and the history of the costume of Tajikistan.

Born July 30, 1993. Currently lives in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. From 2009 to 2013, she studied as a designer and designer at the Republican Art College. M. Olimova. Along the way, she worked as an assistant to the sound engineer at the Bazmoro Concert and Concert Administration under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan. For the next four years she studied at the Department of Art Studies at the State Institute of Fine Arts and Design of Tajikistan.


From 2017 to 2019, she received a master's degree in art history. Since 2019, he has been an assistant professor of art at the State Institute of Fine Arts and Design of Tajikistan.

Kamilla Saryeva (Tajikistan) - art critic, teacher, as well as interior and exterior designer.

Born June 20, 1992 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. From 2009 to 2013, she studied at the Department of Interior and Exterior Design at the Republican Art College. M. Olimova. For the next four years she studied at the Department of Art Studies at the State Institute of Fine Arts and Design of Tajikistan. From 2017 to 2019, she received a master's degree in art history.

Camilla is the author of articles, scientific articles in the magazines "Historian", "Art", "News of Culture" of Tajikistan. More than once she took part in exhibitions, including the Republican Festival "Rassomi Navras", the Winter Exhibition and sale of works by artisans of Tajikistan and others.