Born in Uzbekistan, Said Atabekov graduated from Shymkent Art College in Kazakhstan where he began his artistic career in 1993 as a member of Red Tractor – the first avant-garde art movement founded in Kazakhstan after Perestroika. Reflecting on dramatic social and political change in the area, which led to the transition from nomadic culture, through communism and on to capitalism in less than a century, Atabekov explores the intersections and local impact of often conflicting cultures, skilfully identifying and animating the aspects that at times seem absurd. Atabekov’s first solo exhibition in 1993, entitled I is not We, was a clear affirmation of a new individual voice in contrast to the traditional Soviet aesthetic of collectivism. This exhibition proposed an important alternative to a post-Soviet environment. While aware of the exoticism associated with the iconographical stereotypes of Central Asian art, he often refers to them with a touch of irony. As a contemporary artist, Atabekov’s work spans a variety of media, from video and photography to sculptures and installations. In 2011 Atabekov was honoured with a Prince Claus Award (Netherlands). Notable recent exhibitions include shows at the Sharjah Art Museum (2014), 5th Moscow Biennale (2013), Central Asia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011, 2007, 2005), Ostalgia, New Museum, New York (2011), Time of the Storytellers, KIASMA, Helsinki (2007) and 9th Istanbul Biennale (2005).