Central Asian galleries to become the next successful art market trend in Dubai?

Dubai, 22 January 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan are gradually moving into the art market. A notable step forward in the field was made through the opening of an art gallery in Dubai owned by two Uzbek women, intended to show the work of artists from across Central Asia.

Alif Gallery was founded by Natalya Andakulova and Gayane Umerova. Both women were born and raised in Uzbekistan before settling in Dubai and London respectively. The holder of a Business Art MA from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, Umerova appears as a specialist of Central Asian modern and contemporary art and has curated the Sixth Tashkent Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2011. Her partner, Andakulova, graduated from the Pedagogical Institute in Samarqand and received training at the Japanese Centre for Human Development in Tashkent. She turned to private art dealing as a result of her studies at the Republican College of Art in Tashkent.

Their Dubai-based gallery aims at showcasing Central Asian art and promoting an understanding of the rich Central Asian culture through educational programmes.

According to Umerova, “on the whole this art is figurative, not very conceptual: it is influenced by the Silk Road and the various currents that came through the region.” Is Alif Gallery to set a new trend of Central Asian galleries opening in Dubai and elsewhere?