Said Atabekov Lives and works in Shymkent, Kazakhstan and is a graduate of the Shymkent Art College. He is a founding member of Transavangarde and Kyzyl Traktor (Red Tractor), the first avant-garde artistic group founded in Central Asia during perestroika. Atabekov's first solo exhibition I is not We, 1993, was a clear affirmation of a new individual voice in contrast to the traditional Soviet aesthetic of ‘collectivism’, and proposed an important alternative to a post-Soviet environment. He continues to focus his attention on Central Asia – its customs, daily life, legends, and history. His earliest work focused on the role of the nomadic shaman or dervish, displaced to the bright lights of urban shopping malls or trying to survive in an inclement climate. Working across performance, video installation and photography, he expresses the travails of the past as well as the ironies of the present. His work has been shown internationally, including: East of Nowhere, Turin, 2009; La Biennale de Montreal in 2007; the 9th International İstanbul Biennial in 2005; the 51st, 52nd and 54th Venice Biennales in 2005, 2007 and 2011 respectively; and, most recently, as part of the Ostalgia group exhibition at the New Museum, New York in 2011.