stills from video
In 1998, the government of Kazakhstan relocated the capital to Astana and held an open international competition for a new master plan. Metabolist architect Kisho Kurokawa was awarded the First Prize. Instead of imposing an artificial form on the city, he proposed an open city of indeterminate form, a symbiosis of the old Soviet city and the new Kazakh city, a living city that never stops growing, where people can respond flexibly to later changes. In 2000, the implementation of Kurokawa’s eco-city was seriously compromised after the local government started to devise their own general plan. Later on, a government-orchestrated building boom has thoroughly transformed the city. Designed by internationally famous architects and studios, the high-profile projects have been playing a significant role in image propaganda in order to establish a post-Soviet national identity and step up to the international stage.
CLOUD COATING (2022) is co-created with Rupert Jörg. Intrigued by the unrealized plan of Kisho Kurokawa, we look into how local people nickname the landmark architectures. We consider nicknaming as a playful strategy to reimagine the existing architectures. During two months' residency, we are immersed in the countless glittering facade of Astana, wondering what exactly they are reflecting. Through the three-channel video work, we attempt to trigger people's intimate and sometimes fictional encounters with glass.
film crew in sunset, 2 July 2022
installation view, Astanalyk, Astana