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1978, Kyzilorda. Lives in Almaty.

Alexander Ugay's project represents an artist's interpretation of the particular mentality of people in the Southern Kazakhstan provinces. The artist obviously includes himself in this community, as he is a native of Kyzylorda in the area. South Kazakhstan is nicknamed 'Texas' because of its rich oil deposits. People who live in this area are also known for their rough independence that they relate to the image of the Texan cowboy. Since 2002, Ugay has been photographing Kazakh Texas whenever he goes there on holiday. He usually travels by train, hence the preponderance of railway scenes, combined with personal images of his beloved grandmother and schoolmates, as well as the oriental bazaars, small restaurants and other mundane features of the province. In spite of the peculiar local features that exoticise the photographs, the artist believes that the fundamentals of a simple provincial life are similar everywhere in the world. In this sense, the project could be seen as a form of ironic globalism in which home-developed black and white photographs strive to represent the 'everywhere-ness' of the world's small towns.

Yulia Sorokina


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