Saule Suleimenova

Selected Works

Here is a selection of the works by Saule Suleimenova. She created them with her cellophane painting technique, where she used coloured plastic trash and shopping bags glued to polycarbonate or polyethylene. The artworks come from multiple series’ and include the most important monumental panels – Kelin and Yellow Blue Bus. There are paper art pieces from the series Buses and Busstops  and plastic works relating to Kelin. The image of Kelin, a young lady about to be married or just married, has been a recurring theme throughout Suleimenova’s life and artistic practice. In 2004 Suleimenova found, in the Alkey Margulan archives, a photograph dated 1879 with three young ladies in traditional Kazakh wedding dresses and made several works, Ush Kelin (Three Brides), using different techniques. This image became a symbol of the artist’s vision of Kazakhness as well as a symbol of rebirth of a new personality and hope.

About the Artist

Artist Website

Saule Suleimenova (b. 1970 in Almaty) is a Kazakh artist who works with issues of identity, decolonial discourse and deconstruction of painting. Since 2015, Suleimenova has been developing her Cellophane Painting series – figurative paintings made entirely from coloured and used plastic bags. Works from the series exist in a wide range of themes from historical memory, as in the case of the painting The Abai Family, to the artist’s personal experience: scenes from intertwined family and city life.

Isolating the particular from the larger historical narrative, the artist writes the history of today’s world, the new trauma of which is the ecological and invisible catastrophe that replaced the industrialization of the 20th century. The artist’s works are included in important private and museum collections, such as the Sharjah Art Foundation in the UAE and the Alain Servais collection in Belgium. Since 2015, Suleimenova’s works have appeared at such significant exhibitions as Post Nomadic Mind in London, Bread and Roses in Berlin, as well as in the artist’s personal exhibition at the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Astana.