Based in Almaty, Kazakhstan and elsewhere, Alexandra Tsay is an independent curator and researcher interested in the conjunction between contemporary art and critical theory. Her research interests focus on the politics and aesthetics of contemporary art in transitional societies of Central Asia. Tsay has curated exhibitions and programmed festivals in Almaty.
Tsay is also a co-editor of the collective volume Stalinism in Kazakhstan: History, Memory, and Representation(Lexington Books, 2021). During her Spring 2017 fellowship at George Washington University, Tsay explored contemporary art as a cultural public sphere and space for alternative narratives in Kazakhstan, and her paper ‘Contemporary Art as a Public Forum in Kazakhstan’ was published in The Nazarbayev Generation: Youth in Kazakhstan (Lexington Books, 2019).
During her residency, Tsay plans to research both traditional and contemporary ornaments and representational fabrics from Central Asia and Hong Kong to explore the connections and similarities between distant geographic locales of Asia, and reflect on life forces that guide and shape the complex structures and social fabrics in both areas.
Selected Exhibitions and Festivals
Go Viral Festival, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Living Memory, Almaty City Museum, Almaty, Kazakhstan
VR edition: https://hubs.mozilla.com/WhkHCsq/living-memory-vr
Post/Nachalo, Kazakh-British Technical University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Changes: A Study of Time, Kazakh-British Technical University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
TEDxAlmaty, Almaty, Kazakhstan
TEDxAstana, Astana, Kazakhstan
Abylkhozhin, Z, Akulov, M, Tsay A 2021, Stalinism in Kazakhstan: History, Memory, and Representation, Lexington Books, Lanham, MD.
Tsay, A 2021, ‘Contemporary Art in Central Asia’, in I Rico, E Marat (eds),The Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Central Asia, Routledge, London.
Tsay, A 2019, ‘Contemporary Art as a Public Forum in Kazakhstan’, in M. Laruelle (ed.),The Nazarbayev Generation. Youth in Kazakhstan, Lexington Books, Lanham, MD.
Tsay, A 2018, ‘Street Art as a Public Forum in Kazakhstan: Pasha Cas’, Voices on Central Asia (Blog), viewed 4 January 2018,
Study in Canada, Global Affairs Canada
Global Dialogue Fellowship, The New School, New York, USA
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
Central Asia Program, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA