CHAT Spring Programme: Clouds, Power and Ornament – Roving Central Asia
CHAT/MILL6 Foundation, Hongkong
25.02.2023 - 21.05.2023

CHAT Spring Programme: Clouds, Power and Ornament – Roving Central Asia<br>CHAT/MILL6 Foundation, Hongkong<br>25.02.2023 - 21.05.2023

Towel with a flower bouquet (detail), 18th century, linen, cotton, silk, metal thread, 135 × 57 cm, Inv. Nr. 79-301 131 © Museum Fünf Kontinente, photo: Nicolai Kästner

CHAT journeys through Central Asia with textile, art and design

First-ever comprehensive Central Asian textile art show in the Greater China region

(Hong Kong, 17 January, 2023) CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) is proud to launch its Spring Programme 2023, titled Clouds, Power and Ornament – Roving Central Asia. Opening to the public from 25 February to 21 May 2023, the exhibition features works by 26 art and cultural creators from Central Asia. Through the exhibition co-curated by CHAT’s Wang Weiwei, alongside guest curators Slavs and Tatars, You Mi and Alexandra Tsay, CHAT will explore how Central Asian artists and designers use textile as a medium of preservation, response and cohesion.


As an art centre with a unique textile heritage, CHAT has always fixed its gaze on art and design through the lens of textile. Progressing from last year’s review of the East Asia region through the Spinning East Asia Series, CHAT will present its survey into the underexplored territories of Central Asia this Spring.


Artistic and Cultural Eye-Opener

Central Asia is home to many culturally diverse and vibrant countries with fascinating socio-political histories. Coinciding with Hong Kong’s Art Month and cultural events happening across the city, the exhibition will present a group portrait of Central Asian contemporary art and shed light on this region for Hong Kong locals as well as visiting international audiences.

Taking textile and crafts as the starting point, Clouds, Power and Ornament offers an in-depth exploration of the vast interconnected territory with its multi-layered politics, societies and cultures. Among various traditional elements presented, the exhibition uses ikat, a textile woven characterised by its elaborate and ‘blurred’ pattern, as a metaphor to present a view of the intricacies of the region’s political and social landscape. The exhibition will also focus on Central Asian traditional ornamentation, exploring it as a language that both reflects and shapes politics, society and culture. Its focus on Central Asian female artists also reveals important powers that have been concealed by mainstream narratives.


Visitors can expect a diverse array of works, from Gulnur Mukazhanova’s commissioned work of silk and felt adorned with traditional ornaments and motifs from Hong Kong and Kazakhstan, to Medina Bazargali & Kokonja’s experimental juxtaposition of nomadic themes and yurts with VJ culture in contemporary Almaty, to many more.


Dynamic Cultural Experiences for Local and International Community

Aside from the number of new and commissioned works exhibiting for the first time, visitors will also experience electrifying performances and special artist-led workshops and talks, particularly during a Cultural Festival on Central Asia to be held during April. Between 21-25 March 2023, CHAT will also run a booth to engage with visitors through talks and making activities at Art Basel Hong Kong at the HKCEC as one of its Cultural Partners.

Takahashi Mizuki, Executive Director and Chief Curator of CHAT, says, ‘We are excited to welcome local and overseas visitors through our doors and honoured to showcase the polyphonic artistic and cultural voices of this oft-overlooked but important region. I hope that visitors can be inspired by the creative spirit as well as the flexibility and resilient survival exhibited through these works.’

Wang Weiwei, the curator of the exhibition, says, ‘Linking East and West geographically through ancient Silk Road trade routes, multiple competing empires and regimes have ruled Central Asia, resulting in periods of social transformation, frequent exchange and integration of commodities, population, religion and culture for thousands of years. Exploring Central Asia will help us break through the limitations of binary opposition to find more fluid ways of thinking about complexity and contradiction and learn the experience and wisdom of co-existence.’

Exhibition participants, consisting of artists, designers, researchers and archives include 705 (Kyrgyzstan), Umida Akhmedova (Uzbekistan), Askhat Akhmedyarov (Kazakhstan), Alibay Bapanov (Kazakhstan), Saule Bapanova (Kazakhstan), Medina Bazargali & Kokonja (Kazakhstan), Nazzy Beglari (USA/UAE), Lidiya Blinova (Kazakhstan), Bakhyt Bubikanova (Kazakhstan), Marat Dilman (Kazakhstan), Saule Dyussenbina (Kazakhstan), Aziz Hazara (Afghanistan/ Germany), Asel Kadyrkhanova (Kazakhstan), Dilyara Kaipova & NoolOdin (Varied), Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev (Kyrgyzstan), Kubra

Khademi (France), Jazgul Madazimova (Kyrgyzstan), Gulnur Mukazhanova (Germany), Nazilya Nagimova (Germany), Furqat Palvan-Zade (Uzbekistan), Aziza Shadenova (UK), Yelena Vorobyova (Kazakhstan), Guzel Zakir (Kazakhstan), Madina Zholdybekova (UK), CA Research Group: Dana Iskakova, Aida Issakhankyzy, Aisha Jandosova, Lena Pozdnyakova, Anna Pronina, Yang Yeung (Varied) and The Central State Archive of Film, Photo Documents, and Sound Recording of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Exhibitions Details: 


Clouds, Power and Ornament – Roving Central Asia


25 February – 21 May 2023

Opening Hours:

11:00am-7:00pm (Closed on Tuesdays)


CHAT, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong



‘Patternways: Visualising Hong Kong in Transition’

Exhibition Date:

On display until end of 2023

Opening Hours:

11:00am-7:00pm (Closed on Tuesdays)


CHAT, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong


Special Display: CHAT at The Mills Details


The Shadows of Hope: Yesterday's Past, Today's Present


24 March – 23 April 2023

Opening Hours:



The Hall, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong


Media Preview Details:


24 February 2023 (Friday)


2:00-4:00pm (Registration at 1:45pm)


CHAT, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong


Mandy Chan |

+852 2509 3389


CHAT Spring Programme 2023 Schedule

Category Date Time Event Details
Talk 18 February 2023 (Saturday) 4:30-6:00pm

Event: Wax Print as Global Phenomenon: A Hands-On Introduction to Batik
Venue: The D. H. Chen Foundation Gallery
Language: English with informal interpretation into Cantonese
Speaker: Clifford J Pereira
Admission: HK$50, RSVP via
Description: Sharing about the historical development of wax print fabric and Hong Kong’s role in it along with hands-on element of making wax-resist print fabric

Tour 24 February 2023 (Friday) 5:30-6:30pm

Event: Curator Tour: From Central Asia to Hong Kong
Venue: CHAT
Language: English
Curators: Slavs and Tatars, Alexandra Tsay, Wang Weiwei
Admission: Free with HK$50 deposit, RSVP via
Description: Tour of the exhibition led by curators of the show, Slavs and Tatars, Alexandra Tsay, Wang Weiwei

Performative Experience 24 February 2023 (Friday) 6:30-7:30pm

Event: Live at CHAT: Techno Beats from Almaty and Hong Kong
Venue: The D. H. Chen Foundation Gallery
Language: English
Artists: Medina Bazargali, Kokonja
Admission: Free, walk-in
Description: Cross-cultural musical experience featuring artists from Kazakhstan and Hong Kong

Talk 25 February 2023 (Saturday) 5:00-6:30pm

Event: CHAT with Artist: Gulnara Kasamalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev
Venue: The D. H. Chen Foundation Gallery
Language: Russian, English and Cantonese
Speakers: Gulnara Kasmalieva, Muratbek Djumaliev, Takahashi Mizuki
Moderator: Law Pik Yu Eugenia
Admission: Free, RSVP via
Description: Artists and curators to discuss the creative practices and process for Spring Programme 2023

Talk 26 February 2023 (Sunday) 5:00-6:30pm

Event: CHAT with Artist: Umida Akhmedova
Venue: The D. H. Chen Foundation Gallery
Language: Russian, English and Cantonese
Artist: Umida Akhmedova
Moderator: Alexandra Tsay
Admission: Free, RSVP via
Description: Artist and curator to discuss the creative practices and process for Spring Programme 2023 

Workshop 26 March 2023 (Sunday) 2:00-5:00pm

Event: Parenthood Manifesto: Collective Tufting Workshop
Venue: CHAT Lab
Language: English
Artist: Madina Zholdybekova
Admission: HK$100, RSVP via
Description: Artist-led carpet tufting workshop inspired by Madina Zholdybekova’s creative practice


Umida Akhmedova, Farewell to a family house (from the Sun Marks series), 2010-22; Image courtesy: Umida Akhmedova

Dilyara Kaipova, Great Cotton Road Project series, 2022; Image courtesy: Dilyara Kaipova

Aziza Shadenova, Mosaic with a star, 2022; Image courtesy: Aziza Shadenova

Madina Zholdybekova, Chewed-Up Cassette, 2021; Image courtesy: Madina Zholdybekova

Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev, Farewell Song, 2001 (Video Still); Image courtesy: Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev

Furqat Palvan-Zadeh, A Dreamland and a River, 2023; Image courtesy: Furqat Palvan- Zadeh

Marat Dilman, Untitled series, 2014-20; Image courtesy: Marat Dilman

Guzel Zakir, Women. Life. Freedom, 2022; Image courtesy: Guzel Zakir

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