Conceptual art


Born in 1964, Baku, Azerbaijan
Lives and works in Azerbaijan

Chingiz Babayev is the graduate of the sculpture faculty of Baku Arts University, also the first artist which presented Azerbaijan on international exhibitions of conceptual arts. From his point of view there is no important direction than „land art“ – art on nature. Artist – conceptualist – says Chingiz Babayev, begins to reflect on problems disturbing him. His work – is not answer, it is beginning of thoughts, which can appear in forms of sculpture, video and other apparent structure, visual and sound instalations. There is no aready result of arts. Artist only puts a question. And if viewer joins to his thoughts, then begins joint growth of thoughts.

He spent all his life in Azerbaijan, in his native land. He presented the figure of paradoxical person: Artist is unknown in his own country, and he didn´t stop presenting of his works in Europe and USA. „In Baku one time I presented my exhibition, which were visited by not more than 15 men“ – he said with a smile. In Baku you can meet 3 or 4 artists doing works in conceptual genre. But the traditions of aesthetic forms still dominated on artistic stage.

Artist's Manifest:

As we know there are different directions and ways of artistic expression accepted in the world culture. When we say “Contemporary Culture” it means pieces of art connected to current time which reflects in itself historical, political, social, psychological and other issues.

Culture of each period is considered contemporary for current space and time. Thereby culture itself depends and connects on factors stated above. The culture of any space and time should reflect qualities of this space and time in the world context. Thereby the author is fixing these qualities in own art piece where the art piece has to be considered not only as a piece of art but also visual and mental document left in history.

Western model of contemporary culture has accepted the world cultural space as a language of contemporary communications. But it does not mean that the world cultural space should “produce identical” being doing “copy-paste” into different separate “private” cultures. Any of “languages” are the methods of self expression of ideas and feelings of one or few personalities. Thereby every personality expresses own relation to the period in which he (she) lives according to request of the time and space.

What actually means Second Hand Culture? This question can be viewed from different angles. E.g. if one thinks from Western point of view (of way of thinking) contemporary artistic language can be considered as its primacy institution and own first language. But those, which are out of Western space, such as Eastern and which has other type of approach than the western language, can study opposite – new language. And afterwards it may be used as a tool to express own ideas or thoughts or one should invent and use completely new method. But here one can
meet some obstacles. Eastern culture representatives instead of studying of western culture language described above are just copying it and then presenting it as their own. Thereby being copied from the primary source the western culture model transforms into second hand culture and accordingly becomes “new unclaimed culture” for current space. Each type of new, whether it is idea, thought or in general a new piece of art can be based on special platform. This platform consists of treasure house of art of the world culture achievements and each piece being created in the future on this basis can be considered continuation of world´s heritage.

Second hand culture is completely separated from such factors as society and truth and thereby contains strictly formal and decorative character. The reason of this phenomenon is that current “culture” completely breaks off from reality of life and in general does not touches problems and dreams of society. To talk about actuality and implication to foremost ideas of secondary culture would be naïve. As the case stands there is no way to talk about analytic and poetic view of contemporary life.

Our reasoning about life is important only for ourselves. Life remains unchanged and eternal out of our reasoning. Depending of level of actuality and sincerity this reasoning can make the life of human being fuller and seminal. In general there should not be any “secondary” in human’s life and especially in spheres such as the culture created by humanity.


2011. THE JORNEY TO THE EAST. Bialystok. Poland.
2010. USSR-REMIX.AZ – 2. Baku. Azerbaijan.
2009. BakUnlimited. Basel. Switzerland.
2009. CURRAINT D’AIJER. Nairs. Switzerland.
2009. Baku, Yerevan, Tbilisi: Roger! Caucasian cities. “Transkaukazja” Culture Festival. KORDEGARDA Gallery. Warsaw. Poland.
2008. Steps of time Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan. Dresden. Germany.
2008. Paintings /Solo/. Borgo Valsugana: Casa Strobele. Italy.
2008. USSR-REMIX.AZ – 1. Baku. Azerbaijan.
2008. Sketches, drawings, paintings and photos /Solo/. Verona. Italy.
2007. Azerbaijan Contemporary Photography. Moscow. Russia.
2006. Transfusion. Liestal. Switzerland.
2005–2006. International Art Project, “Ecotopia”. Berlin. Germany.
2005. International Art Project, “Aluminium”. Baku. Azerbaijan.
2005–2006. International Art Project, “Border Dialogues”. The Barents Art Triennial. Neiden, Kirkenes. Norway; Murmansk, Lovozero. Russia.
2005. International Project, “The Tile Project”. Destination. The world. Public Art. USA, Azerbaijan.
2004. Exhibition – “Ripustus” Gallery, /Solo/. Finland.
2004. International Project “The Tile Project”. Destination. The world. Public Art. TRANSCULTURAL EXCHANGE. USA, Finland.
2004. Chingiz. South Caucasian Culture Festival, “Transkaukazja”. Warsaw. Poland.
2004. International Symposium – “Research without boundaries”. Goethe Institute. Tbilisi. Georgia.
2003. Chingiz. Contemporary Art Centre. Nachichevan. Azerbaijan.
2003. “Xali”, traditional and contemporary carpet versions. Baku. Azerbaijan.
2003. “Plastic Carpet”. Long Forest. Guba. Azerbaijan.
2003. Chingiz /Solo/. Museum Centre. Baku. Azerbaijan.
2002–2003. Chingiz. Photo-Video Centre. Thessaloniki. Greece.
2002. Chingiz /Solo/. University Marc Block. Strasbourg. France.
1998. Chingiz. Pitshanger Manor & Gallery. UK.   
1997. Chingiz. Alternative Gallery. Baku. Azerbaijan.
1997. Chingiz /Solo/. Sanat Gallery. Baku: Baku Arts Centre. Azerbaijan.
1996. White Symphony – Contemporary Ecological Mentality Series /Solo/. Austria.
1996. Chingiz. Institute of Africa & Asia. Vienna. Austria.
1995. Chingiz /Solo/. Burgenland. Austria.
1995. Chingiz /Solo/. Donauraum Gallery. Vienna. Austria.
1995. Chingiz /Solo/. Atelier Davidgasse. Vienna. Austria.
1995. Chingiz. Schloss Wolkersdorf. Wolkersdorf. Austria.
1993. Chingiz. Tuyap 3rd Istanbul Art Fair. Istanbul. Turkey.
1992. Chingiz. Manezh Central Exhibition Hall. St. Petersburg. Russia.
1990. Chingiz. L’orangerait, Gallery, Saint Paul de Vence. France.
1988. Chingiz. Arts & Culture Center. Saigon. Vietnam.
1988. Chingiz. Artist’s Central House. Moscow. Russia.
1986. Chingiz. Sattar Bahlulzadeh Gallery. Baku. Azerbaijan.

Biennial, Triennial:

2010. Elite–tile 2010. Fourth International Ceramic Tile Triennial. Santiago De Los Caballeros: Centro Leon. Dominican Republic.
2007. OMNIA MEA. The Pavilion of Azerbaijan, 52nd International Art Exhibition. Venice Biennial, Venice. Italy.
2006. Elite-tile 2006. Third International Ceramic Tile Triennial. Santo Domingo: Museum of Modern Art (MAM). Dominican Republic.
2005–2006. Border Dialogues. The Barents Art Triennial. Neiden, Kirkenes. Norway; Murmansk, Lovozero. Russia.
1996. Arte Sella-96-Art in Nature. Borgo Valsugana. Italy.


2011. TERRA GRANATA. First Pomegranate Festival organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Vienna. Austria.
2007. Traditional Azerbaijan carpets. Organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan. UNESCO. Paris. France.


2006–2008. Art Curator, Museum Center. Baku: Ministry of Culture and Tourism.  Azerbaijan.        
2006. Co/Curator of Azerbaijan representation Exhibition, "Transfusion”. Basel. Liestal. Switzerland.
2003. Curator - Contemporary Art Centre. Nachichevan. Azerbaijan.
2003. Curator of Project – Xali, traditional and contemporary carpet versions. Baku. Azerbaijan.
2001. Curator of Project – Ganly Gel, Art & Environment. Baku. Azerbaijan.


2010. Summer School Black See Academy, Istanbul: ECF, OSI, Bilgi University, SantralIstanbul. Turkey.
2009. Go east, conference. Warsaw: Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Poland.
2008. Emerging Cultural Continent: Actors and Networks. Istanbul: Bilgi University, SantralIstanbul. Turkey.
2004. Research without boundaries. Tbilisi: Goethe Institute. Georgia.
2002. Conceptual Art in Azerbaijan. Strasbourg. France.
2000. Art & Environment, Baku: Azerbaijan Injilery – Private Museum. Azerbaijan.
1996. Azerbaijan, a view from inside. Viena: Depot, Messepalace. Austria.


2008. ОЙ - International Public Art Symposium and Workshop. Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan.
2005. Ecotopia. Tbilisi. Georgia.
2004. Research without boundaries. Tbilisi: Goethe Institute. Georgia.
2003. Nargin Island, Art & Environment. Baku. Azerbaijan.
2001. Ganly Gel, Art & Environment. Baku. Azerbaijan.
2001. Open Circle, Land Art. Kuressaare. Estonia.
1997. Artists on Ranch, Painting. Vienna. Austria.
1995. Landscape-Art-Project-95, Art in Nature. Gars am Kamp–Wachtberg. Austria
1994. Baku Art in Residence, Painting. Vienna. Austria.


2010. I’AM NOT THERE, source book for the 8th Gwangju Biennale. Gwangju. South Korea.
2008. Emerging Cultural Continent: Actors and Networks. Istanbul: SantralIstanbul. Turkey.
2008. l’Adige, Cultura e Societa. Trento. Borgo Valsugana. Italy.
2007. European Cultural Foundation Annual Report 2007. Amsterdam. Netherlands.
2006. EcoTopia, contemporary art and nature in the Caucasus. Tbilisi. Goethe Institute. Georgia.
2005–2006. “Art in America”, Annual Guide – galleries, museums, artists sourcebook to the U.S.A. art world, 2005-06 museums preview. New York. USA.
2005. Lapin Lansa newspaper. Keckiviikko. Norway.
2005. Caravansararai, artistic exchange Catalog. International Forum of visual Arts & Art Events.
2005. Ceramics TECHNICAL magazine. Australia.
2004. Research without boundaries: curating and cultural exchange in the intercultural age. Catalog of International Contemporary Art Symposium. Tbilisi: The Goethe Institute. Georgia.
2004. The Golden Fleece (Girold). France.
2003. Caucasus- photography, cinema, video. Appolonia, Strasbourg. France.
2002. Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace. Strasbourg. France.
2000. Nashe Vremya Magazine. Baku. Azerbaijan.
1999. Textile Art Magazine. Tokyo. Japan.
1999. Edelweiss Magazine. Baku. Azerbaijan.
1998. Irs Magazine. Baku. Azerbaijan.
1998. Portraits of Transition-Azerbaijan style. UNICEF. Baku. Azerbaijan.
1997. Artists on ranch, Catalog. Reuhof. Austria.
1997. Portaraits of Transition – The Azerbaijan Style. Istanbul. Turkey.
1996. Kultur Kontakt Magazine. Vienna. Austria.
1996. Ismet Dogan. Istanbul. Turkey.
1995. LSAP- Landscape Art. Wachtberg, Gars. Austria.
1995. Caspian Magazine. UK.
1995. Kultur Kontakt Catalog. Vienna. Austria.
1989. Baku Art Centre, Catalog. Baku. Azerbaijan.

Education and qualification:

1983–1984. Azerbaijan State University of Arts. Baku.
1986–1991. M. F. A. Azerbaijan State University of Arts. Baku.
1979–1983. Teacher of Fine Arts. Azerbaijan State Art College. Baku.
1975–1979. Art School. Baku. Azerbaijan.


1996–Present. Arts etc…Center for Contemporary Culture. Baku. Azerbaijan.
1996–Present. Union of Azerbaijan Artists. Baku. Azerbaijan.
1987–1996. Baku Arts Centre. Baku. Azerbaijan.

Employment history:

2011–Present. STEP beyond advisor for the Caucasus countries. ECF (European Cultural Foundation). Amsterdam.
2009–2011. Expert. Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation. Baku. Azerbaijan.
2006–Present. The editorial board of the CORD art magazine. France.
2003–2007. Board member, Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, Baku, Azerbaijan
2006–2008. Art curator. Museum Center. Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Baku. Azerbaijan.        
1997–2000. Sculptor. The Tussauds Group Studios. UK.
1996. Test Head in New York for The Tussauds Group Studios. One of three successful applicants chosen from two hundred sculptors around the world.
1996–Present. Founder and President – Arts. Center for Contemporary Culture. Baku. Azerbaijan.
1995–1997. Freelance Photo – Correspondent. Caspian Magazine. UK.
1987–1997. Art curator. Baku: Baku Arts Center. Azerbaijan.
1986–1987. Freelance artist.

Scholarship and residence:

2009. 2 month scholarship & residence program. Nairs: Nairs Cultural Centre. Switzerland.
2009. 1 month scholarship & residence program. Basel: IAAB Studios. Switzerland.
1996. 2 month scholarship, granted by Kunsthalle Krems. Krems. Austria.
1995. 6 month scholarship, granted by Kultur-Kontact. Vienna. Austria.
1994. 1 month scholarship & residence program WUK, granted by Kultur-Kontact. Vienna. Austria.