Born in 1948 in Och, Kyrgyzstan, Akhunov now lives and works in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. As an artist, writer and philosopher, his oeuvre comprises academic abstract paintings, installation, performance and video art, as well as numerous essays and novels. In his artistic credo, there is no contempt of classical or traditional art and nothing said against officially involved art - though his peers knew him as the "official anti-official artist" during the Soviet era. Through his art, Akhunov continually tackles ideas of cultural superiority and is keen on broadening defined notions and unburdening established authorities.
Apart from his art practice he has also designed national pavilions for Uzbekistan for the World Expo in Hanover, Germany in 2000 and Aichi, Japan, 2005.
Prominent recent exhibitions include:
11th Internation Istanbul Biennialle, Istanbul, Turkey
I Dream of the Stans: New Central Asian Video, curated by Leeza Ahmady at Winkleman Gallery, New York; traveled to Museo de Arte El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
The Paradox of Polarity: Contemporary Art From Central Asia, curated by Leeza Ahmady at Bose Pacia, New York
Turbulence, 3rd Auckland Triennial, Auckland, New Zealand
Time of the Storytellers, Narrative and Distant Gaze in Post-Soviet Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
Nafas: Contemporary Art from the Islamic World, IFA touring exhibition, Germany
Belief, Singapore Biennale
In the Shadow of Heroes, Central Asian Biennial, Bishek, Kyrgyzstan
Central Asian Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy