Exhibition of ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador opens ahead of International Day against Nuclear Tests

August 9, 2017

Karipbek KuyukovAn exhibition of 20 works by The ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador and Kazakh artist Karipbek Kuyukov recently opened at the Kazakh National Museum in Astana. The exhibition is called The Fallout.

Kuyukov was born without arms as a result of his parents’ exposure to Soviet-era nuclear weapons testing at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. However, he has overcome that physical challenge to become a renowned artist and global nuclear nonproliferation activist. He has devoted his life to painting the victims and negative effects of nuclear testing.

Kuyukov’s paintings were previously presented at the UN in both New York and Geneva, as well as at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in Vienna. Everywhere in the world, these pictures arouse understanding and interest among both advocates of nuclear non-proliferation and ordinary people.  Looking at the art of Kuyukov, people discover the history of nuclear tests in Kazakhstan and understand why the country is convinced that nuclear disarmament and elimination of nuclear weapons are essential. President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, and such people as Kuyukov and founder of the international Nevada-Semipalatinsk Anti-Nuclear Movement Olzhas Suleimenov have been fighting for nuclear disarmament around the world for more than 25 years.Nuclear Weapons Testing

President Nazarbayev initiated the ATOM Project on Aug. 29, 2012 to permanently end nuclear weapons testing and bring about a nuclear-weapons-free world.

The people of Kazakhstan suffered more than 450 nuclear weapons tests by the Soviet Union at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site near what is now the village of Semey. More than 1.5 million Kazakhs have been affected by those tests with many suffering early death, lifelong debilitating illnesses and horrific birth defects, which continue to this day.

The exhibition is being organised by the Museum of the Kazakh Ministry of foreign affairs. More  works by Kuyukov can be seen at