Contemporary Artists From Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan And Turkmenistan

An artistic reportage from an area of the world that is both mysterious and full of charm, inhabited by a veritable kaleidoscope of peoples, each with their own traditions and cultures. The Kyrgyz, Tajik and Turkmen artists envelop social reality - the conflicts and the harmonies - in shapes and colours. And sometimes they turn away from it, with a captivating and mysterious freedom, as if to educate the soul beyond what the eye can see. Echoes of the Koran, Sufi wisdom, Russian art, of realism, folklore and traditional music, as well as the sirens of globalization, meet, mingle and multiply in a colourful tapestry of harmonies and contrasts. Each of these paintings is a step (over 200 in total) - humble or daring - towards the horizons of knowledge.

Bazarkul Uulu Omurkul – Friends (2015)

The collective journey of Imago Mundi in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan proposes 210 works in the 10x12 cm format from artists oriented both towards tradition and towards its reinterpretation and the deconstruction of myths. But these artists are also producers of new symbols, sometimes visual paradoxes in equilibrium between reality and imagination, whose deep and vivid gaze provide us with insight into the three countries.

Alfiya Azimova - The Lovers (2015)

« This is a mysterious area of the world, full of charm, that peoples from near and far – Mongols, Turks, the Chinese, Greeks, Persians and Russians – invaded and dominated for many years, exporting their culture and religion to the heart of Asia», comments Luciano Benetton in the introduction to the catalogue. «When the Russian Empire began to expand to the south two centuries ago, the region was populated, as it is today, by a kaleidoscope of ethnic groups: Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkmen. Each of these groups had their own characteristics, but in common they also had languages of Turkish derivation, the Muslim religion and Arabic script.»

Erbol Dogdurbek - Rwo (2015)

Imago Mundi presents a synthesis of the introductions that open the collection of images of the works. The texts have been written by the curators and by art critics from the three countries.

Taalaybek Usubaliev - Portrait Of Kyrgyz Child (2015)

«For the Western spectators the visual arts of the ex Soviet Republics of the USSR still remain terra incognita», writes Gamal Bokonbaev, culturologist, in the text dedicated to Kyrgyz art: «Public opinion regards this art as monotonous in form and meaning: the strict dogmas of the communist ideology led to it being poor in styles and trends. This opinion is true in many ways, but on closer acquaintance one can see that the visual arts of Kyrgyzstan are much more interesting and varied than they appear at first.»

Dmitriy Ermolaev – Untitled (2015)

Yuristanbek Shygaev - Akhbara’s Crying (2015)

Ulanbek Abykeev - Mountain (2015)

Nurgul Naimanbaeva - Silk Road (2015)

Enrico Mascelloni, curator of the section dedicated to Kyrgyzstan notes: «The works for Imago Mundi seem to indicate, on initial inspection, a rather serene art, still linked to the lyrical realism and political uncommittedness of the Soviet decline, fundamentally different from the Socialist realism that experienced its moment of glory at the height of Soviet rule, during the Stalinist period. The painting style of the perestroika period features landscapes and bucolic scenes that in the best works is marked by a fierce and in no way rhetorical realism, which is the best legacy of the socialist realism. (…) But Kyrgyzstan is also a place of surprising artistic innovations.»

Aiyp Alakunov - Chigu. Time Interrupted (2015)

Almagul Bolokova - Orange Sky (2015)

Ismail Gaparov - Untitled (2015)

«In more recent times, what was once a more linguistic research, has assumed a much more aggressive and provocative approach. Its emblem is Battalion, better known as “Chuikov”, pseudonym of one of the members of Group 705, who pays homage to the pioneers of Kyrgyz art and at same time strains all the stereotypes of Kyrgyz folklore.»

Zhusup Mataev – Zhamilya (2015)

Chyngyz Ormonbekov - National Still Life (2015)

Zhanyshbek Zhamurzаev – Yurta (2015)

Sergey Keller – Kyrgyzstan (2015)

Battalion Alias Chuikov - Neat! (2015)

Alla Rumyantseva, art critic, describes the strong link between Tajik artists and their land as follows: «Mysterious valleys and ravines… Tall fences, poplar trees rushing towards the sky. And mountains, a recurrent theme in the paintings of Tajik artists. They paint sunrise mountains, sunset mountains, summer and winter mountains, mountains tall and low.»

Karimzhon Muminov - Winter Landscape (2015)

Maksud Mirmukhalidov - Untitled (2015)

«People of the East, they live a spiritual life. They observe deeper and feel more finely. They are more self-absorbed. They think on a millennium level. Because of all this, the paintings of Tajik artists are full of philosophical thoughts and, as a consequence, allegorical. (…)The artistic culture of Tajikistan is like a cellar full of inexhaustible treasures. The Tajik visual arts continue to develop, and reach a high international level, remaining nevertheless unique and original.»

Daler Usmonov - Solitude (2015)

Abdurakhim Dzhaborov - Life (2015)

«The colour stains, lines, forms, peculiar play of contrasts in Bakhrom Ismatov’s paintings create a unique mood and together form an original theme.»

Bakhrom Ismatov - Bust Of Emotions (2015)

Bakhrom Ismatov - Summer (2015)

The impression of Guja Mabellini, curator of the section dedicated to the art of Turkmenistan, is that: «A trip to Turkmenistan is unlike any other trip. (…) Let’s say that it’s a destination that encourages introspection. It’s a country that swims against the tide. Whilst the rest of the world is at pains to dive headlong into the globalisation movement, Turkmenistan looks inwards, to retrieve its traditions, follow its own way, lives for itself and with itself.»

Amangeldy Allaberdy - Our Village (2015)

Lachin Toylieva - A Song (2015)

Azat Annaev, art critic, writes: «The fine arts of Turkmenistan reflect a complex and varied picture of the regional schools, styles, trends and creative individuals, which interact and are in continuous development.»

Nicolay Chervyakov - Holiday (2015)

«Traditional art forms linked to the canons of a patriarchal society, and the influence of an eastern medieval philosophy, had a tremendous influence on the work of Turkmen artists, and on the development of their individual understanding of the world and their expressive research. The establishment of national identity is based on the artistic mentality of the people, naturally and vividly reflected in the traditional art of the Turkmen – carpet weaving.»

Jennet Yusupova – Kejebe (2015)

Rahman Rahmanov - National Culture (2015)

Ada Gutlyev - Bird (2015)

«The artists seek to understand the meaning of life’s phenomena and identify various aspects of reality, expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings in their works.»

Rovshan Chopanov - Love (2015)

Gurbangeldi Gurbanov - Untitled (2015)

Credits: Story

— Fabrica

— La Biennale di Malindi Ltd.

— Guja Mabellini (for Turkmenistan)
— Enrico Mascelloni (for Kyrgyzstan)
— Sultan Bokonbayev (for Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan)

— Oriano Mabellini

— Valentina Granzotto

— Enrico Bossan

— Luciano Benetton
— Guja Mabellini
— Azat Annaev
— Enrico Mascelloni
— Gamal Bokonbayev
— Alla Rumyantseva
— Martina Fornasaro

— Emma Cole
— Service Scibbolet (Tiziana Dandoli, Russian; Robin Ambrosi, English)
— Pietro Valdatta

— Marcello Piccinini
— Bianca Ghiuzan

— Guja Mabellini
— Enrico Mascelloni
— Sultan Bokonbayev (artists)
— Marco Zanin (artworks)

— Marco Pavan

— Sonya Ayna Riabko (Destructuring the identity)

— Fondazione Sarenco
— Oksana Ignatush
— Public Found Tolon Art Museum, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
— Marco Mancini (Italian Ambassador in Turkmenistan)
— Michela Sandini (Italian Embassy in Turkmenistan)
— Natalya Kurbanova

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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