The 10th Anniversary of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan: Our Creative Achievements

Issue #1 • 1508

Fragment of exhibition.
Half of a ten-year history of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan is the history of creation and development of the Tashkent House of Photography that has quickly become popular among the connoisseurs and amateurs of photography art at home and abroad.

In autumn of 2001 the Academy of Arts together with the khokimiyat (municipality) of Tashkent city organized the contest of creative photography “The City I love” that engaged many lead photographers and could be considered a starting point or a birthday of the Tashkent House of Photography (THP).

Already in January 2002 the exhibition titled “Photographers of Uzbekistan” presented the creative work of more than twenty masters of domestic creative photography. Certainly, it is impossible to imagine how the House of Photography could have emerged without the engagement of the photographers unit of the Creative Association of Artists of Uzbekistan. Created in 1999, the unit brought together about twenty lead photographers in the country, both professional and amateur, who had taken up creative photography. Subsequent developments proved the relevance and timeliness of these decisions – both to create the unit of photo artists and to set up the House of Photography.

The year 2002 was when the Tashkent House of Photography became known in other countries and continents of the planet. This happened due to successfully organized first international contest of creative photography in Tashkent “My Dear Old Folks”. To participate in the contest, more than 1,000 works arrived from 16 countries, including France, China, Ukraine, Japan, Moldova, etc. The theme of respect for people of senior age that has deep roots in the traditions of Uzbek people, turned out to be in unison with creative aspirations of photographers coming from most diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions. The broad response from the global photographic community provided an excellent incentive for the House of Photography to expand the sphere of its operation and for new initiatives to be born. All this was happening in the environment when the THP, for a year and a half, had actually remained a public organization, which, however, enjoyed an active support from the leadership of the Academy of Arts, the Art Exhibition Directorate and other divisions of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. In 2003 the THP acquired certain organizational and legal status, becoming a department within the Central Exhibition Hall.

From that year on (that year was momentous due to the number of other reasons, too) the House of Photography carries our intensive exhibition activity on a regular basis. For the international recognition of the THP very important was the fact of joining, as an associated member, the FIAP – the most authoritative federation of photographic art. By representing Uzbekistan in the FIAP, the Tashkent House of Photography opens a broad opportunity for Uzbek professional and amateur photographers to gain international recognition and informs them about possibilities to participate in contests and exhibitions abroad and to send abroad different photo expositions telling about Uzbekistan. It is because of the photo exhibitions organized by the THP abroad, thousands of people in many countries of the world learned about our land and about people’s life here, for the language of photography does not need translation and is accessible to everyone.

Pictures telling about contemporary Uzbekistan and its rich history were viewed with keen interest by the residents of Japan and China, Belgium and Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. One can say without exaggeration that creative photography has become a plenipotentiary of our country. Noble elderly men and happy children look at the viewers from pictures taken by our camera masters. These pictures introduce the audience to the achievements in culture, economy and social life that have taken place over the years of the country’s independent development.

The third international photo biennale in Tashkent (2005) that was held under the FIAP patronage for the first time had a huge response in the global photographic community. It presented the art of photographers from more than 40 countries of the world. The exhibition had become a real festival of the art of photography.

Since early 2006 the Tashkent House of Photography has become an independent entity within the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. Available to it is a wonderful exhibition facility, which is known to the residents of Tashkent city as Contemporary Art Centre. Exhibitions of the THP display not only pieces of creative photography, but also paintings, graphic arts and remarkable works of applied art.

Exhibition fragment.
Preparation of the 3rd Tashkent
Photo-Biennale.
Preparation of the 3rd Tashkent
Photo-Biennale.

Yuriy Podporenko

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