For the country’s intellectuals, artists and cultural activists the start of the year was marked by the memorable festive event – the TOP ART 2011 ceremony held annually on the initiative of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan to give recognition and awards to the most interesting exhibitions, art projects, and best journalists covering these events in 2011. It was yet another stock-taking of the year rich in artistic and cultural events. All of them were unique and can be rightly compared with the elements of an artful design, together creating an integral and beautiful canvas that pleases eye and heart.
Memorable exhibitions were dedicated to the 20 th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Constitution Day, and the national festival “Uzbekistan – the Home We Share” that engaged all cultural centres of the country. Many of the exhibition participants earned awards, including high degree awards of the government.
Mention should be given to significant artistic events such as traditional Art Week Style.uz, projects of the VI Tashkent Biennale, “Art Week + 5″, exhibitions of FotograNica award winners – Japanese artist Daisaku Ikeda and the King of Thailand Rama IX.
A contribution to Uzbekistan’s vivid and saturated art life in 2011 was, no doubt, made by personal and thematic exhibitions of famous, as well as young artists searching for their own way in the immense universe of fine arts. The art of young people and children is extensively promoted through displays in the halls of the Ikuo Hirayama International Caravanserai of Culture, the BehzadMemorialGarden and Museum, and the Art Exhibitions Directorate.
Each of the many events was akin to a revitalizing spring beckoning art connoisseurs. After all, any cultural event or exhibition, be it the “Springtime Exposition”, the “Nature and Artist”, or folk art festival is always a master’s attempt to engage his audience in a dialogue; to ensure that the dialogue continue and become more meaningful and fruitful from year to year, a man of art needs inspiration. Some find it in communication with people and nature, or in music, yet the recognition of one’s work is also quite important. To provide this kind of emotional and spiritual support to artists and cultural activists is exactly the purpose of the TOP ART awards.
The work of not only artists, but also of art critics, who make valuable contribution to the study and promotion of Uzbekistan’s culture, received recognition at the TOP ART 2011 ceremony. Traditionally, as part of the TOP ART, diplomas and gifts were awarded to journalists covering art life and introducing potential audience to the work of artists in their publications, television and radio programmes.
Heroes of the occasion shared some thoughts about the award and its role in their artistic career:
Nazira Kuzieva, the Best Ceramist of the Year, said: “Chamber music playing in the beginning of the event was very conductive to pleasant and intelligent conversation. We could socialize and get acquainted with many artists and art promoters, share experience and views. The award is welcome and well deserved, for the last year was very productive; I participated in the solo exhibition at the Ural Tansykbaev House-Museum; together with my colleagues I displayed my work at the Mukhtar Ashrafi Memorial Museum, and placed first in the “Eng aziz, eng ulug” contest on the eve of Independence Day. Sincerity is central to my work, and here is my device: creating, I burn to live again!”
Zilola Nasyrova (Art Critic of the Year nomination), Candidate of Art History, lecturer at the Behzad National Institute of Art and Design, said: “TOP ART is a wonderful event that allows identifying talented people and remarkable creative projects of artists, art critics, designers, photographers and other representatives of artistic community in our country. Professional jury team works to find the best, and the award ceremony becomes more and more interesting every year. Diplomas and awards provide incentive for creative inquiry.”
Muhammadjon Tojimirzaev, Artist of the Year, remarked: “The award came as a surprise, which made it even more appreciated. I was delighted to hear that, living remotely from the cultural centre, I was able to accurately present people’s life, their thoughts and feelings in my work. It was pleasing to see the insight and wisdom in the jury’s approach to evaluation.”
Here is Sardor Babaev, the best in the Curator of the Year nomination: “As an art critic, I am just a beginner. My first relatively independent directorship project is the VI Tashkent Biennale of Contemporary Art. Naturally, I was not the only one who can take credit for running this large-scale international event at high standard, and yet it was an honour and pleasure to be trusted with this great responsibility and to be supported emotionally, which is very important for me and for all the TOP ART awardees, as this promotes healthy competition not only among artists, but also among art critics and journalists. I don’t believe any new nominations should be introduced or the number of participants increased. A small number of nominations only add to the value and exclusivity of the reward.”
We congratulate the TOP ART award winners. Here are their names:
Best Projects of the Year: “Forum of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan” Foundation
Photographer of the Year: Victoria Bots
Artist of the Year: Muhammadjon Tojimirzaev
Sculptor of the Year: Marina Borodina
Graphic Designer of the Year: Mahmoud Ishankulov, Nikolai Popov
Artist-designer of the Year: Utkir Jabbarov
Fashion Designer of the Year: Saida Amir
Teaching Artist of the Year: Tashpulat Nomozov
Ceramist of the Year: Nazira Kuzieva
Curator of the Year: Sardor Babaev
Art Critic of the Year: Zilola Nasyrova
Exhibition Manager of the Year: Sayora Nazarova
Exhibition of the Year: “Artists of Uzbekistan for the 20th Anniversary of Independence”, Erkin Juraev “Melodies of Bukhara”
Museum of the Year: Fine Arts Gallery of Uzbekistan (Tashkent)
At the ceremony, awards were also given to the best journalists covering activities of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan in newspapers, magazines, television and radio shows, and on the Internet. They are:
Zebo Mirzaeva: “Uzbekistan” TV channel
Berdi Rakhmatov, Hulkar Khamrayeva: Radio “Uzbekistan”
Gulyuz Kalonova: Radio “Uzbekistan”
Charos Dadajonova: “Uzbekistan” TV channel
Odina Karimova: “Yoshlar” TV channel
Nargiza Ergasheva: “Тoshkent” TV channel
Muhayo Gulyamova: Radio “Тoshkent”
Rustam Musurmon: O’zbekiston adabieti va sanati
Shodmonkul Salom: Turkiston Newspaper
Irina Ribar: Pravda Vostoka Newspaper
Oybek Rakhimov: Halq suzi Newspaper
Evdokia Kharlamova: Zerkalo XXI Newspaper
Boris Babaev: kultura.uz website
Gulnora Rahmon: Hurriyat Newspaper
Julia Logvina: Narodnoe slovo Newspaper
Nazira Boimurodova: Ishonch Newspaper
Nazokat Usmonova: UzA Agency
Dilorom Ikromova: Toshkent oqshomi Newspaper
Hulkar Khamraeva: Radio “Uzbekistan”
Umar Kurbanov: art-blog.uz website
Evgeniy Sklyarevskiy: “Letters of Tashkent” website
Tamara Sanaeva, freelance journalist
Elvira Mamajonova, documentary cinematographer
We hope that year 2012 will be even more successful and productive, yielding many creative ideas and exciting results.