Way to the top requires strong will-power, continued self-development, and last but not least, support from other people. The TOP-ART Award ceremony provides this kind of incentive for artists, as well as culture and art promoters in our country. By tradition, in the beginning of the year the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan takes stock of the previous year, noting the most successful art projects and giving its assessment of art works in different genres; it also gives credit to the media covering events in the domain of culture. The TOP-ART-2012 was marked by a memorable award ceremony, and, naturally, the events in the field of culture and art, and the names of masters who earned the recognition of the Academy.
Among the most memorable arts event of 2012 are certainly the traditional Art Week Style.uz and the projects of the VI Tashkent International Photo Biennale “Me in the World and the World in Me”, “Art Week + 5”, as well as exhibitions marking the Independence Day, Constitution Day, the International Museum Day, and Navruz holiday. A number of displays ran in celebration of the 20th anniversary since Uzbekistan established diplomatic relations with Japan, China and Italy. There was also a solo exhibition of the renowned Romanian photographer Teodor Radu Pantea.
A note should be made about solo and thematic exhibitions of famous Uzbek masters (for example, in memory of M. Kagarov and M. Nabiev; dedication to the anniversary of A. Hatamov); expositions of V. Burmakin and his student A. Nikitina, B. Nazarov, A. Ikramjanov, A. Boibekov, A. Avakyan, D. Mamedova, et al. Traditionally, on the eve of the Independence Day, among the State Award recipients were many people working in the system of the Academy of Arts, who made great contribution to the development of fine and applied arts of the country and the training of young professionals.
Last year also provided a lot of space to young artists trying to find their own road in the big wide world of fine arts; support to the children’s art continued through the now traditional “Colours of the Rainbow” exhibition and the IV International Biennale of Children’s Drawings “The Joys of Tashkent”. The works were displayed in the halls of the Ikuo Hirayama International Caravanserai of Culture, the Behzad Memorial Garden-Museum, the Art Exhibitions Directorate, and the National Fine Arts Gallery.
Quite interesting were the traditional exhibitions “Springtime Vernisage”, the Folk Art Festival, and the “Nature and Artist” show. An exhibition of academician artists, “Flight of Ideas”, marked the 15th anniversary of the Academy of Arts. The last year’s innovation was “The Artists of Stage” exhibition showing the works of Uzbek set design masters, stage designers, costumiers, prop masters, and make-up artists. Unique and memorable were the ideas of an exhibition held as part of a new exhibition series, “Our Heritage”: throughout the year, the Central Exhibition Hall of the AAUz displayed the works of traditional craftsmen, painters, and sculptors.
Summing up the results of the year, the AAUz acknowledged the contribution of artists and art critics to the study and promotion of Uzbekistan’ culture, as well as the input of journalists who dedicate their publications, television and radio programs to the stories about artists and their quest for their audiences.
Participants of the gala event shared their thoughts about art, plans for the future, and the TOP-ART-2012 award ceremony:
Babur Muhamedov, the Painter of the Year, says: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Academy of Arts and its Chair Akmal Nuridinov who followed my creative inquiry for many years. I exhibit very little, dedicating all my free time to painting; I study its technique and try to put philosophical subtext and the elements of our ethnic art into my works. My solo exhibition at the NBU’s Fine Arts Gallery, “Trajectory of Colour”, took place after ten years. The more surprising to me was this recognition of my work. I consider the TOP-ART a huge support for the artists, which, at the same time, involves a serious responsibility – to oneself and to our audience.”
Shakhnoza Karimbabaeva, director and curator of the VI Tashkent International Photo Biennale “Me in the World and the World in Me” that has won the Best Art Project and the Best International Exhibition Project awards of the year, noted: “Many sectors – economy, science, healthcare – have their own awards. It is encouraging to know that people of arts and culture can also be recognized. I believe it is right that the TOP-ART also acknowledges journalists doing a very difficult yet interesting work. For me the award is important, for it feels good to be noticed. I am grateful to the Academy of Arts for trusting me with the directorship of this major project for five consecutive years. Every year the Photo Biennale becomes more noticeable. The first time its theme was “My Dear Old Folks”; then only 400 of the 700 works received could be displayed at the Tashkent House of Photography. Today many countries take part in the project, and, with support from our government, photographers can come to our capital city and deliver master-classes. Photo Biennale has become well known abroad, and many people are already sending applications to participate in the next project. We all can take credit for this shared victory and recognition.
The award in the “Administrator of the Year” category also came as a pleasant surprise to Farrukh Usmanov, director of the Ikuo Hirayama International Caravanserai of Culture. Farrukh says: “‘Safety in Numbers’ is a very true saying. I believe that the entire team of the Caravanserai can take credit for the TOP-ART award. One of our significant projects of the last year, which we plan to continue running, is the Japanese Culture Days. It drew a lot of attention of the audiences of the Fine Arts Week – the umbrella event. Another important project of the Caravanserai is archaeological research conducted by local archaeologists, sometimes in cooperation with foreign partners. It also provides great experiential opportunity for the students of our specialist universities, encouraging their academic work. Together with field researchers they travel to the excavation sites, bring the material to the Caravanserai and process it here together with Japanese experts. We shall continue to justify confidence the Academy of Arts puts in us, and galvanize our scientific and cultural activity. There are plans to popularize Japanese prints, etchings and linocuts.”
The 2012 results have identified these winners in the following categories:
1. Painter of the Year: Babur Muhamedov
2. Sculptor of the Year: Bayat Muhtarov
3. Graphic Artist of the Year: Marat Sadykov
4. Best Applied Arts Master: Anush Avakyan
5. Traditional Arts Master of the Year: Mansur Murodov
6. Photographer of the Year: Viktor An
7. Art Critic of the Year: Akbar Khakimov
8. Designer of the Year: Andrei Abdulov
9. Teacher of the Year: Zhenis Lepesov
10. Best Exhibition Project in the domain of historical and cultural heritage:
“Our Heritage” cycle; curator Lyudmila Kodzaeva
11. Best Exhibition Project in the domain of contemporary art:
Traditional and Contemporary Art Festival “Navkiron Uzbekiston”; curator Kamola Akilova
12. Best International Exhibition Project:
The VI Tashkent International Photo Biennale “Me in the World and the World in Me”; director and curator Shakhnoza Karimbabaeva
13. Best Children’s Art Project:
The IV Tashkent International Biennale of Children’s Drawings “The Joys of Tashkent”; director Tohtasin Gaibullaev, curator Sevara Yuldasheva
14. Best Foreign Exhibition:
“Contemporary Painting of China” exhibition
15. Best section of the Artists Union of Uzbekistan:
Graphic Arts Section
16. Best National Partner of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan:
The National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan
17. Best International Partner of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan:
Eurasian Club of Gunma
18. Administrator of the Year
Farrukh Usmanov, director of the Ikuo Hirayama International Caravanserai of Culture
The TOP-ART Award ceremony also acknowledged the best journalists covering the Academy of Arts activities in newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcasts, as well as on websites. These are their names:
1. Nargiza Ergasheva, Misli Gavkhar program, “Tashkent” TV channel
2. Berdirahat Tuhliev, Hulkar Hamroeva, Gulyuz Kalonova, Radio “Uzbekiston”
3. Hasanboy Sattorov, Assalom Uzbekiston program
4. Fazliddin Yorbekov, Davr program
5. Guli Safoeva, Radio “Uzbekistan”
6. Konstantin Saidaliev, Narodnoe Slovo newspaper
7. Irina Ribar, Pravda Vostoka newspaper
8. Lidia Gryaznova, Vecherniy Tashkent newspaper
9. Nasiba Sobirova, “Jahon” News Agency journalist
10. Guzala Faizieva, “Uzbekistan today” newspaper
11. Boris Babaev, blog journalist
12. Dilshoda Mamurova, Davr program
13. Zebo Mirzaeva, Rangin Dunyo program
14. Irina Mirnaya, Narodnoe Slovo newspaper
15. Shahnoza Ganieva, author and host of the Shooting Stars program
16. Sarvar Usmonov, photojournalist of UzA
17. Mavjuda Holmatova, Halk Suzi newspaper
18. Muhammadnozim Mavlonov, Ahborot news program
19. Oksana Kadysheva, “SAN’AT” Journal
20. Umar Kurbnov, blog journalist
21. Tamara Sanaeva, blog journalist
To everyone working in the domain of arts, we wish every success in their endeavours, exciting discoveries, and recognition by the connoisseurs and amateurs of beauty alike.