On April 21-25 Tashkent hosted the Fine Arts Festival marking the Healthy Child Year. The Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan (AAUz), the Art Exhibitions Directorate, the Artists Union of the AAUz, and the Central Exhibition Hall (CEH) organized the festival that ran in the exhibition venues in the capital Tashkent and other places in Uzbekistan. During the week, all guests, participants and admirers of arts from abroad, the capital city and the country’s provinces had a chance to see the unique works created by masters.
At the opening ceremony the People’s Artist of Uzbekistan Akmal Nuridinov, Chair of the Academy of Arts, noted that the priority objective of the event, which has become traditional, is to demonstrate creative potential in the fine arts domain, as well as to promote further development of children’s art and help young people learn to appreciate art and beauty. This year the Fine Arts Festival went beyond the national boundaries to become an international forum: it encompassed the Japanese Culture Days and an exhibition of Guseyn Ahverdiev, People’s Artist of Azerbaijan.
On the opening day in Tashkent over a hundred works by fifty artists from Kokand, Ferghana, Namangan, Nukus, Khorezm, Andijan, Rishtan, Qarshi, Samarqand and Bukhara were demonstrated. Among the participants were fine art masters Muhammadjon Tajimirzaev and Doniyor Sohibov from Namangan; Sarsenbai Baibosinov from Nukus; Azamat Satarov from Qarshi, and others. Works from Tashkent were presented by masters pursuing different styles and genres of fine art, namely Alisher Mirzaev, Faizulla Ahmadaliev, Babur Ismailov, Babur Muhammedov, Valeriy Yenin, Bayat Mukhtarov, Ibragim Valihojaev, Alisher Alikulov, Tohir Karimov and others. Applied arts and crafts were also on display: embroidery by Rahmon Toshev (Bukhara), printed cloth by the Tashkent masters Abdurashid and Ravshan Rakhimovs, and ceramics from Gijduvan and Rishtan.
On the first day of the festival two solo exhibitions were held: one of the AAUz Academician Sharif Asimov, applied arts master heading the Samarqand ceramics school; and the other of sculptor Guseyn Ahverdiev, guest from Baku. Asimov, the unrivaled master of form, has participated in many national and international exhibitions; he dedicated his art to continuing the tradition of unglazed ceramics. The themes he explores are the ancient Samarqand where he was born and raised, and the history of the Great Silk Road.
Guseyn Ahverdiev’s works “Plasticity”, “Dialogue with Rocks”, “Dance of the Shaman”, and “Cosmic Portrait”, dwelling on abstract thinking and populated with amazing characters from another worlds, seem to encourage the viewer to look closer into the meaning of what is happening around. Ahverdiev noted: “I am proud and infinitely happy to visit the holy land of Uzbekistan, home of great thinkers who contributed greatly to the development of the global civilization. The Festival is a clear sign of the keen attention given in your country to the development of art, creativity, and aesthetic education of the younger generation.”
For five days the amateurs of art were introducing themselves to the works of talented students of art schools, colleges and institutes that train future masters of brush and chisel.
The festival encompassed an exhibition of artists affiliated with the painting, graphic arts, set design, and applied arts and crafts section. The audiences could see the works of renowned Uzbekistan artists such as Shahnoz Abdullaeva, Shoira Kuzieva, Maria Safi-Lee, Saira Keltaeva, Rahim Rizamuhammedov, Inna Sandler, Sergei Chufarnov, Lyubov Rozakova, Bahrom Tojiev, Ruslan Khalilov, Giyosiddin Badriddinov, Ziyodulla Farmonov, and others. There was also a display of works by graphic artists Marat Sadykov, Radik Azizov, Muhammad Fozili, Galina Lee, Galina Naumova, Akrom Bahromov, Navoi Usmanov, Khursanoi Inagamov, Rivkat Azikhanov, Ruslan Kadirov, Shoista Inagamova, as well as film and theater artists Shukhrat Abdumalikov (sketches for the “Tumaris” play), Furqat Bazarov (sketches for the “Jalaliddin Manguberdy” play), and Sanat Kendjaev (sketches for the “Zarba” film).
Great mastery was demonstrated by miniaturists and calligraphers Bahadir Khodjimetov, Mukhiddin Qayumi, Hamid Mirsagatov, Rasul Pulatov, Marhabo Ummatova, Marifat Kadirova, Anvar Isroilov, Nozima Qayumi, Bahadir Babanazarov, Muhammad Solih, and others. The Healthy Child Year was celebrated in the works by photographers Abdugani Jumaev and Vladimir Schlosberg.
Works presented at the festival were quite diverse, both in terms of trend and performance technique, and in subject-matter. Some pieces explored mythology. Quite interesting was a triptych called “The Story of Adam and Eve” by Academician Alisher Mirzaev. Legends provided a theme for the works of B. Bozorov, artist from Navoi. Works by P. Annenkov “Swan Princess” and “The Book of Fate: Beginning” tell about immutable human values. The author made a perfect choice of colour palette, character placing, and composition. Great interest among the audiences was excited by “Waking” by T. Fadeeva, and “The Old Man Majnun” and “The Fair Face of Buddha” by Sh. Abdumalikov.
Paintings of the Samarqand and Kashkadarya artists exhibited at the Central Showroom (CEH) expose everyday life of ordinary people, their thoughts and aspirations. “Quroq” (“Patchwork”) by Uktam Saidov, young talented artist from Khorezm, catches the eye with its local colour and philosophical compositional solution.
The festival visitors had a chance to attend a solo exhibition of painter Mukhtar Isanov, the display of works by students and faculty of the National College of Design, master-classes delivered by the Azerbaijani painter and sculptor G. Ahverdiev and members of the Artists Union of the AAUz, as well as a round table discussion held by art critics on the topic of “Contemporary Pictorial Art: Traditions and Innovations”.
The roundtable participants – art historians, journalists, artists, and students, when discussing current trends in pictorial art, its problems and solutions, noted successes and challenges. Critical analysis was presented by Doctors of Art History Akbar Khakimov, Kamola Akilova, Nigora Akhmedovs and Dilafruz Kodirova; Doctor of History A. Madraimov; People’s Artists of Uzbekistan Javlon Umarbekov and Bahodir Jalalov; People’s Artist of Azerbaijan G. Ahverdiev; and Candidate of Art History L. Kodzaeva. All of them, however, united in the opinion that the festival ran in the spirit of creativity, and the displayed works showed diversity both in terms of techniques, methods and trends, and in ideological and artistic qualities. They also made a note of the need to improve education quality in universities and increase the number of professional art critics.
The festival guest Guseyn Ahverdiev stressed: “Independence gave us the opportunity to manifest our individuality and choose our own career in art. I believe that every artist must know the world’s heritage, and, while keeping the identity of his nation, continue its traditions.”
On April 24 there were exhibitions displaying the works of students and teachers of the National College of Arts; workshops run by artists from the province branches of the Artists Union; an exhibition of works by the students of the Tashkent Textile Institute; as well as the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the memory of the people’s poet Muhammad Yusuf.
April 25 presented the works of students and teachers of the Republican Vocations Boarding Art School, as well as books, catalogues and the SAN’AT Journal of the Academy. The participants of the Fine Arts Festival were awarded prizes, gifts and certificates.