Years Pass by, the Roads Intertwine…

Issue #4 • 105

Tilab Mahmudov,
Philosopher

In 1991, “Sanat” magazine (No. 6) has published the article about the creative work of the prominent Uyghur painter, Ghazi Ahmad (born in 1935), which narrated about the peculiarities of his brilliant artistic talent and love for the Uyghur people. At the time, Ghazi Ahmad used to work as the Deputy Chairman of the Association of Artists of the Chinese People’s Republic, the Chairman of the Association of Literature and Art of Xinjiang, he has taught at several institutions, for many years was the rector of the Xinjiang Institute of Arts, participated in many international exhibitions, the artist made a number of creative business trips to Germany, Bulgaria, France, England, Italy, Turkey and other countries. In Paris, the artist held his personal exhibition. In 2004, he was awarded with the order of “Victory” of Xinjiang.
Ghazi Ahmad has created a number of the excellent pieces of fine art. Among them are the paintings like “Unjust Sentence” (1964), “Mahmud Qashgari”, which was awarded by the first prize at the All-Chinese Exhibition, “Dance” that has also received a high assessment of experts at the exhibitions in Moscow and Taiwan. In the museums of Japan there are such paintings by Ghazi Ahmad as “The Carpets. The Uyghurs”, and “The Lovers of Music”. The portraits of Uyghur scholars and writers are captured in the painting by G. Ahmad, “A Song of Spring in the Pamirs”. In the modern period, Ghazi Ahmad works in the mainstream of the traditional school of Chinese painting Guohua.
Such paintings by Ghazi Ahmad like “Ulak” (it decorates the tribune of Tiananmen), “The Spirit of Dolan”, “Endless Song”, “Music in Uyutian”, “Mashrab” which reflect the national traditions and customs of the Uyghur people are widely known. The work on the design of the wall carpet “Cantata for the Tien Shan” intended for the hall of the National Assemblies in Beijing is going on under the direction of Ahmad.
Artistic and aesthetic originality of the artist is evident in the realistic images of famous personalities, who left an indelible trace in the history of the culture of Uyghurs and other peoples of the East, and in depiction of the Eastern reality. These characteristics of his creative work have been described in the publications in the periodicals of Uzbekistan and in the magazine “The Art of Xinjiang”.
Dedicating his works to historical events, national traditions and customs, and famous people, the artist strives to find his own visual approach, by associating it with the mood, soul, destiny and history of certain people. Therefore, his reverence for the history acquires the artistically aesthetic value, a sense of belonging to eternity and the enduring dream. This is evidenced by the pictures by G. Ahmad – “Garib and Sanam”, “The Daughter of Tien Shan”, “Chinese Landscape”, “Nasreddin”, “Oil Painting”, “Skillful Musicians”.
A symbol of friendship of the Uzbek and Uyghur peoples is the tomb of Furkat (Zakirjan Holmuhammad (1859 – 1909) in the Chinese city of Yarkand, built according to the project of Ghazi Ahmad by his son Tursun Ghazi. The father and son have depicted the tomb of Furkat in the form of a monument which has descended from heaven. In this work, one can see the artistic and aesthetic features of the monuments erected in cities such as Samarqand, Bukhara and Khiva.
Among the works by Ghazi Ahmad the special place take the portraits of Yusuf Hos Hojib (1998) and Mahmud Qashgari (2005). Usually, the artists working on the images of the thinkers of the past, draw upon the written sources and the oral tradition of that period, moreover they rely on the appearance of their contemporaries, whom they revere. This is how the approximate image of historical figures being created. The famous artist, Abdulhaq Abdullayev, has created the image of Alisher Navoi in this way.
Uzbek artists worked a lot on reconstruction of the image of Amir Timur. A number of portraits that embody the character of the great commander and Emir have been painted. The classic image of Sahibkiran Amir Timur was created by the People’s Artist of Uzbekistan, Malik Nabiyev. The painter, Ghazi Ahmad, portraits Yusuf Hos Hojib and Mahmud Qashgari on the same ground. If in “The Portrait of Mahmud Qashgari” he pays great attention to the historical personality, in “The Portrait of Yusuf Hos Hojib”, the character appears in the guise of a sage, communicating his famous poem “Qutadgubilik” to the peoples of the East and entire human kind. In these portraits the artist did not depict, unlike other artists, the items of applied arts and the symbols of the relevant historical periods. In these portraits he expressed his aesthetic ideals. Ghazi Ahmad is a kind of bridge between the representatives of the Uyghur and Uzbek fine arts.

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