Sukhrob Kurbanov, Art Critic
Since the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, reforms have been carried out in the sphere of higher and secondary special education and training nationwide. For these purposes, such crucial government documents as the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, on “The Establishment of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan” and the Cabinet of Ministers’ resolution on “The Organization of the Activities of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan” have been adopted in 1997. Both documents have laid the basis for the creation of a system of continuous art education in the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, which highest body is the National Institute of Arts and Design named after K. Behzad (NIAD) that during its existence as an independent institution has produced a considerable number of painters, designers, sculptors, art critics, artists of theatre and cinema, masters of applied art, who carry out a fruitful work in different spheres of plastic arts.
Despite the obvious positive shifts in the activities of NIAD, time set up new tasks on improvement of the education strategy before this institution. One of them is the introduction of a graduate research for thesis paper into the system of the Master graduate training. This was due to the fact that the training of the specialists becomes priority in the Master’s program not only in terms of their professional competence, but also in terms of development of their creative capabilities in order to be able to perform and research, creating conditions for their self-realization. The process of implementing this innovation into the system of the Master’s program of NIAD was not easy. If for the Masters of museum management or art criticism, where the thesis is also their diploma paper and they had to enhance their quality, which was not something unexpected, for the students enrolled in the faculties of fine art, applied arts and design, who previously had to present only their creative work as a diploma project, it turned out to be an unexpectedly difficult task. However, thorough work of the management of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan and the trainers of the Institute on explaining the main principles of this innovation yielded positive results.
In 2012 – 2015, the Master’s thesis on creative professions have been successfully defended by more than 130 graduates of the Institute, who received the expert evaluation of the members of the examination committee in the process of defense of their diploma projects. Given the importance of the results of this innovation both for the graduates and for further development of the national art, the author of this article deems important to make the art analysis of the diploma projects of the graduates considering the new requirements. The graduation projects and dissertation research of the Master graduate students of the Department of Easel Painting and Artistic Design of Film and Television of the Faculty of Fine Arts of NIAD of the academic years of 2013 – 2014 and 2014 – 2015, were used as the basis (artistic managers – A. Ikramjanov, Sh. Abdumalikov and Ch. Bekmirov). The predominant system in the training programs of all departments of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Institute is the academic methodology. After completion of the educational program, the master graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts should possess such skills as mastery of the material and the technology of painting, and at the present time also preparation of a scientific dissertation. The educational process in the Master’s Program is carried out according to the principle of creative workshops. For these purposes, two painting workshops have been created: the workshop of Professor A. Ikramjanov (the thesis works intend creation of portraits, still-lives and landscapes) and the workshop of Professor Sh. Abdumalikov (creation of sketches for films based on the works of famous writers). In addition to daily practical exercises (drawing, painting, composition) and a careful study of live models (portrait, nudes, etc.), the graduates are engaged in research work (they write articles, make presentations at conferences). Every year the Institute issues a collection of scientific works of the Master students.
Among the Masters’ works in which the compositional thinking, painting technique and other qualities that form the notion of creativity, are done at the adequate level, are noteworthy the projects by Zulfiya Kurbanova, Furkat Bozorov, Shamsiddin Ibraimov, Rashid Jumaniyazov, Abdulhamid Juraev and Zuhriddin Kiyamov.
Particularly interesting, from the point of view of conceptual thinking, is the thesis project of Zulfiya Kurbanova (artistic manager of the project – Sh. Abdumalikov), who presented the sketches to the work by Yukio Mishima “Yorobosi – a Blind Boy”. Kurbanova has presented five sketches for the film. The sketches of the looks of the characters of the film, recreated with the help of her imagination, are similar to the characters of the literary work. In contrast with the grim images, the last composition is performed in the vein of “fantasy”. On one hand, it “dilutes” the whole ensemble of works; on the other hand, it reveals the rich inner world of the character, emphasizing the aesthetics of works by Y. Mishima. All images are drawn in muted colors. During implementation of this project, it is planned to use natural fabrics, silk painting and traditional Japanese embroidery, which are characteristic to the folk costumes. The main objective of the artist was to find a solution in creation of a conceptual film, therefore Z. Kurbanova was guided by artistic means in the transmission of appearance and inner world of the character. With regard to her works, on the first sketch, the artist tried to convey the atmosphere of devastation, fear and loneliness. Utterly devastated city is plunged into chaos and oblivion. The sketch is performed in cold tones that emphasize the drama of the entire scene.
In her dissertation, Kurbanova analyzed “the role of the artist in forming of conceptual cinema”, which describes the main stages of its development and significance of the artist in it. As a result, her thesis discloses the basic idea of the literary work.
Furkat Bozorov in his thesis project (artistic manager – Sh. Abdumalikov) presented four sketches for a work by M. Dehlavi “The Dervishes”: 1. The Last Journey of Hatamtay; 2. The Myth of Nimruz; 3. Everything in This Life is Temporal; 4. Conspiracy. Stylistic design of the compositions may be traced to the art of Babur Ismailov, for the color palette the artist uses as basis medieval wall paintings of Afrasiab, skillfully describing the characteristic features of the scene, facial traits and postures of the actors, skillfully building a story line, while maintaining a sense of proportion. Scientific work by F. Bazarov, who managed to reveal the main idea of “The Dervishes” by M. Dehlavi meets the requirements to a Master’s degree.
On the relevant but still understudied in Uzbekistan subject “The role of the artist in the cinema in a developing genre of fiction” wrote his project paper Shamsiddin Ibraimov (artistic manager – Sh. Abdumalikov). In his graduation project, the artist – Sh. Ibraimov explored an important philosophical and psychological problem of humanity, referred to in the literature work by Dante, “Divine Comedy”. Ibraimov prepared sketches for future movie, embodying them into the genre of fantasy fiction cinema, which is getting evolved nowadays. Complex multi-dimensional sketches for the film reproduce the integrity of the impressions of a Master graduate, who carefully examined the intricacies of the literary source. His sketches demonstrate clarity of spatial plans inseparably linked to the color scheme. Characters of Dante, which are distinguished by highly psychological realism, are driven by certain aspirations serving as their motivating factors. The graduate student demonstrates good compositional thinking and ability to build a plot. The thesis by Sh. Ibraimov fully disclosed the basic idea of the original source. It meets the requirements for the Master degree.
Rashid Jumaniyazov (artistic manager of the project – A. Ikramjanov) presented a portrait of the national hero of Uzbekistan – Jaloliddin Manguberdi. Easel artwork has a vertical composition, where Jalaliddin Manguberdi is shown in full height in military apparel, wearing a helmet and holding a sword in his hand. In the background is his cavalry guarding their territory. A significant portion of the canvas is taken by the cloudy sky, and a bright sun shines symbolically in the center. The artist has well-built the composition of the painting, emphasizing the most spectacular objects. The thesis by R. Jumaniyazov reveals the main idea of the artwork. He did an extensive work on studying the archive materials, popular science documentaries and stage performances about Jalaliddin Manguberdi.
Detailed and narrative interpretation of motive is addressed in the project by Abdulhamid Juraev (artistic manager – A. Ikramjanov). The graduate student has depicted the portrait of the sculptor – Azamat Hatamov against the background of his works. The composition is characterized by the contrast of a light gray shade to the vertical sculptural design. The motif of this work is subordinate to the philosophical nuances of the author’s concept.
The next project can be attributed to the search for the minimalist style, involving a minimum of artistic means to achieve a plastic expressiveness. The author of the project is Zuhriddin Kiyamov (artistic manager – А. Ikramjanov), who presented his work on the subject “The problems of reflection of the process of musical creativity”. The subject itself is not new, it is reminiscent of the works by French artists of the early XX century, who dealt with interpretation of the characters of musicians. Composition is built of representation of the large objects depicted by local colors. With a rather scanty color range, almost four basic colors – red, black, white and yellow, he makes to emerge the picturesque modeling of planes. The artist’s ability to build the composition in line with the framing artistic thinking is noteworthy. The thesis work reveals the main idea of the artwork and meets the requirements for the Master degree.
One can also highlight the works of varying degrees of success. These are the artistic projects by Dildora Hamidova, Temur Murodjonov, Hasan Egamberdiev.
The work of easel painting oriented at the classical examples of self-portrait demonstrates Dildora Khamidova (artistic manager – А. Ikramjanov). The plot is quite popular – self-portrait of the artist in studio. Work on self-portrait is one of the most important in the realist school. Its importance lies in the systematic mastering of skills such as professional drawing, masterful distribution of light and color. Scientific thesis reveals the main idea of art piece and meets the requirements for the Master degree.
Thesis project of Temur Muradjanov (artistic manager of the project – A. Ikramjanov) stylistically recalls the works of the socialist realism of the 1970s. T. Muradjanov in his graduation project presented a portrait of the artist, Dilyus Mirsalimov, studying the sketches in his studio. The composition is based on the contrast of a light ochreous-grey color. Genre and narrative interpretation of the motive is subordinate to the internal philosophical nuances of the author’s concept. Scientific thesis reveals the main idea of art worj and meets the requirements for the Master’s degree.
The basis of pictorial plastic in the art project of Hasan Egamberdiev (artistic manager of the project – A. Ikramjanov) applied light as a means of modeling the form and the color. Painting techniques in the work of the graduate student are reminiscent of the paintings of the artists of socialist realism. Easel painting is represented in the portrait genre, which depicts the actor, Batyr Halmirzaev, in the dressing room before going on stage. In the background of the picture is a mirror reflecting him and accessories of the dressing room.
Judging by the results of the reviewed Master’s art projects, currently there have been evident positive developments in the system of artistic education in Uzbekistan. Despite this, today new goals for improvement of education strategy are set in front of the Institute (NIAD). This, for example, envisages the introduction of a system of graduate dissertation research in the framework of the thesis defense.
Today, the term of “artist” includes not only the idea of the person who has professional skills to depict the world around us in colors, lines and plastic forms, but also the notion of the human being, who rethinks and translates his spiritual experience to the present and future generations. The graduates should demonstrate not only the knowledge of pictorial techniques, independent transmission of figurative and compositional solutions, but also show a kind of creative approach to solving the artistic problems, show the originality of their thinking.
A list of the most promising creative works is not as long as we would like, not all of the works are perfect, however, the analysis has shown that in their total number there are already innovative origins. Perceiving the learning process at the Faculty of Fine Art, it is possible to identify different forms and techniques of improving the academic methods.
Key words: art education, design, painting, technic, dissertation.
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