Art for benefit of the Homeland

Interview with the Chairman
of the Academy of Arts of
Uzbekistan Akmal Nuridinov

V.Vilchinskaya: This year our country celebrates 25th anniversary of the independence. For these years there were basic changes in policy, economy and culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan. How, in your opinion, has this important historical event been reflected in national art of our country and what events of the period of independence could you call as defining for creativity of masters of fine and applied arts?

A.Nuridinov: The independence has opened new spaces for development of our country in all fields of public life and became an important incentive for revival of historical and cultural values. The attitude towards such concepts as history, language, national culture, centuries-old traditions, and national identity has changed. Understanding of deep roots of its own culture, its rightful place in the global art process at all stages of historical development has come. One of the important achievements in national art has become attaining of freedom of creativity. In the modern fine arts of Uzbekistan we see variety of trends and style solutions; artists try to combine national traditions and innovative trends of world art.
Not less important is the fact that the young state has given significant social and financial support to culture and art. And in this, first of all, I would like to note the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov on creation of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. It designates the main activities of the Academy: exhibition, education, research and propaganda. The existing exhibition halls have been reconstructed and new exhibition objects meeting the requirements of the international standards have been constructed. Construction of new and reconstruction of already existing specialized institutions in the sphere of art education both in Tashkent, and in other regions of the country has begun. So, a new building of the school in Uchkurgan of Namangan region was built, the school in Turtkul village of Andijan region was reconstructed, which nowadays has a big stadium, exhibition hall and spacious rooms. A school in Nurata of Navoi region was opened. A new building in Gulistan of Syr Darya region has already functioned, and students have begun to move into new schools in Shakhrisabz of Kashkadarya region. A new school in the center of Termez is under construction. The state creates all necessary conditions for improvement of creativity of youth. In my opinion, it is a big contribution to formation of new generation of artists in the field of art.
Besides, increase of the status of our artists in the international scene is very important. This is, for example, the Tashkent international biennales of the modern art and photo-biennales, as well as exhibitions of our artists abroad.

V.V.: Today our country develops steadily and fruitfully though the world is not quiet. What role can art play in patriotic and spiritual education of our generation?

A.N.: Art always was an important instrument in formation of ideas of humanity, philanthropy and tolerance in people’s minds. Today these spiritual values are important more than ever. Masters of Arts of Uzbekistan try to bring beauty of peaceful life and unacceptability of evil and violence to the audience by art means. It is important to emphasize that culture and art play a huge role in education of children already at school age and imparting love of beauty to them. This is well illustrated by the activity of educational institutions of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. Let’s take, for example, one of the unique educational institutions – the Republican Specialized Boarding School of Arts where in addition to the general education program children master subjects of artistic and musical direction. The school has a concert and exhibition halls where young musicians act and artists exhibit the works. The academy of Arts invites future artists to the events held by it as well. For example, this year children has demonstrated their creativity at the Festival of fine and applied arts. Besides, students of this school are constant participants of the International biennale of children’s drawing “Joys of Tashkent”. Young musicians of the school also do not stand aside. In 2016 they showed their skills at the Second Republican Competition of Young Performers named after Farrukh Mirusmanov held in the Republican Special Music Academic Lyceum named after Glier. All these exactly contribute to education in our country of highly moral youth, having solid stance and fighting against ideological threats.

V.V.: What, in your opinion, are the most actual creative problems facing today our national art workers?

A.N.: The main task of our artists has a universal character. It is to reflect pulse of time, to show spiritual wealth of the people, to feel and transfer its expectation and thoughts in figurative form. Works of Uzbek artists reflect wide range of problems and events which accompany life of our young state. One of the actual problems facing artists is creation of a bright image of the contemporary through which features of the nation’s world-view would be revealed. According to the audience and experts, the modern art of Uzbekistan is on the rise and has high creative potential. At the same time artists also must have normal conditions for the work, and here there are certain problems. One of them is absence of the own workshop at many already known and novice artists. It is a priority which we try to solve, keeping in mind that the future of national art in many respects depends on it. Moreover, the management of the Academy of Arts helps artists and national masters to organize and hold personal exhibitions.

V.V.: What is your opinion about the Festival of fine and applied arts which has taken place this year?

A.N.: The main difference of this Festival is that this year it has got the international scale. So, thanks to support of diplomatic corps artists from Slovakia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Italy, Japan, Bangladesh and the People’s Republic of China have presented nearly 200 works. Additionally they organized the days of culture of their countries, so visitors could learn more about their art and traditions. An innovation was also the fact that art has more “infiltrated” into the city. On a vast pedestrian zone of Tashkent students of educational institutions of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan carried out an action with drawings on asphalt devoted to our country. This year teachers of the National Institute of Arts and Design named after K. Bekhzad, the Tashkent Architectural and Construction Institute, the Republican Art College, the Republican College of Design and regional specialized boarding schools demonstrated their works to the audience as a creative report.
In general 1500 works of painting, drawing, products of applied art, folk costume and photographs were shown at the festival. In other words, quantitative and quality indicators of the Festival have increased.

V.V.: How do you estimate the creative potential of young generation of artists and what, in your opinion, tasks are facing the system of art education?

A.N.: In the period of independence the fine and applied arts have gone through renovation of generations. Recognized masters are succeeded by talented youth. At the same time the concept “young artist” also has its own features in art. For fully express ideas in art, it is necessary not only craft skills, but profound intellectual knowledge and life experience. The most part of the younger generation of Uzbek painters, sculptors, graphic artists, masters of applied art possesses these qualities. Among them there are many artists already well known not only in Uzbekistan, but also in other countries. I would not like to call concrete names in order to avoid missing someone, but, believing me, there are a lot of them. And in successfully development of our national art the important role belongs to educational process. The system of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan includes art education in all steps – from lyceums and colleges across the country to the National Institute of Arts and Design named after K. Bekhzad graduating bachelors and masters in all spheres of fine and applied arts and design. Besides educational process, the major role in formation of young artists in our country is played also by systematic carrying out of youth exhibitions, festivals, competitions and other actions stimulating their creativity.
The teaching stuff of these institutions possesses high level of qualification. But much depends also on the students themselves. Young artists should not relay solely on development of plastic skills while it is very important task. Today they need to have a broad outlook, to acquire deep knowledge about history of their country, to be aware of achievements of our people both in the distant past and at the present stage of development.
In this field there are the tasks which need to be addressed. It is publication of educational and methodical manuals and textbooks in core subjects in Uzbek language, organization of training for our young teachers and students in similar higher education institutions of other countries, in order to familiarize them with educational experience, museum collections, creative searches of artists of not only Uzbekistan, but also foreign countries.
Continuity of generations aimed both at preserving the best achievements of national school and at development of innovative practice of world art is important in art. Besides, it is important to preserve the national identity of our art, because this criterion is crucial in the era of globalization erasing national features of culture. I want to believe that our creative youth will cope with these tasks!

Беседовала сотрудинца журнала «SAN’AT»Валерия Вилчинская

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