The question, “what actually means the term a “symbol of soul “, which is often used in works of art and how it finds its embodiment in the fine arts” interested artists and sculptors since long ago. A person’s inner world, which incorporates, according to Alisher Navoi, “eighteen thousand worlds” is so boundless and many-sided that reflection of the storm of passions and subtle shades of the emotional experiences that are born in a human soul only by feelings of sadness and joy, is the most difficult process in art. Therefore you can often hear the assertion that success depends on skill and talent of the artist or sculptor. However, the question: “Can a particular image fully reflect a person’s inner feelings?” still remains without answer. Kurban Norkhurozov first faced this question in 1984, on the eve of graduation from the Sculpture Department of the Tashkent Theatrical and Art Institute named after N. Ostrovsky, during preparation of his diploma thesis “Seven beauties” (based on the poem “Seven planets” by Alisher Navoi). In the poem there is such episode: Bakhrom – the Shah of seven parts of the world during hunting has met an artist Moni, who informs the padishah about a Chinese girl beauty Dilorom and gives him her portrait painted by Moni himself. Shah Bakhrom, having seen the portrait, falls in love in Dilorom. Studying the poem by A. Navoi, K. Norkhurozov had a question: “What did Moni draw attention to, while creating the portrait of Dilorom?” Then he realized that the artist managed to reflect on the girl’s face, her innocent and chaste soul. The portrait painted by Moni is unknown to us, and if it actually existed, then has not reached us, it is only mentioned by the poet in the work. But whether the shah could fall in love with the girl, whose portrait would not reflect her soul. Pondering over this question, the sculptor depicted in his sketches appearances of seven beauties in seven different attires in chamotte style (the traditions of sculpture art of ancient Bactria, in particular, similar to the style of the sculptures found during excavations on Dalverzintepa in Surkhandarya region) and paid special attention on reflection of their inner emotions. It appears that exactly thanks to this, the famous representative of the Russian fine arts Eremeev, who arrived to Tashkent as a chairman of valuation commission, highly appreciated this work of the artist.
On the way to Bukhara, where Kurban Norkhurozov had got the referral after defending his thesis, he did not fully aware yet that the aspiration to convey inner world of the heroes of his works would become for him a subject of fixed creative searches and difficulties in execution of these plans. The fabulous city of the East – Bukhara not immediately took the place in his full of expectations and dreams heart. The reason for that was the unfamiliar environment and people, everyday problems and related cares, which, K. Norkhurozov was sure, would eventually be resolved. Soon he found in this ancient city all that was necessary for implementation of his creative searches. This was due to his dear childhood memories. He missed the native village Sufi in Kashkadarya region, the people among whom he lived, boundless steppes of that land, and local customs dear to him. Exactly thanks to this nostalgia he directed the attention to spiritual and moral strata of life, to the motion of a human soul. Portraying the plastic world of the people of that environment in his works, K. Norkhurozov understood that the main thing is not in portrait similarity of characters, but in reflection of their sensual inner world and their sincerity. The environment and atmosphere of Bukhara life directed his attention to this so unexpectedly mysterious world.
Many works of the master have some details, signs or symbols reminiscent of his native places – Sufi village. For example, his work “Dance” depicts a dancing country woman, whose sincere and simple movements reflect her full of emotions soul. Motives of many compositions are inspired by interesting stories of his grandmother Kizman. Beautiful images of a modest aged man looking after a ram (“Shepherd”), a beauty with the sunburn face (“Bride”), and a local farmer (“Grandfather”) are the symbols of his distant and cherished memories. However, the sculptor at that time didn’t know yet how those works would be perceived by a viewer, but he hoped that in the future these inward, disturbing him for many years dreams would turn out to be creative achievements. His hopes were not in vain. Such works of the master as “Voice of the era ” (1988, chamotte), “Shout” (1989, chamotte) and “Poetry” (dedication to Alisher Navoi, 1991, stone) were purchased by the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan, “Bride” (1997, wood) – by the Fine Arts Gallery of Uzbekistan, and the works as “Cry from the heart” (1994, artificial stone), “Aged man” (1997, wood) were also in demand. It was a sign of the creative success inspiring the sculptor to new creative searches. Since the 1990-ies K. Norkhurozov preferred traditional realistic method, which secrets he learned at the institute from his mentors Anvar Rakhmatullayev and Ulugbek Mardiev. These are such works as “Dedication to a feeble man. Shout” (1990), “Crying of soul” (2001), and “Voice of the heart” (1994).
His residing years in Bukhara (more than fourteen years) became a kind of school of overcoming of life trails. Ancient monuments, buildings and constructions, lifestyle of the people and spiritual world of this city became an important source of inspiration for the young sculptor. All this, to some extent, found the reflection in his works, in particular, in composite solutions of the installations (“Angel without wings”, “Donorship”, “Adam and Eve”) created by the sculptor after his moving to Tashkent (2005).
Sometimes the sculptor returned to his old subjects by 2 or 3 times, and not because he was not quite satisfied with his works, but because he wanted to reveal different sides of previously chosen subject. (For example, “Bride” was created in three options, “Internal state” – in two). If the “Bride” reflects three sides of grace beauty, then in “Internal state” the author represents to the viewer various painful points of emotional state. In these creative searches of the artist one can notice a positive influence of the works of such famous European sculptors of the XX century as Constantine Brancusi, Auguste Rodin, Giacomo Manzu, Emile Antoine Bourdelle, whose works impress the viewer with the transfer of passions raging in a human soul, and whose creativity is recognized by specialists as an important event in the world of art. But K. Norkhurozov does not adopts their manner blindly, but, turning to the man’s inner world, pays the main attention to deep spiritual roots of Uzbek national character and mentality. In images of his works more attention is paid to feelings and passions, which are harmoniously connected with the lifestyle of the author.
The internal state and emotion covering the sculptor during creativity depends also on the material chosen by him for the work. Though the favorite material of the master is clay, sometimes he finds some features close to his heart also in a wood texture, and starting the work, he creates a number of interesting works. These are, for example, such works as “Bride”, “Navruz”, “Aged man”, and “Dance” created by him in 1997. A series of portraits of our contemporaries, who were full of vital force, is also peculiar.
Through the appearances of his heroes, and using various symbols, metaphors, signs the sculptor conveys such opposite states of human soul, as joy and grief, light and darkness, life and death. This feature of creativity is especially characteristic of his easel works. For example, in the work “Shout” devoted to the theme of physically disabled people, the anxiety and emotional tension is reflected in plasticity. The work “Cry from the heart” represents an image of a person, who raised full of sorrow eyes to the sky, with the sad face, tears flowing on the cheeks and entreaty fixed on the lips. What does this image mean? Perhaps, it symbolizes discontent with the fate or a person’s aspiration to obedience? But, peering into the work, analyzing feelings that it causes, you begin to understand that it is aspiration to purification, repentance, liberation of soul from grief and sadness, appeal to the Creator with recognition of the sins. So the author created his “Self-portrait”. He was surprised by the fact that in the course of the work on this image, he didn’t notice the tears flowing from his eyes. We know, for example, that the great Navoi, having finished his work “Hamsa” (Quinary), and Abdullah Kadiriy, working on the scene of Kumush’s death, also cried. And in these works we feel tears of the author and inexpressible emotional state. In some works by K. Norkhurozov all feelings overwhelming a person’s soul are transferred to an original form, harmoniously merging with it.
In order to simplify understanding by the viewer the character and feelings of the heroes depicted in the work, the sculptor addresses to convex forms of the image, a hyperbola, giving to the works the necessary grotesque or conditional character (“Couple”, “Family”, “Girl”, “Dance”). In K. Norkhurozov’s works images of women and girls appear as simple, passed trials of life and hardy characters from real life. Thematic range of K. Norkhurozov’s works is not large – they are representatives of various ages, whose appearance reminds the people living in the steppe, in villages of Kashkadarya valley. His works reflect not only emotional state of the heroes, but also character of the author, his talent, spontaneity, and sometimes – naivety.
Soul motions that enliven the symbols in sculptural works give them attractiveness. And if so, then how does “each artist have to find or already have his own style?” – the sculptor asks. He emphasizes that the more perfect plastic decisions, the stronger the power of imagination and its connection with the passion transferred to hands and eyes, the brighter the conceived image will find its embodiment. In creative process it sometimes occurs quickly, like lightning flash, and sometimes can take months and years. So, in K. Norkhurozov’s wood sculptures created in 1997, the process of embodiment of the symbols kept in memory occurred quickly and easily. In these works the violation of the soul composure and condition of ecstasy played a role of a peculiar bridge in the plastic embodiment of the image. The embodiment of human figures gives to K. Norkhurozov’s works natural and artistic power. So, images of a lying person (“Rave”), sitting hunched man (“Cry of the soul”) and aged man (“Grandfather”), a girl rushed high into the air (“Girl”), a falling man (“Falling angel”), hunching aged man (“Old age”), guys sitting with embraced knees(“Internal state-1″) or leaning on the hand (“Internal state-2″), and dancing people (“Navruz”, “Dance”) are very attractive. Such dynamic conditions of characters are peculiar to all works of the sculptor. This feature conveys harmonious relationship of movements of the person’s body with his inner feelings.
Even in the student’s years K. Norkhurozov keenly interested in the well-known historic figures. He prepared several draft versions of the image of Amir Temur. He was attracted more by the youthful years of future commander held in Shakhrisabz. Therefore he submitted the work to the competition devoted to the 660th anniversary of the great commander (1996), where took the honorary second place. In this work the sculptor tried to convey strong, determined character of the recently won the throne commander, which helped him to win further great victories and successfully rule the power. Further K. Norkhurozov continued to represent some pages of our glorious history in his works. The sculptor created in Gizhduvan a monumental composition “Ibn Sina” (2004), in Bukhara – monumental compositions “Mirzo Ulugbek” (2003) and “Fitrat” (2002). K. Norkhurozov took part in creation of “Avesto” complex (together with his teacher Ulugbek Mardiyev) in Urgench and “Alpomysh” monument in Termez (1999) together with U. Urakov, U. Mardiyev, A. Rakhmatullaev, P. Podosinnikov and the architect R. Salokhiddinov. All this testifies to the keen interest of the sculptor to folklore and history, as well as his creative searches, aspiration to convey to them his vision of material.
The sculptures and compositions, which are thematically related to the nature and fauna, give free rein to the author’s imagination. It should be noted that the sculptor exceedingly likes to create the images of horses – the monumental work “Horses (2003), set in the children’s sports school of Bukhara. Working at such moments he feels very happy. This is partly due to the fact that images of such horses as Girkuk and Boychibar glorified in the Uzbek dastans, can decorate any area, give it special spirit and even more beauty.
Being formed as a real sculptor with clear self-consciousness gained in the environment of the ancient Kurban city of Bukhara, he moved to Tashkent in 2005, leased a workshop in the center of the capital and continued his creative searches. Now he takes active part in various competitions, exhibitions, international Biennales, where he often takes prestigious places.
Becoming a master of his craft, K. Norkhurozov often remembers how a simple rural school teacher Kholman-aka once praised his simple, primitive immature drawings, directing him to creativity, and feels like indebted to him and other such people, who believed in his talent. And in gratitude for their support the sculptor plans to create great works, inspired by the desire to do good, useful to the society and people deeds and lives with the belief that such emotional state is the brightest moments in a person’s destiny.