The Art of the Uzbek Youth

Kamola Akilova,
Doctor of Arts

Uzbekistan is the country of young people, 64 percent of its population are young people under 30. For this reason, the problems of youth are always under the scrutiny of the government’s policy of the independent Uzbekistan. So, the first regulatory document adopted on the legislative level is the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on “The Principles of the State Youth Policy”(1991).The logical and consistent continuation of the gradual and coherent reforms implemented in our country during the years of independence became the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on “Additional measures aimed at implementation of the state youth policy in Uzbekistan” dated February 6, 2014.

One of the priorities of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan is to identify the talented youth, to support and encourage its productive creativity. Among the gifted young artists, who were awarded with diplomas and prizes of the Academy of Arts, are T. Karimov, Z. Sharipova, J. Izentayev, G. Ibraghimov, Z. Mansurov, S. Djabbarov, D. Razikov, N. Sharafkhojaeva, D. Mamedova, K. Babaev, T. Rakhmetov, T. Fadeeva, A. Lomanov, F. Ahmadaliev, D. Eshmatov, A. Barkovskiy, V. Khapov and others. A group of young artists got the opportunity to continue their studies in Italy under the framework of the grants provided by the “Umid” Foundation of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Among them were the young artists like K. Babaev, R. Ziyadullaev, J. Izentayev, E. Hayitov, who had underwent the training in Italy (Como) supported by the grants of “Umid” Foundation.
A multi-level system of artistic education in the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan and held annually in the nationwide festivals and competitions of creative youth that was established in the years of independence to help to identify the talented youth. Within the structure of the Academy of Arts there are several beautiful halls that are available to young artists for exhibitions on a gratuitous basis. In addition to the already available excellent exhibition facilities, in 2008, on the initiative of the Head of State, the Palace of Creative Youth was inaugurated in the capital. It is a unique cultural center, which has no analogues not only in this region but also in other former Soviet Union states. In 2015 alone, more than 90 events were held in the Palace of Creative Youth, which were attended by young artists seeking their ways in the different types of art. Among the activities conducted by the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, are, for example, the exhibition of young artists, craftsmen and designers – “The youth of the country” that was held in September of 2014 in the Central Exhibition Hall of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. The concept of the exhibition was aimed at illustration of the work of young artists working in all types of visual art. The exhibition was divided into several separate blocks that demonstrated the artistic thesis works of the graduates of colleges, lyceums, institutes, and the young artists, who have already graduated from the institutes and work independently. The art of young artists is an experiment, an attempt to infuse something new and extraordinary into art. However, this exact quality some of the young artists were lacking. The People’s Artist of Uzbekistan, Academician – J. Umarbekov has noted during the discussion about the exhibition, “Young artists should learn from the luminaries of the Uzbek fine art and aspire to be like them, however having their own unique style.”Along with the appraisable pieces of art, the weak ones were noted as well, since in the future the young artists will replace the today’s artists of the older generation.
A specific feature of the art of young generation in the years of independence is the emergence of creative groups of young artists. These are, for example, the “Circle”, “5+1”under the Gallery of Fine Arts of Uzbekistan, the design artists under the leadership of Andrey Lomanov. If the creative interests of the group “Circle И” are focused more on thematic criteria of each exhibition, the members of the group “5+1” and the A. Lomanov’s group are focused more on the attainment of the direction in art such as contemporary art. The festivals of fine and decorative and applied arts, held annually by the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan play an important role as well. Their uniqueness lie in the fact that the representatives of different generations, various art forms, geographical areas of the country create together. Moreover, they become part of the modern urban environment being in direct contact with the audience. Under the framework of the Festival, the Days of the National Institute of Arts and Design named after K. Behzad and the National Art College, National College of Design are held, where the trainers of the artistic educational institutions and their students display their work, whose participation in the exhibitions along with their teachers – the well-known masters, requires great responsibility of the creative young artists. Similar exhibitions are, as a rule, accompanied by the master classes, allowing acquaintance with the “creative laboratory” of the recognized masters of art. The festivals have also become a certain platform in the formation of the creative personalities of the artists.
In general, in the process of training of future artists and masters of decorative and applied arts in recent years, much attention is paid to formation of the young art critics. In this regard, is notable a number of youth scientific-theoretical conferences, seminars, colloquia, which are attended by young art historians. So, the National Youth Scientific Conference “Art and the History of Art Through the Eyes of Young People”, which was held in the framework of the Festival in 2015, has united not only young artists, but also theatre critics, film critics, musicologists, who conducted their research on different issues of history and theory of art. Systematic and productive exercise was conduction of research and experimental conference “EGO” of the students of the history of art of the National Arts and Design Institute named after K. Behzad under the guidance of their lecturer – academician A. Khakimov. Participation in the “EGO” has become a test of the pen for many students by lifting the “curtain” over the analysis of works of the fine and applied arts, over their numerous theoretical problems.
In addition to the system of art education, other educational programs associated with the exhibition projects mainly of the foreign art are popular in Uzbekistan. Thus, on March 25-27, 2015, in the State Museum of Arts, the British Council in partnership with the Ministry for Culture and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, State Museum of Arts, conducted the lectures and workshops on “The Modern Graphics of the United Kingdom” under the framework of the exhibition of lithographs by British artist, Henry Moore. At master classes, the leading consultant in the field of art and renowned contemporary artist – Sarah Gillett told to the young artists of Uzbekistan about modern methods of creating art graphics, while in the framework of the lectures she shared with the novice artists, students and young teachers and everyone interested in the subject, creative methods of modern British graphic arts, starting from the use of conventional pencil and paper to digital images and pictures in 3D. During the master classes, the participants inspired by the lithographs by Henry Moore created their interpretation and vision of the British master’s creative art.
The Week of Youth took place in Tashkent, on November 12-22 of 2015, an important part of which was the Fashion Week (Creative Director – Doctor of Arts, K. Akilova).The interest in design in general and design of clothes in particular has greatly increased in the modern world. Within the period of independence in Uzbekistan, organization of the numerous festivals and contests in the field of fashion design have contributed to the emergence of a number of talented designers working not only for domestic market, but showcasing their collections on the international catwalks as well.
The practice of different countries shows that globalization affected such sphere of the arts like fashion design. In this sense, the issue of preservation of the national traditions in this field becomes topical. At the same time, the accumulation of experience and the inclusion of creative youth in the field of achievements of contemporary fashion and creative search of modern designers of the foreign countries are also essential. During the years of independence a holistic educational framework was created in Uzbekistan for formation and training of young designers. In particular, the departments of “clothes design” and “historical dresses” were opened in the National Institute of Arts and Design named after K. Behzad and in the National Art College.
The purpose of the Fashion Week during the Week of the Young Artists was to support the young designers of Uzbekistan, stimulation of their creative search attracting public attention to a new generation of young national designers that defined the core tasks of this Fashion Week, such as:
Demonstration of the creative search of young designers of Uzbekistan to the general public;
Presentation of new collections of young designers;
Familiarization of young designers with the authentic traditions of the national dress;
Organization of master classes of the leading designers of Uzbekistan for creative youth;
Seminars on theoretical issues of the fashion design, particularly fashion design in art education;
Support and stimulation of creative search of young designers of clothes;
Broad coverage of creative search of young designers in the media;
Introduction in the mass consciousness of the youth the culture of clothing, historically developed and evolving at the present stage of development;
Preservation of historic traditions in modern clothes (fabrics, traditional accessories, cut, etc.).
The best collections made by students of the NIAD named after K. Behzad, the National Art College, the National College of Design and young designers-graduates of these institutions have been chosen for the Fashion Week. The competent jury determined the winners in the categories of “Debut”, “Fashion Lab”, “Theatrical Costume”, and “Folk Costume”. So, in the nomination “Debut”, the main criterion showing the models of the designers, showing their works for the first time, 1st, 2nd and 3rdplaces were taken, respectively by E. Mustafina with her collection “The Gold of Bukhara”, Sh. Nematova with collection – “Legend of the East”, Z. Sharipova with collection “The Meeting of the Beauties”. In the “Fashion Lab” nomination, the main criterion of which was an experiment, search of the avant-garde, free art solutions, 1stplace was won by R. Yusupova, 2nd by S. Boltayeva, 3rd one by F. Salikhova. If in these two categories the winners were the students of NIAD named after K. Behzad, the categories of “Theatrical Costume” and “Folk Costume” were attended by mostly the students of the National Art College, specializing in historic and scenic clothes, and the National College of Design, one of the specialties of which are the folk costumes. So, in the category of “Theatrical Costume” the main criterion of which was the staginess, the 1st, 2ndand 3rdplaces were taken, respectively, by U. Azimova, I. Hoshimova and N. Jumaniyozova.In the category of the “Folk Costume” – preservation of the identity of traditional costume of different provinces of Uzbekistan – the prizes were awarded to G. Kutpullaeva, M. Djuraeva, and D. Egamberdieva. The program of the fashion show was complimented by the traditional Festival of the National Dress and the Festival “Bolajonlar Shirintoylar”.
Organization of similar Fashion Week promotes the development of aesthetic taste of young people, as well as the preservation of national traditions and the development of international practices in such areas as fashion design, greatly defining the vectors of creativity. The program of the Fashion Week included not only the defiles, but also the exhibition of young artists and folk masters of Uzbekistan, a photo exhibition “Images in Vogue”, a master class from a famous designer, Saida Amir, for novice designers, master-class on Japanese kimono, the seminar-training “Current Trends of Modern Fashion” that have been held at the Youth Creativity Palace; the exhibition “The Charm of Batik” in the Central Exhibition Hall, etc.
In summary, it is worthwhile to note once again that during the years of independence of Uzbekistan, all conditions necessary for development of youth arts have been created as part of the youth culture, free from ideological pressure, having the state support and great potential for development. The future of the national art is associated with the youth, the sprouts of which are visible today.

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