Visual and applied arts of the New Uzbekistan are revealed to the world


Akmal Nur,

Chair of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan

The territory of Uzbekistan is one of the most ancient cradles of human civilization.  With the attainment of national independence, the art of Uzbekistan, rooted deep in history, entered a new stage of development.

On the verge of the twenty-first century, Uzbekistan, an independent and equitable republic, now gained an opportunity to present to the global community its national artistic heritage of multinational artists and craftsmen in all its diversity.

All-round creative cooperation relations are being developed with the world’s leading art academies, specialized prestigious international educational institutions in this field. For example, in the direction of art education, the Academy of Arts cooperates with educational institutions in about 20 countries of the world. In addition to the CIS countries, memorandums of understanding were signed establishing cooperative relations with educational institutions in countries  such as the  People’s Republic of China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and India. Based on these memorandums, our students got the opportunity to study abroad.

Uzbekistan has recently become a renewing and open nation actively engaging with the global community.  This process has triggered positive changes in the art domain as well.  In 2022, the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan signed a Cooperation Memorandum between the Artist Unions of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, with ensuing exhibitions of Tajik artists organized in the Academy showrooms.

On the eve of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand and as part of “The Spirit of Samarkand” project, the Academy of Arts, together with the Samarkand Province government, organized an international symposium of sculptors attended by international participants from Russia, Iran, India, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; seven local sculptors also took part.  Wonderful sculpture pieces were created during the symposium, providing an actual confirmation that artistic connections with neighbouring countries are evolving from day to day.

Active involvement and success of Uzbek artists in international symposiums, exhibitions, contests, sharing of experience, and dialogue with renowned foreign colleagues representing contemporary visual, applied, and conceptual art ensure high standard in artistic development of the national arts.

It is rewarding to note that today, not only in Tashkent, the capital city, but also throughout the country, the growing number of national and world art specimens are being demonstrated.

Among the Academy of Arts projects contributing most significantly to the development of international cooperation in the art domain one should mention the Tashkent International Applied Arts Biennale, the International Festival of Fine and Applied Arts, the Tashkent International Contemporary Art Biennale, and the International Biennale of Children’s Drawings “The Highlights of Tashkent”.

Particular mention has to be given to the International Festival of Fine and Applied Arts, which is important for promoting the heritage of the Uzbekistan national art and carrying over its treasures to the next generations.  This project widely promotes attainments in the Uzbek fine and applied arts, facilitates creative exchange and discovery of new talents, and helps to keep up the tradition of mentoring.  It also provides a platform for researching the current processes in contemporary fine and applied arts.  The festival helps to strengthen friendly connections and cooperation among different nations, as well as to broaden the scale of artistic cooperation at the international level.

In 2023, on the initiative of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, for the first time in the festival history, besides displaying the art of TURKSOY (International Organization of Turkic Culture) member countries – Azerbaijan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, an exhibition of Hungarian artists was organized.  Apart from that, they held a round table discussion on matters related to the development of multidimensional cooperation.

In 2022, in keeping with paragraph 275 of the national programme to implement the new Uzbekistan development strategy in the “Year of Promoting Human Interests and Community Development”, a number of significant art-related events ran with success, among them the “IX Tashkent International Contemporary Art Biennale” and the International Biennale of Children’s Drawings “The Highlights of Tashkent”.

Celebrations marked the 110th anniversary of Prof. Chingiz Akhmarov, Peoples Artist of Uzbekistan; he created the national school of painting and continued the Asian miniature painting traditions in his art, contributing most significantly to the development of Uzbek art.  The 120th anniversary of Zinaida Kovalevskaya, the famous artist, was also celebrated.

In the framework of the 2023 national programme “The Year of Care for Humanity and Quality Education”, with support from the Artists Association, the government has planned to create art galleries and art residences dealing in the works of fine and applied art, in view to promote Uzbek fine and applied arts internationally.  The government sees as its important objective that craftsmen and artists not only grow spiritually, but also be appropriately rewarded for their work.

To this end, in April 2023, the first auction house was opened in Tashkent with art shows and auctions organized to sell the works of art from Uzbekistan.  Presently, in any part of the world one can see and purchase the works of Uzbekistan artists.  In the month of May, ensuing from this effort, the first fine art auction sales took place in Tashkent offering the works of Uzbek artists.

The ultimate goal is to help create a cohort of collectors in the country, who would acquire Uzbek arts and crafts on a regular basis.

At any rate, one should recognize that the dynamic developments of the era require further progress in representational arts, as well as the recognition of its growing significance and value these days.

In the framework of international cooperation, a unique system of meetings and dialogues with foreign artists and culture promoters was created.  Many local artists regularly participate in international conferences, exhibitions, festivals and contests, winning prestigious prizes and government awards.  The credit for their success goes to the attention the country’s leadership has been giving to the development of arts in Uzbekistan.

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