Art of Eastern masters is delicate and intriguing
National Art Museum of Republic of Belarus hosts one day Art of Turkmenistan exhibition
It was beautiful and solemn at the exhibition
Undoubtedly, the exhibition is worth visiting, showcasing around a hundred paintings and works of decorative-and-applied art. Exhibits are unique in featuring Turkmen traditions from past times. The ancient Margiana civilisation existed on these lands in the 2nd millennium BC, followed in the first millennium BC by the powerful Parthian Kingdom, which created the world-famous city of Nisa, now in ruins. Later, the Turks, Arabs and Iranians mixed with nomadic tribes, creating today’s Turkmen ethnicity. Accepting Islam, the Turkmen tribes became part of the Islamic world but their culture differs from that of other Muslim Central Asian states, being based on nomadic traditions, as is apparent from folk art.
Interesting even to craftswomen themselves
Turkmen carpets are probably the most famous worldwide, and are known to symbolise status and wealth, while their distinct ornamental, geometric patterns represent tribal divisions. Their soft silks convey the entire palette of nature, from the bright blush of the rising Sun, to the green of a spring prairie and the golden barchans. Delicately patterned, using harmonious colours and high quality yarn, they are each a true work of art.
Other items were on show, made from wool and cotton, in rich colours, including decorated saddlebags for camels, which reflect the character of the Turkmen’s roving life. Turkmen jewellery-making is another ancient art, featuring brightly coloured decorations for women made to complement national costume headgear and footwear. Items on display at the National Art Museum of Belarus were especially attractive.
Exhibits stand out by their originality
Islam bans the depiction of living creatures, which has long restrained the development of pictorial art in Turkmenistan, but the country has produced wonderful folk art. In the second half of the 20th century, its painting school generated a host of brilliant masters painting epic historical stories and scenes of everyday life, as well as the beauty of abundant Turkmen lands. Water, bringing life, and magnificent mountains, family scenes and events from the past are major themes, which continue today.
The Art of Turkmenistan exhibition passed swiftly but brought delight to all who witnessed it.
By Veniamin Mikheev