On April 21-25, 2007, in keeping with the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a Week of Pictorial Art of Uzbekistan was held at the Central Exhibition Hall of the Academy of Arts and became one of the notable events in the cultural life of the capital city.

It is true that any art is intended for the viewer who is expected to have a refined taste and certain astuteness to be able to perceive an object of art. This is the eternal law of creative dialogue. However swift the development of art and society can be, nothing can change this postulate. Hence a well-known expression «Art demands sacrifice» acquires the following connotation: a need to create an environment conductive to continuous artistic education of the viewer and patiently cultivate his taste.

With the attainment of independence the process of educating the masses and introducing general public to the achievements of global and domestic national art has been galvanized. With support from the state and government institutions, international art biennale and both collective and personal exhibitions of local and foreign artists are held, and large-scale festive programmes involving creative-musical performances are organized, which is all covered by mass media.

The Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan (AAU), its regional branches, the republican association «Khunarmand», the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and Tashkent city khokimiyat were immediately involved in organizing the Week of Pictorial Art. The results of the Week have demonstrated that the diverse and enchantingly magical world of our art vividly resounded in the hearts of its admirers and that the events of this kind, which are the requirement of time, are essential for the entire society.

According to the programme, each day of the Week was dedicated to a separate topic: painting and graphic art, sculpture, miniature, design, applied art and crafts.
The opening ceremony that took place on April 21 was attended by government officials and representatives of general public, mass media, culture and art. It was followed by a concert programme, which, along with well-known performers, also presented students of the Republican Fine and Applied Art Lyceum; an exhibition called «Inspiration», dedicated to the Day of the Artist, was opened. Students of the Textile Institute demonstrated garments designed by them.
On the CEH premises and outside the building they organized a sale exhibition of applied art items; and in the Hall itself, as well as in a nearby shady garden both the acclaimed masters of brush and young artists created paintings, giving the audience an opportunity to get in touch with the magical world of creative inspiration.

Throughout the whole week, during each evening they demonstrated documentary films about famous painters and cultural workers of the country, such as Alexander Volkov, Igor Savitskiy, Ruzy Choriev, Chinghiz Akhmarov and Joldasbek Kuttimuradov.
The diverse programme of the Week also introduced the collection of traditional attire designed by a creative team led by Khalida Komilova, and items wrought by regional units of the designer team. The audience admired colourful pieces authored by famous potters and representatives of other crafts.

Based on the feedback and reviews published in the national newspapers such as Pravda Vostoka, Narodnoye Slovo, Khalq Suzi, Uzbekiston Adabiyoti va San’ati, already the first day of the Pictorial Art Week was a success.
To the question about the objective of the event, Tursunali Kuziev, Chairman of the AAU, responded: «From the early years of independence our country pursued major reforms. This event can be called their logical extension… Primarily, we considered important to attract the attention of the audience to the varied universe of art, create conditions enabling direct contact and dialogue between the artist and the viewer whom, actually, the work of our masters is intended for. Certainly, the audience does not have to be skilled experts in art. However, art requires a person to possess a refined taste and intellect. There should be no barriers to the perception and opinion on a piece of creative work. The main purpose of the Week was to eliminate this barrier».

During the Week, the viewers had a chance to observe how beauty is born, how artists create pieces of book and lacquered miniature, sculpture, painting, stained-glass and mosaic, plaster carving and pottery. For instance, the amateurs of art had an opportunity to witness the creation of a painting wrought by the artist Abdumannon Yunusov before the eyes of the spectators: clad in an ancient costume, a horseman modeled for the painter in the AAU garden.

Tursunali Kuziev noted that «Such contacts between the viewer and the artist are practiced not only in our country, but also at some famous exhibitions such as Venice Biennale and Seoul Exhibition. As a result of such communication, an artist gets an opportunity to know the viewer’s opinion both on his own work and on creative work in general and bears witness of the impression his piece produces on the viewer».

With each day, art more and more becomes part of our life: the walls of public and residential buildings and the interiors of offices and apartments are decorated with paintings and items of traditional crafts; increasingly often people present each other paintings as gifts on birthdays, anniversaries or other festive occasions. An artist who receives an order feels that the society needs him. Owing to the policy of the government, creative intellectuals occupy an honourable place in the society. Our task is to raise the level of cooperation between artists and representatives of art business to a qualitatively new level.

The Pictorial Art Week was a starting point in the formation of new types of relationship between the acolytes and admirers of beauty. Artists who ran master-classes received a lot of questions, such as «Where did you study and who did you learn from?», «Which genre interests you most: graphic arts, painting or sculpture?», «Which style do you prefer?» and so on. The questions of the audience were answered by artists M. Sadykov, J. Rakhmani, R. Azizov, S. Sharipov, Kh. Aminov…
Along with venerable artists, the activities of the Week also engaged students of the AAU schools, whose works portraying the world seen through the children’s eyes caused keen interest.

Art galleries and antique shops of the city also took part in the Pictorial Art Week. At the closing ceremony of the Week its most active participants received different awards: certificates, memorial and valuable gifts and diplomas. The Gold Medal of the AAU was awarded to the art historian Negmat Abdullaev, and the Silver Medal went to Abduvali Egamberdiev.
The Hero of Uzbekistan, famous master of carving Abdugani Abdullaev expressed his feelings by saying, «I am delighted to have witnessed this wonderful event. Giving awards to the participants I thank wholeheartedly those who organized it, thus fulfilling the dreams of both art workers and all the people».

The Pictorial Art Week was also held in Karakalpakstan (in the main exhibition hall of Nukus city and on Berdakh Square), in Chuba Museum of Shakhrisabz city (Kashkadarya Region), in the exhibition hall of Local Lore Museum in Namangan, in Namangan city recreation area «Suv buyi» («Quay»), in the building of Pictorial and Applied art the Lyceum/Boarding School in Jizak Region, in Khanabad city, in Andijan Pedagogical College, in the Regional Literature and Art Museum, in the hall of Local Lore Museum of Fergana Region, and in Samarqand Region (Chorsu Art Gallery.) Everywhere they organized exhibitions, meetings with artists and master-classes. The visitors learned the mysteries of creative process, the secrets of the birth of a piece of art…

At the closing ceremony of the Pictorial Art Week in Tashkent, accompanied by the sound of the AAU song performed by the People’s Artist of Uzbekistan Miassar Razzakova (music by Rustam Abdullaev, lyrics by Nodir Normatov) the banner bearing the emblem of the event was lowered. In 2008 it will be raised again.

Nodir Normatov