'Steppe stories': artists get engaged in diplomacy

'Steppe stories': artists get engaged in diplomacy Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The exhibition dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Astana was opened in the gallery of the House of Friendship of Peoples of Tatarstan on July 9. Against the background of frequent mutual VIP visits, the event is natural. The author of the project was one of the most well-known Tatarstan artists, Firinat Khalikov, although the display exhibited not his paintings.

The project is not only artistic, but also diplomatic

Tatar and Kazakh music performed by a small ensemble, traditional Kazakh felt dolls on the table at the entrance, three and a little dozen paintings and graphic works — this is the entourage of the presentation. The author of the works is young artist Albert Shinibaev, in whose veins Tatar and Kazakh blood flows. Shinibaev is a student of master Firinat Khalikov, the author of many works on historical themes, beautiful landscape and portrait painter. In fact, the project of Khalikov, who arranged the exhibition of his student, is not only an artistic act, but also diplomatic one, which was noted by those present at the presentation.

''On July 6, Astana celebrated the twentieth anniversary. Twenty years is one moment of history, and over this moment the city from the three hundred thousandth regional center grew in million-person capital. Astana is not just a million-person city, it is the symbol of our independence, symbol of our hopes, symbol of friendship between Kazakhstan and other countries, primarily between Kazakhstan and Russia, Kazakhstan and the fraternal people of Tatarstan. I came to this presentation like from a ship to a ball, yesterday I arrived from Astana, where I accompanied Rustam Minnikhanov on a trip to Kazakhstan. The visit was A+, there were great agreements in the trade and economic sphere. But I believe that our relations are not only trade and investment, but also cultural exchange, which we need to develop. We need to know each other better, and to build such bridges, that is why we hold such exhibitions. These are bridges of friendship between peoples,'' Consul General of Kazakhstan in Tatarstan Erkin Tukumov opened the exhibition with such words.

Steppe Stories by Albert Shinibayev is a modern view of the artist on the life of the people, among whom he grew up

According to Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan Svetlana Persova, painting is a wonderful language, through which people understand each other better. She noted that the works of Shinibaev reflect the roots that feed the Kazakh people.

Steppe stories

The exhibition of works by Albert Shinibaev is called Steppe Stories, it is held under the auspices of the Assembly of Peoples of Tatarstan. Shinibaev got an academic education — at first it was an art school in Penza, then one of the best art institutions in Europe — the Surikov Art Institute. Finally, he came under the wing of Firinat Khalikov, who now heads the creative workshops of painting of the Academy of Arts of the Russian Federation. By the way, for success at school Shinibaev was awarded the gold medal of the Academy of Arts of Russia.

Steppe Stories by Albert Shinibayev is a modern view of the artist on the life of the people, among whom he grew up, this infrequent today, unfortunately, example of how a person in the bustle of the day nevertheless preserves the connection with his roots. The manner of painting of Shinibayev is to some extent close to impressionism, although there are also paintings created in realistic way. From the visual culture of the East, Shinibaev took planar solution of object painting, which gives the work a national character.

The project of Khalikov, who arranged the exhibition of his student, is an act not only artistic, but also diplomatic

The soft beauty of Kazakhstan, obviously, dictated the palette of the artist, it is rather muted, gentle, reminiscent of the play of Kazakhstani mountain peaks at dawn. He lovingly describes the Kazakh traditional, but almost gone life — interiors of the yurt. He creates portraits of Kazakh beauties in national costumes — proud and shy at the same time.

Ethnic motifs of the artist's works, which he deliberately does not cultivate, but from which he does not run away, are organically combined in his works with modernity, and this gives the paintings a special charm. From Firinat Khalikov, among other things, his disciple took special care in painting the historical national costume.

Steppe Stories, telling about the life of talented Kazakh people, is really another strong bridge between Kazan and Astana. And an example of delicate public diplomacy.

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By Tatyana Mamaeva. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov
Tatarstan