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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Fantasy World of Uzbek Textile Artist Dilyara Kaipova

Kapow! Kaipova's Batman ikat fabric
Meet the incredibly talented and innovative Uzbek textile designer and artist Dilyara Kaipova.

After graduating from the design faculty of Tashkent's Republican Art School named after Pavel Benkov, Kaipova worked as a designer at the Muqimiy Musical Theatre in Tashkent.

That was followed by a stint as master of hand puppets at the Uzbekistan State Institute of Arts and Culture.

However, since childhood she has been fascinated by needlework, knitting and embroidery. As these practices seeped into contemporary art, much of the focus of her creative activity shifted from painting (usually in soft pastels) to textiles.

Her first textile project "Captain Ikat" explored how traditional arts - in this case ikat fabric - can absorb and be devalued by symbols and cliches of mass culture.

The artist Dilyara Kaipova
Yet the paradox is that these same cliches can also invigorate and transform national traditions. The fabric, even when woven with designs of Mickey Mouse or Batman, magically still came alive.

As Kaipova commented:"I think it's a big mistake to try to "fossilize" traditions,  as it's impossible to change the course of history, they evolve independently of us, of our influence."

She also noted that since childhood she had wanted to understand what "embroidery and ikat ornamentation symbolised and, simultaneously, I wanted to interfere with it, to change it".

Working with masters in the ikat weaving centre of Margilan, in eastern Uzbekistan over five months, Kaipova produced classical, hand-woven adras fabrics (silk and cotton mix)  infused with Mickey Mouse, The Scream, Batman and Darth Vader.  Fabric was also produced with a Stars and Stripes motif.

Kaipova laughed, with respect, that although those masters thought she was totally crazy, they worked enthusiastically with her, creating these magical works.

The "Captain Ikat" exhibition was held in Tashkent in October 2016.  Reactions were varied - from enthusiastic delight through bewilderment and shock. For Kaipova it was the realization of her "childhood desire" and she described the happiness she experienced through the project.

O Boy! It's a Mickey Mouse ikat coat designed and stitched by Tashkent textile artist Dilyara Kaipova

Edvard Munch's The Scream woven into ikat fabric.

A Darth Vader traditional Uzbek chapan (coat), designed by Dilyara Kaipova

In April 2017 Kaipova participated in a contemporary art exhibition/competition in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Her works included some of these ikat fabrics as well as photographs, another artistic direction she pursues with passion. She won first prize.

Now she is preparing for a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Uzbekistan in November.  The exhibition's theme is not yet determined.

Dilyara Kaipova - portrait as Mickey
Kaipova feels that, although ikat is always in her heart, for the moment she has exhausted this theme of globalization, consumerism and tradition. However, Uzbek traditional textiles present inexhaustible ideas for her work.

Collaboration is at the heart of Kaipova's practice and she now would like to work with fashion and interior designers.

This is how the BBC wrote of her paintings in an interview: "her  favorite art medium is soft pastels. Dilyara’s subjects come straight from her imagination, and her subject matter can be simultaneously hilarious and scary.

Her imagery of invented characters that look like "freaks" or little monsters is the artist’s chosen motifs to comment on the hopeless and ridiculous aspects of human existence. She fills her world with "puppet Lolitas’" where their expressions conceal and reveal purity and decay, cuteness and ugliness".

Dilyara Kaipova's work is available for purchase and she works on special commissions. Please see below for more images of this multi-talented artist.

You can also follow her and contact her on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dilyara.kaipova
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crazy_for_ikat/

Sally Clarke, of Asian Art Advisory, provided helpful inputs into Dilyara Kaipova's work.

Related posts
Dilyara Kaipova Strikes Again at the International Applied Arts Festival, Tashkent 
Dilyara Kaipova Conquers Bishkek at the Asanbay Center
Buy Original Ikat Items by Dilyara Kaipova - Uzbekistan's Foremost, Modern Textile Designer 
Dilyara Kaipova Takes on New York

Mermaid, soft pastel work by  Dilyara Kaipova
Dilyara Kaipova's Humpty Dumpty doll


Dilyara Kaipova's  Stars and Stripes ikat for her Captain Ikat exhibition


Dilyara Kaipova is also a master of doll and puppet making

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Yulia Drobova: Graphic and Mosaic Works, Tashkent Exhibition 7 - 18 September

yulia drobova tashkent graphic designer, yulia drobova mosaic illustrations tashkent, yulia drobova designer illustrator graphic artist
Poster for Yulia Drobova's exhibtion, Tashkent
If you are lucky enough to be in Tashkent this month, please do not miss this exhibition.

Graphic artist and illustrator Yulia Drobova's new exhibition opens at Tashkent's Alliance Fran├žaise on 7 September and runs until 18 September.

As well as her charming graphic works, the exhibition will include unique mosaic pieces, a medium in which Yulia has recently begun working.

Her first glass mosaic pieces were a series of chickens, created to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.

Yulia found the medium exciting and challenging to work with. She documented the process in an interesting post on her website. This exhibition includes many pieces from her new series.

Yulia works in diverse spheres: book illustration, advertising videos, theatrical poster designs, textiles and stencils. For a deeper understanding of how she works, please review an earlier post Yulia Drobova's End of Winter Exhibition.

The Alliance Fran├žaise is located at 112 Zulfiyaxonim Street, Tashkent. Opening hours are Tuesday - Friday 14:00 - 19:00 and Saturday 14:00 - 18:00. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Call ahead to get directions: + 998 71 2449408/+ 998 71 2449409

yulia drobova tashkent graphic designer, yulia drobova mosaic illustrations tashkent, yulia drobova designer illustrator graphic artist
Insect and flower in glass mosaic. ©  Yulia Drobova
The exhibition opening is at 6:30 p.m.  Thursday 7 September. Free entry. Works are for sale.

Enjoy a sample of images of her work below. If you miss the exhibition, you can order pieces directly by contacting Yulia via her website. You can also follow her work on Instagram.

I think she is one of the most talented artists working in Tashkent today - I am also the delighted owner of several whimsical pieces.

Related posts:
Yulia Drobova’s "End of Winter" Exhibition
Yulia Drobova - Uzbek Illustrator and Designer
Propaganda Posters of the Soviet East: 1918 -1940


yulia drobova tashkent graphic designer, yulia drobova mosaic illustrations tashkent, yulia drobova designer illustrator graphic artist
Continuation of our conversation. Ink drawing. ©  Yulia Drobova
yulia drobova tashkent graphic designer, yulia drobova mosaic illustrations tashkent, yulia drobova designer illustrator graphic artist
From the Chicken Series, glass mosaic. ©  Yulia Drobova
yulia drobova tashkent graphic designer, yulia drobova mosaic illustrations tashkent, yulia drobova designer illustrator graphic artist
Pear. Stencil - acrylic. ©  Yulia Drobova