Ii International Exhibition Of Craftsmen
“TARAZ – A CITY OF ARTISANS” JUNE 2-4, 2023
Venue: Taraz city, Kazakhstan, exhibition pavilion “SHAKHRISTAN” of the ethnocultural complex “Kone Taraz”.
Handicraft is a golden bridge between past and present.
The origins of handicraft art are noble qualities inherited from our ancestors: a special attitude to art and a unique worldview. Our national crafts are an invaluable gift of this heritage.
Handicrafts of craftsmen are one of the forms of artistic self-expression of an ethnos, which succinctly and deeply reflects the features of its history, philosophy, and national psychology, in which, as in a focus, internal and external connections of all vital parameters of the ethnos are crossed.
Kazakh craft has an ancient history. Monuments of the Bronze Age, jewelry made of gold, silver, copper, and ceramic products, decorated with ornaments, are proof of this.
In the products of Kazakh masters, covering the entire objective world of a nomad – from costume, jewelry, household utensils, weapons, and vehicles to a practical and comfortable home – yurts, the views and worldviews of the Kazakh people are reflected in the form of various ornaments and patterns.
The cultural heritage and preservation of folk crafts are a reflection of the rich nomadic culture of Kazakhstan, so one of the important achievements of independence can rightfully be considered the revival of Kazakh handicrafts.
One of the centers of origin of Kazakh handicrafts is the city of Taraz. We can say with particular pride that the history of Taraz is of world significance, the great Oriental thinkers wrote about the greatness of ancient Taraz. Taraz was sung by outstanding poets of the East: Omar Khayyam, Hafiz, and Rudaki. Taraz, as a city of merchants and crafts, was mentioned by the Venetian traveler Marco Polo in his travel notes “The Book of the Diversity of the World”.
The city of Taraz is credited with primacy in many ways: the first metropolis, the first mosque built in the Great Steppe, the first madrasah, and since October 1, 2022, the first Kazakh city to be included in the World Network of Craft Cities.
The 1st International Exhibition of Artisans “Taraz – the City of Artisans” has become significant, not only in conferring an honorary title but also in the solidarity of artisans from all over the world. The international exhibition was attended by over 200 artisans not only from the Zhambyl region but also artisans from near and far abroad: Brazil, the Netherlands, India, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, Tatarstan.
On June 2, 2023, the city of Taraz hosted the official opening of the II International Exhibition of Artisans called “Taraz – the City of Artisans” organized by the World Council of Craftsmen (WCC International, WCC APR, the Akimat of the Zhambyl region and the city of Taraz, the Department of Tourism of the Akimat of the Zhambyl region.
The exhibition presented the works of artisans from the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, Europe, the Near Abroad, and Kazakhstan.
Craftsmen from the city of Shymkent A. Nauryzbaev and B. Beisbekov held master classes on metal forging and saddle making. Thanks to the masters who honor the traditions of the Kazakh people, handicraft art is being revived and developed.
As part of the opening of the exhibition, a competition of young artisans on the theme “Ancient Taraz” was held. Each contestant showed his technique, his style, and his “object of adoration”. The expert commission highly appreciated the work of each participant in the competition. As a result of the competition, all participants and leaders were awarded certificates, and the winners received diplomas and a grand prize for a 2-week felting course. Such a competition opens up new masters and helps them to believe in themselves in their future creative life.
The first day of the exhibition ended with a press conference with media representatives and a concert program from the Zhambyl Regional Philharmonic.
On June 3 – 4, 2023, the day of the historical and cultural complex “Kone Taraz” began with a fair for the sale of souvenirs by craftsmen from the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, Europe, neighboring countries, and Kazakhstan.
Master classes from the leading specialist of the research and experimental laboratory for the costume design of the Engineering Center, Associate Professor of the Department of Fine Arts and Design of the Kazan State Institute of Culture Salakhova Rada Insafovna from Russia, on the Tatar mosaic and the Kazan seam, were distinguished by their individuality and originality of the Tatar national needlework.
Master classes by Kapakova Bulbul in weaving and Nurzat Jeenbek kyzy in felting reflected their own style in the modern level of arts and crafts, new ideas and ideas, original innovative solutions.
The round table in the House of Friendship was opened by the chief designer of the Asyl Design Fashion House, President of the International Fashion Week “ASPARA FASHION WEEK”, Founder of the Aspara College of Modeling and Business Kaliev Aidarkhan. The theme is “Taraz is a city of artisans. History and Modernity” is relevant at the present stage and was able to unite all the participants of the round table. In a warm and friendly environment the problems of preserving traditional folk culture, introducing children and youth to handicraft art, and drawing the attention of authorities to the problems and needs of masters of folk crafts were discussed. Consider and adopt legislative initiatives of craftsmen to preserve and develop traditional folk crafts and promote folk traditions within the framework of the educational process.
Akim of the Zhambyl region, N.Nurzhigitov, visited the international exhibition of artisans, where the widest range of types of traditional crafts and varieties of artistic processing of materials were presented: felt, telemetry, jewelry, embroidery, ceramics, wood carving, artistic metal processing, weaving, traditional clothes and more.
The head of the region N.Nurzhigitov invited and received the regional akimat masters – artisans from the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, Europe, neighboring countries, and Kazakhstan.
Tours to the historical monuments and sights of Taraz City, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were organized for the participants of the exhibition and for officials by the Department of Tourism of the Akimat of Zhambyl region.
The purpose of the II International Exhibition of Craftsmen was to increase the recognition of the region as a tourist attraction with a rich history and culture. Carrying out an eventful event for the development of tourism in the region by attracting Kazakhstani and foreign tourists. Creation of an information and communication platform for the exchange of experience and organization of interaction of all regional, Republican, and International organizations in the field of crafts, production, and sale of tourist souvenirs in Taraz. Revival and development of folk, traditional crafts, and characteristics of the region; development of the craft market and domestic tourist souvenirs.
Art has a unique ability to give a person the joy of creating and admiring creativity. This special joy arises from the aesthetic experience that a person experiences.
The uniqueness of applied art, which originated on our land many centuries ago, is an integral part of the world’s cultural heritage. The exchange of experience in this direction contributes to the further strengthening of friendship and cooperation, cultural and humanitarian ties between peoples, and the revival and preservation of the traditions of masters and handicraft schools.
And it is obvious that the opportunities provided help artisans not only to expand or develop their business but also to pass on their skills to the younger generation so that they can continue the traditions of their ancestors. It is extremely important that the younger generation be brought up on the traditional spiritual and moral values of our people.
The great thinkers of the past argued that life without friendship is nothing, and excluding it from life is the same as depriving the world of sunshine, that friendship is valued on a par with wisdom and surpasses talent!
The purpose of the II International Exhibition of Craftsmen was to increase the recognition of the region as an attractive tourist center with a rich history and culture. And it has been achieved! The exhibition was visited by 250 invited guests from the Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, Europe, near and far abroad, and, of course, Kazakhstan.
A bright, rich, colorful, eventful exhibition of handicraft art will remain in the memory of both citizens and guests for a long time to come.