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On July 7, 2021, the Historic-Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve The Kazan Kremlin hosted the opening ceremony of the exhibition Carpet Art. Evolution of Meanings.
A large-scale exposition devoted to the Azerbaijani carpet weaving art, its traditions, and contemporary designs was on display for the first time in Kazan. The viewers have a unique opportunity to observe the carpets from a historical perspective, plunge into the world of ornaments and secret meanings.
The Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum, the first museum in the world of its kind, preserving the most complete collection of Azerbaijani carpets worldwide, demonstrates here the amazing traditional masterpieces of carpet weaving art of the 19th and 20th centuries woven in different regions of the country. Every single one of these carpets embodies a particular regional tradition based on their ornamental features, colors, and technical solutions.
The Azerbaijani carpet weaving art, included within the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010, is flourishing and is continuously enriched by new trends without losing its ancient traditions. Contemporary artists create original works developing this ancient craft.
The exhibition displays traditional Azerbaijani carpets and author works by Chingiz Babayev, popularly known as CHINGIZ. The contemporary artist, the bearer of traditions and cultural norms of his nation, shows the viewer sketches and carpets designed in his own language of ornaments and new carpet dramaturgy. He interprets them and creates contemporary art avoiding the distortion of Azerbaijani carpet weaving art traditions. This is the way the traditional masterpieces oppose the author’s new carpets, start a dialogue, overcoming distance and time.
The installation Blank History presented at the exhibition can be considered as a key to the artist’s creativity. A carpet without an ornament, monochromatic, in a shade of natural wool, is the starting point, tabula rasa, an appeal to eternity: many symbols of different epochs fall off it over the past centuries.
Another part of the exhibition presents a documentary film, where CHINGIZ shares the secrets of the creative process and speaks about the philosophy of the traditional carpet and its contemporary perception.
Irada Ayupova, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan, Shirin Melikova, project curator, Director of the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum, Irek Sharipov, Director of the Tatarstan House of Peoples' Friendship, Bahram Mustafayev, Head of the Regional Public Organization of Azerbaijanis in the Republic of Tatarstan, Svetlana Konovalova, Deputy Director of the Historic-Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve The Kazan Kremlin delivered speeches at the opening ceremony and mentioned the importance of the project.
Following, the guests got acquainted with the exhibition. Dr Shirin Melikova, Director of the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum gave detailed information about the displayed traditional Guba, Gazakh, and Karabakh carpets, and the semantics of their deeply significant ornaments. Artist Chingiz Babayev spoke about his carpets, their history and work process.
Exhibition Carpet Art. Evolution of Meanings runs until 5 September.