September, 2021 — November, 2021
Aspan Gallery opens the first solo show in Kazakhstan of Uzbekistani artist Dilyara Kaipova on 23 September.
Dilyara Kaipova's practice includes creating designs for abra fabrics, which are then produced together with local artisans in Margilan, Uzbekistan. The fabrics are subsequently sewn into traditional items of Uzbek clothing. In her designs the artist juxtaposes traditional abra motives with contemporary symbols, such as Mickey Mouse, Scream mask, Kremlin and many more. With this process a chapan becomes a work of art, creating a powerful statement about globalization and its impact on values and national identity.
Abra fabrics are made by hand, the patterns are created by the method of sequential reserved dyeing of threads - the area that should not be dyed is tied up before immersion in a vat of dye so as not to absorb the dye. The number of colors in the pattern is equal to the number of bundles, therefore abra patterns have blurred outlines resembling cirrus clouds (which is reflected in the name: from Farsi, “abr” is translated as “a cloud carrying moisture”).
Dilyara Kaipova’s works were first presented in Aspan Gallery in February of 2020 at the group exhibition ORNAMENTUM. During the last one and a half years, despite the pandemic, the artist was as productive as ever, continuing to work in a traditional abra technique, Dilyara Kaipova created new fabrics experimenting with silk, wool besides cotton. The exhibition includes a handmade silk velvet robe - bakhmal, the production technology of which was lost and restored in the late 1990s by Uzbek weavers. Bakhmal is the pride of the artisans of Uzbekistan. This allowed the artist to create new fabrics with images of the Adidas logo, a respirator, the Kremlin and other works. It is no coincidence that the name of the exhibition "20-21" is not only the years when many fundamental changes took place, but also the dates of the creation of the works presented at the exhibition.
The exhibition also includes Dilyara Kaipova’s new site-specific installation, which rethinks the gallery space with the help of the fabric and involves the viewer in the work. Interestingly, the abra fabric is made by weaving of the fiber and is a miniature spacial structure itself. The artist emphasizes that the subject of her work are not the robes, but the fabric itself. Previously the artist was not restricted with the creation of robes, her fabrics took many different shapes, but it is the first time for the artist to create a monumentally-scaled installation for the exhibition in Aspan Gallery, building new spacial relationships between the viewer and the fabric.
Besides chapans specially for her solo show at Aspan Gallery Dilyara Kaipova created a new site-specific installation Hazardous Signs, which transforms the gallery space and makes the viewer an active participant in the work. As well together with Uzbekistani photographer Yury Vedenin, Dilyara Kaipova created a series of four black and white photographs, using analogue photography. The ideas of collaboration, coexistence, absence of hierarchy and active participation, present in Dilyara Kaipova’s fabrics, installations and photo projects are the values, that according to the artist, we should cherish not only in art, but also in life.
Dilyara Kaipova: “There was a very strong desire to interfere with the ornament, and I was certain that, no one would have an interest in that besides me, but it did not stop me. Every single time artisans and I are excitedly awaiting the results of our experiments, because it is akin to a miracle when ancient art begins to speak in modern language."
About the artist
Dilyara Kaipova (1967, Tashkent) reinterprets traditional Uzbek abra motifs by mixing them with characters and symbols from modern pop culture, including Mickey Mouse, Scream mask and Adidas logo. These easily recognizable pop culture images are “woven” into abra fabrics and robes creating powerful statements about globalization and its impact on values and national identity. Produced in abra weaving centre in Margilan, each fabric takes several months of artisanal work. Kaipova’s works are now in collections of State Silk Museum in Tbilisi, National Gallery of Uzbekistan, MARKK museum in Hamburg, Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam, Royal Ontario Museum in Ontario, RISD Museum in Rhode Island, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.
Exhibition dates: 23 September - 7 November 2021
Thursday, 23 September | 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm - artist-led tours of the exhibition*
Saturday, 25 September | 4 pm - 6 pm - artist talk with Uzbekistani photographer Umida Akhmedova
* All our events are free, but must RSVP via phone or what’s app +7 (702) 592-41-93
Tue-Sat: 11 am - 7 pm
Sun: 12 pm - 6 pm
Address: Villa Boutiques & Restaurants, 140A/3 Al Farabi, lower ground floor, Almaty. Free entrance.