20 August – 7 September ‘2018 the V International Festival of Oriental Art and Music “RUMI FEST” in Riga is inviting the visitors to the exhibition “The Magic of Uzbekistan. Rishtan ceramics by Alisher Nazirov”
Rishtan Ceramics – an Uzbek artistic craft. Its name originates from the town of Rishtan – one of the most ancient towns in the Fergana valley built along the Great Silk Road. Since remote ages the town has designated the honorary title of “the main pottery workshop” in Central Asia and is said to be the homeland of truly unique glazed ware.
The name Rishtan was formed from the ancient Sogdian word “Rosh” (“Rush” or “Rushi”) — “red earth” – because of the pottery clay hoki surkh having a reddish tone. In the old days virtually all males of Rishtan were potters. Over long centuries local pottery manufacturing has passed through all stages of development – from domestic workshops to modern manufactures. Rishtan ceramists, kuzagars, consider themselves to be the advocates of old traditions, as it is only in Rishtan where the craft still continues to develop. But the secret of stability of the Rishtan school is simple – uninterrupted generation bridge of masters.
Thin, jingling, coated with refined ornament ware has a specific colour array of all shades of lapis lazuli and turquoise. Patterns embrace diversity of the world around us: flowers, tree branches, fruit. Nowadays, as it was hundreds of years ago, ceramics is painted by hand. Masters demonstrate their individuality in unique manner of painting, yet preserving the strict canons of traditional folk art.
Each Rishtan master has his own secrets of glaze and paint composition. Until nowadays local potters continue to use the glaze made from ashes of surrounding plants according to the recipe being known only by them. Glaze making technology is very labour-intensive, still it is exactly galze coating, which develops amazingly deep and rich emerald-turquoise colour so much inherent to Rishtan ceramics.
Alisher Nazirov. 40 years of masterhood
A Rishtan master and teacher Alisher Nazirov is an outstanding Uzbek ceramist of our times. His works are going to be presented at the exhibition in Riga during the Festival “RUMI FEST”. This year has become an anniversary for Alisher Nazirov – he is going to celebrate his 60th birthday. In honour of this milestone occasion his exhibitions also are planned to be held in Tashkent, Moscow and Tokyo.
As is the custom in the East, Alisher Nazirov started learning his trade from a young age. He was taught by the best Rishtan masters: Usto Eliboy Daliev, Usto Abdukadir and his son Kimsanboy Abdukadirov.
Little Alisher at the age of 12 came to the old Rishtan master. He did not have generations of hereditary potters behind him. He simply lived in the marvelous Rishtan, where air is filled with the humming sounds of turning throwing wheels and jingling of patterned Rishtan tea bowls. Time passed by. Over long and laborious years of learning Alisher became a big master. His works are purchased by large museums and exhibition halls. Today he is called nothing short of Usto, Usto Alisher Nazirov.
“A master does not simply teach a trade. It goes so that an apprentice spends with him more time than at home. So when parents first bring a child they say the very ancient words: “Flesh is yours, but bones are ours, when there is a bone, flesh will always grow on it!” In fact the master now stands higher than the apprentice’s birth father. He shares his life experience, and the apprentice must render obedience to him. In some sense the philosophy of painting also reveals the master’s inner world. “Most important for me is to share my knowledge with my apprentices”, – told Alisher Nazirov in one of his interviews.
Alisher Nazirov had made a significant contribution to conservation of cultural heritage of his country, having restored the ancient traditional forms and patterns of Rishtan ceramics found by archeologists, which consequently he put on his articles.
Alisher Nazirov’s works Произведения Алишера Назирова added museum collections in Uzbekistan, Russia, and Japan. His works are displayed at numerous international exhibitions held as back home, in Uzbekistan, as abroad.
In 2005 the master’s life dream came true – Aisher Nazirov founded his own ceramic school-workshop “Usto-Shogrid”, where he shares his knowledge of ceramic art with his apprentices. Alisher Nazirov’s apprentices permanently participate in arts and crafts exhibitions, their works received various awards.
Location: Riga Town Hall