«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

Revitalisation of ancestral art

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Revitalisation of ancestral art
The Museum of the First President of Kazakhstan offers a broad insight into the ancient Kazakh art called Biz Keste

Two sisters, Gulnazym and Ainur Omirzak, have been embroiding for 15 years. From childhood, they defined chose the career. The creative atmosphere in their family, where the principle of continuity in art has been kept from generation to generation, contributed significantly.

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"It takes us more than one month to create a picture. I and my sister have spent six month to prepare works for this exhibition. Our parents are artists as well, mother embroiders and she was the person who taught us how to do this. In childhood, I saw her embroidering and the sound of needle attracted me. I started working on it when I was 13 years old" — Gulnazym Omirzak told us.

The young women have chosen very hard and laborious Kazakh traditional method of embroidery called Biz Keste. They use chain stitch which is almost forgotten in Kazakhstan. And we must pay tribute Gulnazym and Ainur Omirzak for their work on revitalisation and research of one of the most important types of Kazakh art.

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Biz Keste is a crochet which requires permanent concentration. It is extremely complicated and laborious method. Only very patient, assiduous and accurate craftswomen are able to create a really wonderful item.

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Pictures of Gulnazym and Ainur Omirzak are more similar to a painting than to decorative works. You can see a play of light and shadows on them. It is achieved by various stitches which can be tight or flimsy, pointed or smooth. It is a hard work attracting the the attention of people. These pictures are created with crochet needle and coloured traces, stitch by stitch. They are really priceless and contain so many details. Each stitch is an atom of a picture. The craftswomen use traditional motifs and methods and develop them. Gulnazym and Ainur invent something new but still continue the style of ancestral works. They are true successors of Kazakh traditional art.

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Pictures created by the young women have gone far beyond the frameworks of applied arts. It is not simple embroidery. Their works are real pictures and have become popular among local inhabitants and tourists. The price of pictures by Gulnazym Omirzak varies between USD 500 and 5 thousand.

To date, pictures made by Gulnazym and Ainur Omirzak are presented in various art galleries in such cities as London and Luxemburg. You can find their works in collections in Germany, France, Turkey and Russia.

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The exhibition will remain in the Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 20 April 2015.