"Steppe Suprematism" Tapestry

The artistic and stylistic solution of "Steppe Suprematism" tapestry visually uses the effect of the Kazakh patchwork sewing - "kurak korpe". This is a type of traditional needlework, in which, according to the principle of mosaic, a single product is sewn from multi-colored and variegated pieces of fabric with an ordered pattern. In the rest of the world, it is better known as patchwork.
The pictorial solution of the tapestry has a monumental character, since it is built on so-called polysphere scheme (two combined circles), usually used when depicting the continents of planet Earth in geographical maps. The centers of each of the combined circles are occupied by triangular and square-rhombic shapes which represent the main pictorial elements. In the ancient Turkic ornamental culture, the equilateral triangle, standing on one of its sides as on the base, symbolized the house, the hearth. Tellingly, this shape of the triangle in our time and in many other cultures, carries the meaning of inviolability and reliability. But the circle, with the square inside, with a diamond-shaped arrangement, symbolizes the head of a person among the ancient Turks, or even more precisely, his spiritual essence with his inner rich content. Since symbolic culture is inherently universal, both of these signs have a sacred meaning not only for the Turkic culture. Their variations are found in other different ethnic and cultural systems.
Both central symbols in this fine piece of art - a triangle and a diamond, are read at once, despite the fact that they are "sewn" from many flaps. The entire polysphere-free tapestry space is also divided into the same supremacist elements, visually interacting with the two central symbols. Here also the traditional Kazakh ornament silhouettes are used, but, most importantly, inside the entire pictorial structure of the tapestry there are small figures of people, busy with their daily activities. These are a shepherd on a camel, herding a flock of sheep, an elderly woman sitting at a yurt - the traditional dwelling of nomadic Kazakhs, a hunter with a golden eagle, bulls pulling a marching cart with a tent installed on it, as well as, sacred and mythological animals of the Turkic world - Kumai - a bird of happiness, a blue wolf and a griffin.
Such a pictorial solution in a decorative and symbolic way, when the entire plane of the work seems to the viewer to be both chaotic and orderly, in other words, "highly organized chaos", is one of the favorite techniques of Mukanov Malik , the Kazakh master of modern art textiles. All his works of art, created in the presented pictorial style, are included in a single concept called "Steppe Mosaic".
There is no single dominant color scheme in the presented work of art. It is built on the simultaneous confrontation and complementarity of locally pure cold and warm colors - ochre-gold, olive-green, gray-steel, orange-scarlet, red-brown and emerald-blue, which mixing with each other, create new endless variations of color shades. Also, the visual structure of the work is enriched by many shades of white and black colors in their various combinations.
Author: Mukanov Malik, PhD, Associate Professor of the Department of Fine Arts of the Kazakhstan National Academy of Arts named after T. Zhurgenov, laureate of "Daryn" State Youth Prize, member of the Union of Artists of the Republic of Kazakhstan, honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts (Moscow), professional artist in the field of contemporary Kazakhstani tapestry.
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