Last year I met the great Kyrgyz felt artist Azamat . I was very impressed with his work. Azamat uses traditional
Kyrgyz patterns, but it also reflects his vision of the modern world as an artist. So with great honor I
Azamat Aikoktor UUlu
-Traditional Kyrgyz folk artist in a modern world.
About the artist:
Azamat Aikoktor Uulu is a native of Chayek, a village in the remote mountains of the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.
The Kyrgyz Republic was conquered by the Russians in the late 19th Century. After the Russian Revolution, Azamat's family
members were forced onto collective farms. His mother's village was re-named during Communism. But like many Kyrgyz, Azamat;s
family resisted russification and clung to their ancient nomadic tribal traditions. Azamat, 25, then, was raised in a Kyrgyz
speaking household to the rituals and believes that his Ancestors brought with them to Central Asia from Southern Siberia,
which they fled more then one thousand years ago. Tradition was so crucial to Azamat's family that although Azamat showed
enormous promise as an artist while still in elementary school, when he was offered a scholarship to an art school in Moscow,
they refused him to attend, fearing he would loose his Kyrgyz language and traditions.
Now he works together with craftswomen through the province of Naryn to produce a line of felt wool products that include
carpets, slippers, pillows and other accessories.