On March 9, the exhibition “Suzani. A Story of an Embroiderer” by renowned Tashkent embroiderer Madina Kasimbaeva opened, running until May 5, as reported on the museum’s website.

The collaborative exhibition by art historian Binafsha Nodir and Madina Kasimbaeva showcases in detail the suzani creation process, from the initial sketch to the fully embroidered panel.

Previously, Gazeta.uz reported on the October exhibition at the Tashkent House of Photography titled “The Will of Heaven, or the Story of One Embroiderer”. This exposition is a continuation of earlier exhibitions, including “The Light of a Distant Star” (2015), “The Mystery of Magic Threads” (2016), and “The Birth of Suzani” (2018).

Madina Kasimbaeva (on the right).Madina Kasimbaeva (on the right).

In “Riga Exchange”, Madina Kasimbaeva crafted her universe, featuring the largest rosette at the composition’s center symbolizing the Sun, surrounded by smaller ones representing planets. The artwork embodies the concept of an inseparable connection between humanity and nature. While artisans employ the same patterns, each infuses an individual style, resulting in the creation of their unique universes.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is an eight-meter-long suzani, collaboratively produced by Madina Kasimbaeva and 15 students over a period of 3.5 years. This remarkable creation stands as the largest of its kind ever produced in Uzbekistan and is making its debut outside the country at this exhibition in Riga.

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Embroidery stands out as one of Uzbekistan’s most intricate traditional art forms. Historically, it held significance as a crucial component of a girl’s dowry and found common use in home interiors. Today, it has additionally evolved into a vital element of design and fashion.

Suzani, a decorative wall panel or carpet, is crafted from cotton or silk fabric adorned with silk threads. The term originates from the Persian word “suzan”, signifying needle.

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Various regions of Uzbekistan boast numerous distinctive styles, each characterized by unique patterns and techniques. The Tashkent school, with its two main centers in Tashkent and Pskent, stands out for its originality.

By the 1980s, the art of crafting Tashkent palyaks (suzani) had faded into obscurity. In the early 2000s, prominent masters primarily focused on reviving the techniques and ornamentation of the Nurata, Bukhara, and Shakhrisabz schools of embroidery.

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The Tashkent school was distinguished by the intricacy of its production process: both the background suzani and the patterned motifs required embroidery, implying the continuous sewing technique. This approach was challenging, costly, and time-intensive.

Despite these challenges, Madina Kasymbaeva has been adeptly revitalizing the traditions of the Tashkent school of embroidery for numerous years. In her creations, she employs a sophisticated crochet-needle embroidery technique known as “yurma” and “bosma”.