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Cross

Meaning of Life and Death
“In many cultural and historical traditions, the cross symbolizes life, fertility, immortality, spirit and matter in their unity, an active masculinity. The cross is one of the most ancient human symbols and has been part of many religions. The idea of prosperity and good luck is associated with the cross. At the same time, the cross also relates to the image of tormenting and death. In this context, I have selected five artworks to explore how different artists interpret the symbolism of the cross through the meaning of life and death,” explains Shakhnoza Karimbabaeva, Art Curator of the Exhibition.
“The soul of the universe is truth: it is God. And the world is a body, and the senses of the body are angels, completely faithful to the soul, and the members of the body are substances, elements. The unity of the world is such, I affirm boldly.”
Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina , Avicenna
Ophelia
1851–1852
Sir John Everett Millais
(1829–1896), England
Oil on canvas, 76x112 cm
© Tate Britain, United Kingdom
The plot of the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare underlies the painting “Ophelia”. There is a brief moment between life and death. The recently faded life of Ofelia contrasts with the lavishness that surrounds her. In addition, each painted flower bears its own symbolic meaning.
Malaria
1919
Oganes Tatevosyan
(1889-1974)
Oil on cardboard, 73х44 cm
© The State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan
«Viruses – such a thing, pal ... They constantly teeter on the verge of living and non-living. Their nature is also incomprehensible; there is even a hypothesis that these are just mutated genes inside human cells. But where, when they appeared, is completely unknown. One thing is clear – they are directly related to the birth and development of life.”
Koji Suzuki

Physical and moral decomposition of a human. Flies are a reminder of the fragility of life, a bad sign before inevitable death. Meanwhile, the sun speaks of the hope of recovering and rebirth.
Spring Day
1937
Nikolay Karakhan
(1900 - 1970)
Oil on canvas, 66.5х44.2 cm
© The State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan
People celebrate the spring holiday Navruz. The holiday of nature and fertility related to beliefs in dying and revitalizing of the nature.
River Chirchik bird’s-eye view
2012-2013
Bayat Mukhtarov
(1946 - 2015)
Wood, aluminium, glass, stone chips
Diameter: 73 cm
Private collection of Sukhrob Nazimov
“I often observed an inquisitive phenomenon: to fall in love with a place, one should look at it from the height. Perhaps, that is why people claim that God sits in Heaven, otherwise, how could He love us?”
Amélie Nothomb

The bird’s-eye view. As under a microscope, we consider the most valuable in life.
Appearance
2018
Jakhongir Bobokulov
(b. 1996)
Double-sided painting Acrylic on fabric, 244x154 cm
Collection of the author
“They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure.”
Ernest Hemingway

The birth of a man. Nature provides a sample of an initial design of its work. Not a single brushstroke, a manifestation of the silhouette – an embryo of molecules of paints on a canvas.