Kazakh silversmith Serzhan Bashirov has offered the local authorities to open an Ethnography Museum in Astana. Bashirov’s idea has been inspired by his own collection of Kazakh applied art items that he had collected over the years from all regions of Kazakhstan and from abroad. The collection is so vast, that the owner cannot recall the amount of his art possessions. The collection includes leather, wooded and textile pieces. The pride of the master’s collection is the rare Kazakh wall hangings - mid-20th century tuskiiz, kebezhe chests and men's belts called beldik.

 

Serzhan BASHIROV, JEWELER, COLLECTOR:

I studied in the Art School in Almaty at the department of metal craft, and I have always had passion for museum objects. I started making copies of them.  Then I started collecting various items. People had a lot to sell during the Perestroika. The market was in abundance of precious collector items for sale. At first, I collected coins, silver, jewelry and then started buying up Kazakh textiles, yurts furnishings. This is how I started.

 

One of the most valuable items of the collection is the 19th-century traditional bridal headdress saukele from Eastern Kazakhstan. The fine work features a combination of amazing colors and precious stones. Most importantly, it is well preserved.

 

Ardak YUSSUPOVA, ART CRITIC:

There are very a few people who have such vast collections. Textile has really short period of life. Even the exhibits that are kept in the museums now are dated back to the 18-19th century. They are the oldest works that have been preserved. Certainly, the number of such exhibits will decrease over time.  We are lucky to have such collectors and collections nowadays.   

 

The collection includes Serzhan Bashirov’s works of as well. The silversmith likes to experiment with wood, bones and metals, but maintains commitment to the Kazakh traditions of jewelry making.

 

Hanna YOHTSOVA, EXHIBITION VISITOR FROM CZECH REPUBLIC:

I know Serzhan. He is our friend. I like his works very much. He makes good Kazakh jewelry. I already have some. I like Kazakh carpets and ornaments. I brought my children here to show them the Kazakh culture because I think it is very important. 

 

Zhanna YESSENBAYEVA, DIRECTOR, ART GALLERY ‘KHAS SANAT’:

We have silver jewelry that is not for sale. He does not want to sell anything and therefore he wants to create a museum. Many pieces from silver, leather and wood, household utensils are still kept in the museum in Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semipalatinsk. If we open such ethnographic museum in Astana then the local residents and visitors will be able to see the collection.

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