What about us and our essence? Just after coming to this world,
we ascend the stairs of metamorphosis
you will become an angel, having gone through a short path on the earth
and you’ll become involved not with the earth, but with the mountain peak.
Magic tales from «One thousand and one nights» reached us from the remote past. With amazing perfection they reflect an extremely delicate understanding of the world by the peoples of orient, expressing this understanding by means of effortless wordplay.
By virtue of the translation by Antoine Galland, Europe is acquainted with this greatest monument of verbal art of oriental peoples for more than 250 years. «One thousand and one nights» have largely influenced the world literature and art. Oriental tales were inspiring Charles Montesquieu, Christoph Wieland, Wilhelm Hauff, Alfred Tennyson, Charles Dickens, and Alexander Pushkin. A whimsical ornament of stories, profoundness and extremely delicate poetry of the tales used to be independent from time: in our century of information technologies they continue to attract and inspire painters. Thus, the project «One thousand angels and one painting» is in the same raw with the pieces of art flavoring the spicy aroma of «One thousand and one nights».
How was the idea born?
«Whilst they looked at her wide-eyed, and said, "This is indeed, a rare and splendid art! Never saw we its like!». (The story of Hassan of Bassorah)
The idea has appeared about ten years ago, and the first ten angels were painted in 2010. The world-famous painter, professor, Academic of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan and the Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts Lekim Ibragimov says: «In fact, the angels have always been present on my paintings and this is why, the project “1001” is a logical continuation of my creative career. I have been preparing myself for this art-project for about forty years. One thousand and one more original personages who are at the same time a part of some single entity – this is the essence of my idea».
You can read the full version of the interview with Lekim Ibragimov
How was the idea realized?
«Knowledge cometh of learning, – answered the boy, – judgment of experience and wit of reflection, and they are all stablished and united in reason. Whoso combineth these three qualities attaineth perfection». (The story of King Jali’ad of Hind and His Wazir Shimas)
The project «Thousand and one painting» is a unique phenomenon in the contemporary world art, since this mega-painting of more than 500 square meters in size (8 meters in heights and 66 meters in length), is composed of one thousand separate canvases. Every canvas is at the same time a painting of full value, containing an image of an angel.
The enormousness of the form of the painting is determined by its concept and content and not by the wish to create a giant piece of art. You can find more detailed information about the technical design of the project here.
It is possible that at the first glance a form of presentation of the project may be associated with the mosaic. But in fact, the mega-painting «Thousand and one painting» is based not on a simple assembly of different unlinked and incomplete parts, but on a more complicated process of uniting of all independent components in an integral entity. From this point of view we see not a complex mosaic but a metamorphosis, a transformation of one thing into another, with the complete change of form and function. You can find an artistic review and opinions of the experts here.
For whom and why?
Wazir Shimas asked the King's son, saying, "Which is the most excellent of the treasures of earth?" – "The practice of kindness." (The story of King Jali’ad of Hind and His Wazir Shimas)
As Project Director Murat Ibragimov says about the functional side of the project «Thousand and one painting», we should first of all note that its philosophy and purpose is the art for the sake of salvation of the world. The project is not aimed at the collection of funds through the exhibition, as it is an art for people and everyone should have a chance to contemplate it.
According to Project Producer Ulugbek Kasimkhodjaev, it should be noted that the mega-painting will be exhibited during a year in the different cities of the world. The cities selected for the exhibition of the painting should be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is explained not as much by the ambitions as by an inspiring mission and philosophy of the project. As it is known, these cities always attract numerous pilgrims and tourists from the different parts of the world. Our project is similar to those great cities, as it absorbs thousands of elements which then merge into the undiluted integrity.
The author is profoundly convinced that his project has an original artistic and social mission as it unites the East and the West. «Thousand and one painting» can be perceived as the starting point of the process of combination of the different parts of the world for the following metamorphosis and transformation in a single entity. ‘And this is the only way, says Lekim, to preserve our fragile and beautiful world’.
The project «Thousand and one painting» will be exhibited in the different parts of the world with only one purpose – to give people hope and joy, and we believe that among thousands angels everyone will be able to find his own guardian-angel.
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the angel said, ‘He hath made a world white as silver, whose vastness none knoweth save Himself, and hath peopled it with Angels.’ (the story of Hasib and the Queen of Serpents)