IT'S longer than an Olympic swimming pool, took two-and-a-half years to complete and fulfils a 40-year dream — a new mega-canvas by one of Uzbekistan's best-known artists, inspired by the folk tale collection "One Thousand and One Nights".
Now, the immense painting by Lekim Ibragimov is on its way to Europe, where it will be put on show first in the Czech Republic and then in other European countries.
Ibragimov started working on the project — named "One Thousand Angels and One Painting" — in 2010 and put the finishing touches on it in April.
It measures eight metres high, an extraordinary 66 metres long, used several tonnes of paint and is so big it takes days to be installed on site.
The work's 1,000 paintings stand alone as individual pictures in their own right, but when put together also form a single continuous painting based on the classic folk tale.
"While every piece, each depicting an image of angel, is itself a painting of full value, they make a single unified painting when assembled together," the 68-year-old painter told AFP.
In each of the 1,000 pictures Ibragimov has included the image of an angel, and visitors are encouraged to search hard in the picture to "find your own guardian angel".
"In fact, the angels have always been present on my paintings and this is why the mega-project is a logical continuation of my creative career," said Ibragimov, who is an academic at Uzbekistan's Arts Academy and an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts.
The artist, who combined graphical and pictorial art mixing Uzbek and Chinese fresco painting styles with European colour-blending techniques, said he had been dreaming of such a project for almost four decades.
It is a massive undertaking.
With its installation equipment, the work weighs more than 20 tonnes, with 2.4 kilometres of steel cables, and it will take four days for at least four people to install its more than 500 square metres like a giant curved panorama.
Most of the cargo has already reached Prague, with several Czech companies providing logistical support.
The project has been submitted to the Guinness World Records Committee as "the world's largest painting consisting of 1,000 pieces ", according to a spokesman for the Russia-based event management firm Global Festina, which helped Ibragimov realise the project.
The vast painting is marked by bold red and blue colours and exuberant brush strokes. When fully mounted it is displayed in a curved formation supported by a scaffold behind it, with visitors free to walk from each end.
Ibragimov explains the presence of the Buddha-like figures and terracotta colour as a reference to the pre-Islamic history of Central Asia.
The work will be displayed at the Incheba Praha exhibition centre in Prague from July 9-21 with free admission, according to Roman Masarik, the Czech Rebublic's top diplomat in Uzbekistan.AFP
Thursday, July 5, 2012
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