Mikhail Shishin Mikhail Shishin

Dear Readers!

Plunging into the endless artistic space of Eurasia, you are surprised by many things. The issue opens with the traditional section “Eurasian Heritage”. And in it we are pleased to introduce readers to a wonderful researcher of the vast Himalayan region, a scientist and a gifted artist, Professor O. Khanda, the author of many valuable books on the pages of the most ancient cultures of northern India. The results of O. Khanda's scientific research are interesting for many discoveries, but looking at the compositions of rock paintings he describes, you catch yourself thinking that something very similar was found in complexes in Altai and Western Mongolia.

The legacy of the Stone Age is truly great, against the background of which the period of modern art is only a moment in history. It gradually opens up more and newer facets. It would seem that products made of bone, stone and other available materials have long been known and catalogued, thanks to fundamental research and new technologies, today they are being discovered as a means of self-identification, self-awareness and self-expression of ancient man. With the help of these attributes, a person in a sign and symbolic form knew himself and communicated about himself. This idea is very important from the point of view of anthropology and the history of the development of art. It can be argued that creativity, a sense of colour, form and other key concepts of art should have been characteristic of people for a long time, because without this it is impossible to do anything related to the phenomena of artistic creativity. And this, in turn, suggests of the formation of artistic taste and the gradual discovery of the properties of materials used by ancient masters. The development of cognitive and aesthetic abilities in one direction enriched other aspects and forms of artistic creativity. Ancient traditions have been preserved until modern and modern times, for example, in the cultures of northern peoples, where ornaments reveal not only aesthetic ideals, but the most ancient mythopoetics of peoples. This is well shown in the articles in this section of the journal.

The main section of the issue called “Forum” is dedicated to the art of the Far East and Mongolia. The reason for this was the interregional exhibition “Far East – 13th”, which is held every five years. This year it opened in the capital of the Republic of Buryatia, Ulan-Ude. The exhibition presented the creativity of all, even the remotest, regions of the Far East. The exhibition included works by both leading masters and young artists. It showed promising directions for the development of art and revealed problems that artists and art historians will have to work on thoroughly.

The section “Art of the 20th–21st centuries” is traditional in our journal, and here we talk about the work of contemporary artists. One of the articles presents the work of Omsk painter G.P. Kichigin, who has a pronounced philosophical view of the world. One of his best works in recent years was a triptych dedicated to the years of imprisonment of F.M. Dostoevsky in the Omsk. The traditions of many cultures, the discoveries of masters of the past, including domestic art at the turn of the 19th–20th centuries, were synthesized with great skill in his work by the artist-jeweler A.G. Sharifullin. Artists, descendants of noble families from Saint Petersburg, not only demonstrate a high professional level, but also clearly define the purpose of creativity, which they see in the affirmation of high spiritual ideals, Christian values and in showing the heroic pages of Russia's past.

A constantly pressing task in art criticism is related to the analysis and interpretation of works of art. And this, in turn, is impossible without the development of the theory and philosophy of art; this is what the articles in the section of the same name are devoted to.

The cover of this issue of the journal features the work of Yuri Mandaganov, made using the Florentine mosaic technique. The author of the work, our contemporary, lives in Buryatia, in Ulan-Ude, and the technique in which he works was born on the other side of the continent in the oldest centre of art — Italy, in Florence, in the 16th century. When creating paintings, the discoverers decided to use not paints and brushes, but stones of various types, textures and colour shades. This is a labor-intensive technique, but the pieces are certainly timeless and retain the freshness and strength of colour forever. Having emerged almost five hundred years ago, the art of Florentine mosaic is flourishing in Buryatia today. But this is not the only example of the historical connection between the past and the present. From the times of the Stone Age to the present, the vast space of Art is continuously replenished thanks to famous or unknown masters. This space, just like the atmosphere and biosphere, covers the planet. The outstanding philosopher P.A. Florensky in his letter to the encyclopedic scientist V.I. Vernadsky, one of the authors of the idea of the noosphere, the sphere of the mind, expresses the idea of the pneumatosphere — the sphere of the spirit. According to Florensky, there must be a special substance in it that gives special durability to works of art developed by the human spirit at the moment of his creative takeoff. Thus, it is precisely when the artist's creative impulse meets the pneumatosphere, the all-encompassing sphere of spirit and art, that a genuine work is born.

Mikhail Shishin

Chief Editor