Mikhail Shishin Mikhail Shishin

Dear Readers!

As always, I want to share my impressions of the ideas and topics that have found their embodiment in the articles of our authors. I would like to stress again that we are very grateful to them and that with each new article we discover the wonderful world of Eurasian art.

Already in the first section “Art of the 20th – 21st centuries”, moving from East to West, first of all we talk about a special direction of Chinese art in 1960–1970, practically unknown in Russia, and possibly in other countries, and called Zhi Qing (‘Educated youth’). At that time, thousands of young people, including those studying in art institutions, went to the countryside in order to raise it economically, socially and culturally. Of course, it was difficult for them, but the author of the article focuses not on this, but on how this time affected the work of artists, many of whom have now become famous.

Moving further to the West, we make a stop in Sverdlovsk, now Yekaterinburg, and present unknown pages in the history of the Sverdlovsk branch of the URSSR Art Fund. This is interesting not only from a factual point of view, but also as a sign of grateful memory to those who have formed the solid foundations of modern Ural art.

St.-Petersburg (Leningrad) is the capital of art, and we are glad to present its appearance as it was revealed to Nikolai Simonovsky and as embodied in his paintings, many of which were not yet known to a wide audience and art critics.

The westernmost point of journey through the contemporary art of Eurasia is Moldova. For many, the work of Galina Kantor-Molotova will be a discovery. She shows herself with great skill in the stage design of the puppet theater. The images of her characters, in which children immediately fall in love, are kind, funny and understandable to the viewer. But in sculpture, the artist acts as a deep philosopher, and in paintings — as a subtle lyricist.

The central section of our jourlal is devoted to a seemingly political event — the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Mongolia in November 1921. But, turning to those years, you can see how this event radically influenced the art of Mongolia and the artistic ties of our countries. Russian artists Ts. Sampilov, K. Pomerantsev and many others came to Urga, present-day Ulaanbaator. They helped the Mongolian talented artists B. Sharav, L. Gavaa, U. Yadamsuren to make, in the shortest possible time, the transition from medieval art to modern art. The rapprochement of the two countries helped many gifted artists to continue their studies at the leading art institutes of the Soviet Union. We are talking about only two masters who are now showing themselves in different spheres of art — in the artistic processing of felt (B. Munkhsoyol) and in painting (D. Enkhtaivan) and occupying leading positions in the contemporary art of Mongolia. The increased level of professional skill of Mongolian artists and their training in Russia, the desire to continue friendship and creative cooperation with colleagues naturally led to the holding of joint plein airs in Russia and Mongolia. This section of Russian-Mongolian cooperation contains many amazing pages and still unknown works of art. One of our essays is dedicated to plein airs in Tuva and Mongolia.

Museums and art galleries now play a special role in the artistic space of Russia and Mongolia. Buddhist collections are described in essays dedicated to the Ts. Sampilov Museum in Ulan-Ude and in the museum collections of Irkutsk. In 1926–1927 an expedition of N.K. Roerich worked in Mongolia. Leaving the country he fell in love with and where he saw the sprouts of a new life, the famous Russian artist presents the painting “The Great Rider” to the government of revolutionary Mongolia, which now adorns the permanent exhibition of one of the remarkable museums of Eurasia — the Fine Arts Zanabazar Museum.

The development of art in Mongolia has become a pretext for various kinds of art history research. We present articles dedicated to two areas of art: theater scenography and folk art of the Western Mongols-Oirats.

In the heading “On storerooms and expositions of museums and art galleries” we post articles about some collection was formed, how paintings and drawings ended up in the collection of museums. You can learn about the little-known gifted artist B.V. Smirnov from the collection of the Novosibirsk Museum of Local History; about how P.M. Tretyakov collected works for his unique collection in the antique market; about the graphic works of the artist Ferdinand Hodler.

In the section “Dictionary of Buddhist Iconography by Lokesh Chandra” we talk about two monks canonized by the Buddhist Church — Zendo (7th century) and Kuya (Koya) (10th century), who were known for their religious exploits during their lifetime and therefore are depicted in tanks. We hope that publishing about them will help the attribution of Buddhist works stored in museum collections.

The heading “Academy News” presents masters of various types of art who have opened their exhibitions. We find the exhibitions of V. Kalinin and V. Ivanov particularly interesting. These artists form the axial direction of contemporary art in our country since the 1970s.

Leafing through the last page of the journal you find something in common between all the artists, so dissimilar, between works of art made in completely different directions and in a different manner. All truly talented and sincere paintings, sculptures, drawings are filled with the fire of creativity. A person who has once experienced the torment and joy of creation — begins to look at the world differently. An unshakable core is formed in his soul, which allows him to overcome a lot. At the same time, a desire is born in his soul to share the new that he discovered. Therefore, dear readers, if the sparks of the creative burning of artists reach you from the pages of “The Art of Eurasia” Journal, then we believe that we are moving from issue to issue in the right direction.

Mikhail Shishin

Chief Editor