Unique exhibition in Nur-Sultan features items of Kazakh nomadic culture

Silver, which protects against evil spirits, or bronze, which reveals the secrets of time - Kazakh artist and jeweler Serzhan Bashirov has been preserving traditions of steppe art for half a century. He recreates ancient jewellery in a new interpretation, using the same materials as our ancestors. His works are showcased at the unique exhibition entitled ‘Keeper of Signs’, which takes place in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan. The exhibition also features the master’s installations made of wood, copper and bone, as well as items of Kazakh nomadic culture from Bashirov’s private collection. These are ancient Kazakh carpets, cradles, painted yurt doors and much more. The exhibition will run until mid-August.

“The private collection includes absolutely amazing household items of the Kazakh people of the 18th century to the present day. It seems to me that the uniqueness of this exhibition is that we can visually trace the connection between modern jewelry and our ancient culture,” said Leyla Mahat, project curator.

“Conceptualizing takes me a long time. For example, when I start working on one piece, I cannot finish it right away, so I am simultaneously working on the second one. I make one piece for a month, sometimes it takes a whole year. I use silver in jewelry, which is also our traditional material. As for the stones, I use carnelian and turquoise. This is what our ancestors used in the steppe for thousands of years. As I said at the beginning, I used copies, especially of western Kazakh jewelry, the so-called Adai style, but then I gradually developed my signature style, such an ethno-avant-garde art,” said Serzhan Bashirov, sculptor, jeweler, collector.