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December 11, 2004 was an opening day of the personal photo exhibition of Nosirbek Nazirbekov which took place in the National Museum named after Kamoliddin Behzod. Nosirbek Nazirbekov is a famous glass painter who got involved with photography in 2002 when he conveyed a "plein air" event in Sogd Oblast. Vivid impressions of Northern Tajikistan, his trip along Isfara, Vorukh, and Khudjand roads together with the "Khaftrang" art team gave him a chance to express his feelings through photography.

Nosirbek Nazirbekov had dreamed of a personal photo exhibition for a long time. Following the well-known saying "The one who can - does it himself, the one who cannot - teaches others", he decided to devote this exhibition to human hands. The topic of the exhibition - "Hands" - defined its general atmosphere. A hand is the most revealing part of a human body. As a perfect human instrument, a hand is a personification of power - both physical and spiritual. In many cultures, a hand is a symbol of divine activity.

For example, a hand coming out of a cloud was an early form of the first Trinity image. A hand holding a scepter, a sward or a globe identifies power. In the Indian tradition, the many hands of gods and goddesses meant a repeated reinforcement of their strength and power. In Islam, a hand meant symbols of the five key Shi'a saints. In chiromancy, a palm of the hand is a specific cryptic landscape with mountains, rivers, and valleys. Seven hills correspond to seven planets. It is considered that a relief formed by the seven hills can say much of a person's character.

In the opinion of a well-known Tajik art historian Larisa Dodkhudoeva, the "Hands" exhibition greatly expanded the usual scale of norms and symbols; it is an internal monologue expressed through hands.
Over 40 pictures taken by the artist reflect hands of various people. Pilot hands firmly holding an aircraft control wheel, man's hands slaughtering sheep, plump baby's hands, tender hands of a bride, artist's and teacher's hands, rough hands of an old man and even tattooed criminal's hands reveal to the audience characteristic features of various people without a bathos. The artist succeeded to grasp psychological shades of all these people.
Trying to explain his passion to photography, the artist remarks: "Jugs, bottles, nails and many other things taken separately cannot make viewers admire them. However, once these non-descriptive things get into the hands of an artist, people cannot help admiring their perfect forms. Therefore, by trying to depict human hands, I made an attempt to quit the old traditions and to try myself in other forms of art. During the whole year I took pictures of ordinary people. Sometimes I succeeded in catching the right moments, though some of the pictures have been staged."

Zuhur Khabibulaev, the People's Artist of the Republic of Tajikistan: "We have got used to the idea that an artist is the one who uses paint, clay or pencils. Yet when an artist tries to express his view of the world with the help of a camera, some people may find it strange. I believe it does not matter what tools were used by an artist. What is most important, he can express himself using untraditional means. Hope that people got interested in the topic of the exhibition, that it made them view the world under a different angle, and that the artist succeeded in revealing his feelings. It is my belief that Tajik artists share the world concepts of art. An artist should be universal today, and this is what can be said of Nosirbek. He graduated from the State Art University in Vilnius in 1979 under the supervision of A. Stoshkus. I am glad that today Nosirbek Nazirbekov tries himself in ceramics, glass, paint, and photography. The work of a real artist should surprise and enrapture viewers."
The audience truly admired most of the works that are characterized not by a mere fixation of nature but also by the artist's skill to reveal the deep and meaningful content of contemporary life.

Prepared by
Mukharam Komilova