The Kyrgyz State Museum of Fine
196 Baytik Baatyr Street
|A connoisseur of
Japanese art and culture, Mayram Yusupova has not forgotten her Kyrgyz heritage. In fact,
she has dedicated herself to promoting the Kyrgyz art community and preserving its
important works as the Director of the Kyrgyz State Museum of Fine Art.
Born in 1939 in the southern Kara-Kuldjit region of the
Kyrgyz Republic, Mayram graduated from the Kyrgyz State University with a degree in
Philology. She did her post-graduate work at the Academy of Science of the Kyrgyz
Republic, where she focused on Turkic philology. For more than 25 years she worked in
Moscow and Japan, first teaching at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography, and
later conducting research at the All-Union Research Institute on the Standardization of
Geographical Names (in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan).
In 1994, Mayram and her family returned to
Bishkek, where she served for two years as Senior Lecturer of Japanese at the Bishkek
Humanitarian University. Today, she remains an honorary professor at the university.
In 1996 when the Kyrgyz State Museum of Fine Art
was in a critical state of disrepair, Mayram took over the directorate and has remained
ever since. Under her leadership, the museum has been brought back to life with repaired
roofing, restored parquet flooring, and a new focus on the quality of permanent
exhibitions and special displays. Today, museum visitors can see the works of famous and
up-and-coming contemporary Kyrgyz artists and youngsters, as well as national and
international exhibitions-54 in 2001 alone.
Mayram has been instrumental in instituting an
annual art auction on May 18th (International Day of Museums) to promote Kyrgyz
artists and gain needed artwork for the museum. Today the museum has over 17,500 pieces of
art in its permanent collection. Mayram has also attracted the patronage of the
international and business communities in Bishkek by forming the "Friends of the
Museum" club, which offers financial and other support to the museum.
In her free time, Mayram enjoys many aspects of
Japanese culture and art. She is considered an expert in the tea ceremony and traditional
dances of Japan. In addition, she is trained in ikebana and enjoys teaching her skill.
Mayram has also organized several expositions on ikebana, photography, and calligraphy to
educate others about Japan.
Art of Silk Road is honored to present Mayram Yusupova with the Lifetime Achievement