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The Kyrgyz State Museum of Fine Art
196 Baytik Baatyr Street
Bishkek 720000
Kyrgyz Republic

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 Award.  

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National Museum of Art,  Project "Art of Silk Road" 2002

196 Baytik Baatyr street, 720000, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, Tel.: 996 (312) 66-14-47

E-mail: artofsilkroad@intranet.kg, Web: http://www.artofsilkroad.com

Copyright Art of Silk Road Exhibition Organizing Committee