During London Craft Week, The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship presents an exhibition at Cromwell Place dedicated to the participants of the first edition of Homo Faber Fellowship, a life-changing programme which facilitates the transmission of craft knowledge and skills from one generation to the next. First-year fellows of the scholarship program will present their works inspired by mutual exchanges of experience.
In April 2023, the "Uzbek Chapter" was added to the Homo Faber Guide, featuring 11 masters representing traditional Uzbek arts and crafts. These individuals are now recognized as outstanding craftsmen worldwide. Shokhrukh Rakhimov, a representative from a renowned family of ceramists, was accepted into the prestigious Homo Faber Fellowship program, undergoing training in Portugal and Greece and adopting the experience of local masters.
"Participation in the prestigious Homo Faber Fellowship program is a crucial step towards working with the youth and creative talents of Uzbekistan. With a recognition of the importance of craftsmanship and support for the development of masters, we can talk about preserving our cultural identity and its further development. I am confident that the collaboration between the Uzbekistan Art and Culture Development Foundation and the Michelangelo Foundation will provide new opportunities for expanding the creative potential of young masters, enrich their experience and understanding of the modern world, and promote the inclusion of Uzbek craft practices in the global cultural space," said Gayane Umerova, Chairperson of the Uzbekistan Art and Culture Development Foundation.
During London Craft Week, Shokhrukh Rakhimov will present a collaborative work with Greek master Yannis Zois — a monumental totem inspired by the forms of Buddhist prayer cylinders. Made from porcelain, African wood, and covered with 22-carat gold, the appearance of this joint work by Rakhimov and Zois reflects the intersection of Islamic architecture and ancient Greek traditions, demonstrating parallels between Eastern and Western cultures.
"Over six months, thanks to the unique experience of participating in the Homo Faber Fellowship, Greek master Yannis Zois and I worked and experimented extensively, including with materials I had never worked with before — porcelain mass and gold. The technique also differed from the methods I am accustomed to; we worked with high firing temperatures. This led to many creative ideas that will be realized in various collaborations in the future. Soon, visitors will be able to see the results of this exchange of experience at London Craft Week. It is a great honor for me, and I will continue to develop traditional Uzbek art, mastering new techniques and gaining a new perspective on working with traditional crafts," said Shokhrukh Rakhimov, master ceramist.
The flora and fauna on the totem, inspired by Uzbek motifs, symbolize Eastern culture, adding refinement and airiness to the piece. The animals — fish, butterflies, deer, and birds — embody deep symbolic meanings derived from both Eastern and Western aesthetic values. The combination of gold and porcelain in the design adds luxury and elegance to the work, expressing the masters' admiration for the beauty of cultural diversity.