Gulistan’s Journeys of Soul

My name is Gulistan. You may think it’s a strange name because it isn’t Chinese. My name is Uyghur.

I teach art (oil painting and design) at Capital Normal University Elementary Education Institute.

If you want to know more details about my professional life, please see my resume.

You can email me by visiting my contact page.

Mankind cannot escape from the restriction of time and space
But the soul can fly away
About time…
About space…
About the soul space of mankind
Standing side by side and forming a “series of notes”
And questioning deeply the essence of “existence”

-Gulistan

Journeys

When I travel, I have the goal and purpose to observe the place and look attentively at the life happening there. I use my eyes to observe, my ears to listen, and my soul to feel the connection with the history, the surroundings, and the people of that particular place.

When I go to a different place and see the art and architecture there, it makes the world come alive for me, with motion and action.

Music and Dancing

To travel
I move between painting, music, poetry and dance
I depict the restless heart of music
Staring at Giotto quietly
Collecting the peace of soul in the ancient fresco
The holy spirit of Bach’s music guides my soul
I’ve found quietness in the way of chaos

– Gulistan, from “The Shape of My Psyche”

Music is a very important part of my creative life, but it is important in my personal life as well. Music is a very vast landscape. It has the magic to take your soul to heaven in an instant. Duke Ellington once said, “What is music to you? What would you be without music? Music is everything. Nature is music (cicadas in the tropical night). The sea is music, the wind is music. The rain drumming on the roof and the storm raging in the sky are music. Music is the oldest entity. The scope of music is immense and infinite. It is the ‘esperanto’ of the world.”

Jazz music is my source of impromptu inspiration, because it is based on improvisation… Louis Armstrong, who opened the door for the art of solo performance during the early days of jazz, is known to have said, “Never play anything the same way twice.” Moreover, “Jazz is played from the heart. You can even live by it. Always love it.”

This impromptu performance conveys the feeling of blues through the music; it gives the chance for the musician to create spontaneously. This is in contrast to pop music, in which only the written notes are played.

Because of music, I want to dance. And because of Jazz music, I know Swing, which is an early form of Jazz. To get a feeling for this music, I want to share with you the songs “Minor Swing” by guitarist Django Reinhardt and “Ain’t Misbehavin‘” by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra, available from archive.org.

Exhibitions

When a musician creates new music, he or she will present it to the public. Likewise, when an artist creates a new work, he or she will present it in a public exhibition.

In the image to the right, you will see me sitting beside an artist from France who has the question “qui?” or “who?” painted on his chest. This question is one always asked by artists: “Who are we?” The other questions that artists explore are: “Where did we come from?” and “Where are we going?”

This is the mission of artists in the world.

I try to give an exhibition of my work every year. This gives me the chance to review my work over the past year and to keep in contact with other artists in my community. It is important to hold these exhibitions in different places and different cities to give more exposure for my own work and to expand my ability to learn from a larger group of people.

For example, last summer, 13 artists including myself joined together in Qingdao for an event entitled the “Exhibition of Works from Excellent Established Artists”. We all came from different places such as Shandong, Beijing, Shanghai, Harbin, etc. Because of the exhibition, we had the chance to come together and talk about art, exchange ideas about trends in contemporary art, and discuss possible future collaborations. In a way, such a joint exhibition is like a scientific or trade conference that occurs in other fields of work.

The exhibitions aim to attract artists from around the world, to further spread the cooperation and exchange of ideas. Each year, several big events are held to invite international artists to come to China. There is typically a major exhibition at the National Art Gallery, and government- and private-sponsored programs for artist exchange. Last year was the year of France, and this year features Italy.

A solo exhibition is also important for an artist. It is more challenging, because it forces the artist to produce a large body of work, to create high-quality pieces, and to form a theme that ties all of the works together.

These days, I am working hard to prepare for a solo exhibition of my latest work in Shanghai at the end of April 2006. The paintings are already finished. Now is just the time to organize the event, to work out all the details with the gallery hosting the exhibition, and to publish a book of my paintings to go along with the exhibition.

One Response to “Gulistan’s Journeys of Soul”

  1. Eysa Says:

    yaxshimu siz!
    méning Uyghur ismim Eysa.
    men sizning tor betingizni yaxshi körimen. chok güzel!
    Uyghurchem yaxshi emes, kechürüng!

    I’m a student who wants to study design, and I like your website and your works very much!
    I think there’s a little mistake of the spelling of your name. Followed ULY (Uyghur Latin Yéziqi), it’s Gülistan, but not Gulistan, because ئو is u, and ئۈ is ü.

    maybe this document helps:
    http://www.ukij.org/oyghan/uky/UKY_Heqqide(KonaYeziq).pdf

    best wishes!

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