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Shakma: Let artworks enter public life and nurture the ethos of the city

Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily (Reporter Jia Chunxia) news: The series of sculptures and paintings “Biydar Awakening” by Xinjiang sculptor Shakma Rishat have enjoyed wide popularity since being showcased at Guangzhou Moge Gallery in Guangzhou City, south China’s Guangdong Province, from February 14, 2023. Many art lovers step into the gallery to taste the artist's expression of happiness, joy, sadness and indignation.

Shakma works on her artwork in the studio. (Photo offered by Shakma Rishat)

“People from different ages, genders and stages of their lives present different emotions. I use sculptures to express people’s inner feelings and to dialogue with the world,” said Shakma. Born in Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County of northwest China's Xinjiang, 35-year-old Shakma is now a member of the Sculpture Committee of Xinjiang Artists Association and a member of the Xinjiang Sculpture Institute.

When Shakma was a child, she had a dream of becoming an artist. In order to realize this dream, she worked very hard and was admitted to the Central Academy of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture. The dream of becoming an artist was getting closer and closer to her.

The series of sculptures and paintings “Biydar Awakening” by Xinjiang sculpture artist Shakma Rishat is displayed at Guangzhou Moge Gallery in Guangzhou City, south China’s Guangdong Province. (Photo offered by Shakma Rishat)

After the success of her graduation exhibition, she returned to her hometown to open an art studio, devoting herself to art and immersing herself in sculptures of various shapes, flying sawdust, and colorful pigments. In this simple yet comfortable studio, Shakma creates artworks that provide the viewers with a powerful visual impact. Her representative sculpture series “Biydar Awakening” convey the artist's strong emotions on different levels with rich colors and rhythmic forms.

“Emotions have nothing to do with gender. Sadness and happiness will not change just because you are a man or a woman.” Shakma says that “Biydar” can be translated directly into “sleepless people” in the Uygur language, and she is the one who can't sleep at night. She often loses sleep when the world falls silent at night, creating or thinking with music and coffee, sometimes even till sunrise.

The sculpture series “Biydar Awakening convey the artist's strong emotions on different levels. (Photo offered by Shakma Rishat)

Shakma's sculptures are mostly made of wood. She is good at seeking inspiration from nature to present the essence of life and the spirit of art. In her opinion, wood is a symbol of life and the most environmentally friendly material. She always uses the chainsaw to saw the general shape first, then polishes and colors it till finished. The process of making a sculpture is relatively simple.

Throughout the entire creative process, Shakma focuses more on colors and lines. “Color plays an important role in expressing various emotions and can even express subtle feelings that we cannot express with words. The well-defined lines make works alive, as if they are crying,” She said.

The brilliant colors of Shakma's daily life, such as the colorful patterned carpets decorated at home, and girls and boys dancing Meshrep in bright costumes, inspire her to create colorful sculptures. The colorful images, the various body shapes, and the lifelike postures have all become the distinctive personal mark of this female sculptor from Xinjiang.

The colorful images, the various body shapes, and the lifelike postures, make Shakma's sculptures loved by the public. (Photo offered by Shakma Rishat)

Over the years, Shakma's sculptures have won full recognition from the art circle and collectors. Her work “Walker” won an excellent award at the “2015 Xinjiang Sculpture Exhibition”, and the work “Awakening 01.02” was selected for the fourth “Exhibition for Nominated Young Artists in Asian” traveling exhibition at the Milan Art & Events Center, Italy. Many of her wood sculptures have been collected by domestic and international collectors.

“Art is for the public. I hope my sculptures can be put into parks and scenic spots, and enter people's daily life. I will try my best to achieve this goal.” Shakma said.

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