|Shaman at Dawn. Ink, paper 30x 24 |
Trance, ecstasy, deepest submergence and "dissolution" in a ritual- these different stages and emotional states one can observe during performance of Shamanistic ritual. Yet, many of us are familiar with this with a help of art. This "educational" and aesthetic art function is one of the most exciting, rewarding and one of the most interesting. It has a specially significant value if it relates to the spheres and areas that one is not very familiar with. It enriches, intrigue, help to discover a new world, new interests.
Shaman series of Dashi Namdakov bears all those qualities. It is an ART work in the highest sense of this word. The artist is skillful and playful, whimsical, elegant and perceptive. He depicts not only what is on the surface, but also provides some insights- thus, proves that he is a good psychologist. More so, in creating his drawings, he represents not only the particular shaman, in the image of a shaman he also manages to re-create a perception of the shaman by onlookers- he depicts an attitude. How he does it?
In drawings Dashi uses simple black ink. In sculpture it is just plane bone. Material multiplied by his skill. His line is fine and delicate, there is no extra complexity- it is just right. - Posture- both in drawings and sculpture it (posture) determines the character and "spirit" of the art work. Mainly through posture Namdakov depicts emotional stage, conditions and psychological atmosphere. Deep (inner) knowledge of the subject matter. The rest- is artist's skill and mastery.
Look at his Shaman at Dawn. It is not only climax point of a ritual for the shaman himself, it is also a relief of tension for the crowd around, it is slowing if the rhythm of movement, a subsiding of ecstasy ad excitement, it is closing of the ritual. Don't you feel the crowd? Don't you hear their sighs of relief?
And now his Shaman's portrait in sculpture. The "action" is just about to start, and this expectation of an action, the concentrated energy, the processes of concentration itself.
Dashi Namdakov is an artists from the Republic of Buryatia (Eastern Siberia- Asian part of Russia). He is Buryat by his origins. He grew up in a small Buryat village within the Buryat culture with its oral tradition, with folk believes, with traditions of Buddhism and Shamanism interwoven. His familiarity with the world art and classic art education and training (he graduated from Department of Sculpture of the Krasnoyarsk Art College, that is a Siberian branch of The Russian Art Academy) is obvious in his works. Yet, his heritage, his past and his present connections to his native land of Buryatia, his strong skills and very individual perception and attitude make his sculpture and drawings very unique and recognizable.
He can probably repeat words of his colleague late artist A. Tsybikova: "This land (Buryatia) is rich with legends, traditions... One may not even be familiar with them, yet, they come unwarranted". Or, as Dashi put it himself: "there is something that I know inwardly, with my own bones".
This inner knowledge is a warranty of authenticity and uniqueness of his creations.