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"A Group Portrait of One"

The East Meets West gallery and the Artplay gallery are proud to introduce a project by Tatiana Paleeva entitled "A Group Portrait of One". The title refers to the multifaceted character of its initiator: on the one hand, a gallery owner and collector of modern Moscow artists and sculptors, and on the other a traveler and student of the art, life and culture of the southwest Chinese ethnic minorities. Ms. Paleeva spent many years in mainland China and now resides in Hong Kong, and ethnic themes have been a constant leitmotiv through a series of previous exhibits, under the name "Lost Paths of the Southwestern Chinese Tribes".

She began in Beijing in 1989, a time when little was written about national minorities in China, and particularly about the tribes in the south-west provinces of Guizhou and Guangxi (indeed, Guizhou was closed to foreign visitors). Today, of course, nearly every major museum in Europe contains ethnic Chinese costumes as part of their collection.

The catalogue include antique and modern costumes of the "red" and "black" Miao peoples, with unique embroidery, applique and hand weaving; examples of the wooden architecture of the Dong tribes; religious relics and sculptures of Yao shamans, together with ancestral rolls; silver decorations of the women of the Miao and Bouyei peoples - as well as more than 700 photographs of little-known highland villages and towns in Guizhou and Guangxi, all taken during the last expedition in 2003.

The Moscow portion of "A Group Portrait of One" presents an elite group of six very diverse artists, including five painters and one sculptor:

Azam Atakhanov embodies the Eastern world - enigmatic and contemplative, bright and colorful. His works play with light and shadows in a sun-drenched space.

Lilia Balasanova is the author of a brilliant collage series entitled "Dreams of Confucius", created especially for "Lost Paths of the Southwestern Chinese Tribes".

Dmitry Ikonnikov is a recognized master of textures and surfaces, using blunt tools to express deep meanings.

Sergei Kolevatykh is a versatile artist and a regular participant in East Meets West gallery projects - during which his works appeared for the first time with those of his wife, Lilia Balasanova.

Anatoly Purlik's works are ironic and lyric, managing to be both expressionistic and ascetic at the same time. He is a master of the nude.

Oleg Kievsky is a sculptor for whom art is impossible without the confluence of sculptural and philosophical ideas. His works transform opposing forms into a harmonic whole.