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Central Asia

With the establishment of the Silk Road some 2000 years ago, contact and trade with places as diverse as India, China, Persia and Europe fuelled the creativity of Central Asian artists.

Central Asia consists of a number of independent nations which were once part of the Soviet Union, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. They make up the region known as Turkestan, between Iran and Siberia, including parts of China and Afghanistan. Distinctive to the artistic heritage of these countries are colourful textiles, which can be woven, embroidered or tie-dyed, examples of which are in the Gallery’s collection. The stylised decoration reflects the complexity of cultural influences, from shamanistic beliefs to solely decorative Islamic designs.

Explore our Central Asia