In Azerbaijan you can find a hodgepodge of cultures, thanks to the influence of Turkic, Iranic and Caucasian ones. The capital in particular – Baku – is a unique meeting point for eastern and western, middle eastern, Russian, and Turkish traditions.
After the collapse of Soviet Union, Azerbaijan started to redraw itself. Even if much of the petrodollar-funded gentrification is just superficial, it’s true that a flourishing contemporary art scene is now putting down roots.
Let’s say that the Country is awakening from a cultural point of view, and its arts are innovating. With an increasing awareness and new government investments, galleries and artists’ studios in Azerbaijan are the new destinations of a growing number of tourists from all over the world.
Dear art lovers, let’s discover some must-see places!
The building of the Heydar Aliyev Center is a symbol of the recent development of Azerbaijan: a connection both to the past and to the future. Moreover, you probably heard of the architect of this beautiful building: Zaha Hadid, who was a popular British Iraqi artist, architect, and designer, remembered as a major figure in architecture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The Museum constitutes the most fascinating section: from its design to its cutting-edge technologies, it reveals a harmony with the rest of the Heydar Aliyev Center and describes the history of Azerbaijan.
You can learn about the stages of Heydar Aliyev’s life and work through an interactive format: the three-floor museum shows facts, video material and photo, as well as some exhibits relating to nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev.
YARAT is a not-for-profit organization that organizes education events, exhibitions, workshops, theatre performances and festivals. The aim is promoting contemporary art and founding a hub for artists in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the surrounding region. It’s based in Baku, Azerbaijan, and it was founded by Aida Mahmudova in 2011.
Part of the YARAT project, Artim Project Space is the perfect home for installations and other work by young Azerbaijani artists, while in the YARAT Painting Museum you can find the interesting work by Azerbaijan’s cadre of Soviet-influenced painters from the mid-20th century. Moreover, YAY Gallery is a gallery for contemporary Azeri photography and various artwork, with a special focus on a modernizing Azerbaijan.
When you arrive at the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum you cannot avoid fall in love with the amazing building, which is itself shaped like a rolled-up carpet. Then you’ll go inside, and you’ll be able to discover all the beautiful carpets woven with images of oil derricks.
On the one hand, Azerbaijan Carpet Museum stores a rich collection of artifacts and carpets (Azerbaijan’s most valuable heritage), but it also operates as the site for the comprehensive research of traditional carpet weaving art and its popularization within the world culture.