Gustav Klimt meets Mark Shagal.

Countries, they are like people. There are influential celebrities (Russia, France, USA, Germany, Great Britain...), everybody knows them, everybody has a stereotype concerning people who live there:
- Italians? - Loud, merry brunettes.
- Americans? - Fat and calm or fit and active.
- Japonese? - Extremely reserved and polite, short stature.
Sometimes these stereotypes are true, often reality is quite different from your thoughts. But there are so many countries, which are like "common people" not so famous. Only neighbours, relatives, colleagues know about their existance. What do you know about Myanmar, Sierra-Leone, Tajikistan or Moldova, for example? My country - Belarus - is one of such "invisible men".

Belarus is quite small post-Soviet republic, situated between flamboyant Russia and vibrant Ukraine. We have no sea, not many sunshine and unique nature treasures. WWI and WWII and all pan-european clashes centures before ruined our historical heritage. Ages made our people and our visual culture "flat", "plain".... I've thought so before I saw works of the kids of one Minsk (this is the capital of Belarus, by the way :) ) art-studio. These was not just children's paintings (which are always brilliant and vivid). These was ethnographic reserches about belarussian folk costume and belarussian identity, which was created in the old art painting technic using aluminium foil and glass.

This is an example of such painting
(ukranian icon, unfortunately, it's 
impossible to find belarussian one
in internet, because this kind of craft is forgotten now and is not popular at all):

In short, I was amazed, impressed, surprised to see such brave, bright and fresh vision of my (our) people and customs. Look, in these pieces Gustav Klimt meets Mark Shagal, don't you think?

Images are from exposition of applied art studio "Krynichka", creative studio "Viasiolka", Minsk, Belarus.

Everybody is welcome to Belarus! :)