Within the 16th-century trading domes in the heart of Bukhara, artisans from Uzbekistan and across Central Asia set up stores and workshops offering their wares to locals and tourists alike. Originally, in the medieval period, there were five domed bazaars connected by arched corridors, but today only three remain, oriented north to south and interspersed among the city center’s many mosques, hotels, restaurants, and coffee shops. In these bazaars within this ancient Silk Road city—a historical crossroads of trade, scholarship, and culture—traditional Uzbek arts and crafts thrive.
Djamol Temirov is one of the many artisans who works out of the Trading Domes, which he describes as a place to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and enter an environment where traditions are honored and respected. Djamol has been running a small business there amongst his fellow craftsmen since 2000. His trade is unique in that he restores old wool carpets through the creation of new artistic pieces. He began his practice two decades ago when he purchased a carpet from a second-hand retailer to repurpose as a customized bag. Pleased with the results and inspired by historical research, Djamol continues working in this vein, repairing old rugs and granting them a second life and purpose. The results are intriguing, collaged tapestries in vivid scarlets and deep indigos that recall traditional craft through the creation of the new.