Showing posts from March, 2003

Letter 12: The Dance of Sassoun

I came to Armenia to “move mountains” (read:“create jobs”). So what am I doing selling boxes with Grigor Khandjian’s “Sassountsineri Par” painted on them? I have never produced, designed or sold a piece of art in my life!

I love Russian art, and I particularly enjoy the papier maché boxes painted by Russian miniature artists (from Palekh). They are beautiful! But it bothers me that they are being sold as souvenirs in Yerevan’s Vernissage street market and in souvenir shops around town. Don’t we have our own miniature artists and our own Armenian themes to paint?

Thinking about this, an idea came to mind -- why not reproduce Grigor Khandjian’s “Sassountsineri Par” (The Sassouni's Dance) on native-Armenian obsidian and ceramic boxes. Our famous poet, Gevorg Emin, had immortalized the proud struggle of the inhabitants of Sassoun in a poem by the same name. The poem is based on a true story. After three weeks of resisting a full-fledged attack by the Ottoman army, the inhabitants of …