Oak Park and the Open Air Sculpture Museum, Bishkek
Established in 1984 as part of the All Union Sculptors Symposium, which coincided with the 60th anniversary of Kyrgyzstan's accession to the Soviet Union, the Open Air Sculpture Museum attracts visitors with its diverse collection. During the symposium, artists and sculptors from across the Soviet Union gathered in Bishkek to display their works in Oak Park under the theme of "Work and Peace."
Walking through the paths of Oak Park and admiring the sculptures is a delightful experience that takes approximately 30 minutes. While some of the sculptures show signs of degradation due to their exposure to the elements over the years, many have remarkably withstood the test of time.
One standout sculpture is "Mother and Child" (1985) by V. Hegun. Depicting a mother cradling a young child in her lap, this nearly four-decade-old artwork reflects the modern life of Bishkek, where a high birth rate contributes to a bustling city filled with children and the loving figures of their mothers and grandmothers.
Another whimsical sculpture that catches the eye is "Fossilized Rhino" (1985) by V. Friu. This sculpture features the head of a rhinoceros mounted on a pedestal with body-like contours, adding a touch of intrigue and playfulness to the museum.
Be sure to keep an eye out for "Legend" (1986) by J. Rustamov, which portrays a woman delicately feeding a doe from her hand. Despite its exposure to the elements, this intricate sculpture has aged gracefully, showcasing the artist's skill and attention to detail. There is also an unnamed wooden sculpture, likely more recent, depicting an eagle perched atop a stump. This piece highlights the proud tradition of falconry in Kyrgyz culture.
The museum offers a serene atmosphere, surrounded by oak trees that provide shade and protection. Open 24/7, Oak Park attracts both tourists and locals seeking peace and inspiration. While it can be busier in the evenings, mornings tend to be quieter, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the art and surroundings.
Most sculptures in the museum are accompanied by steel plaques that display the name of the artwork and the artist. However, there are a few sculptures without labels, adding an element of mystery and discovery to the experience.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bishkek. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Oak Park and the Open Air Sculpture Museum on Map
Sight Location: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (See walking tours in Bishkek)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:
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