World renowned artist, Dashi Namdakov has created twelve bronze animal sculptures inspired from the Chinese Zodiac. These sculptures also form part of a major commission: The Centre of Asia which stands near the bank of the Yenisei River in Kyzyl, Russia. The monument was erected to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the entry of Republic of Tuva into Russia. It is said to be symbolic of the new spiritual and geographical centre of Asia.
The figures are cast in bronze. Each is approximately 70-90cm in height. The twelve animals comprise: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar.
“Animals make up most of Dashi’s work. Their plasticity testifies to great influence from the Russian academic school. You also feel the presence in them of Asiatic mythology that traditionally imparts animals with sacred meaning.” Nadezhda P. Komarova (Art Historian)
Animals symbolize the cyclical nature of time. According to the beliefs of ancestors, every year has its own cosmogonic characteristics and it is regularly repeated, bringing similar natural phenomena. So at the end of the first millennium the nomads established a 12-year-old animal calendar of the seasons, which made possible to predict the crop and livestock offspring in advance. At the same time, each animal symbolizes certain qualities of a man, so Dashi has enriched his characters with human characteristics, as is common in the eastern horoscope.