Artist Profiles


Zarina Kendjaeva


South and Central Asia




Suzani Embroidery – Tapestries and Pillows



Medium of Work:

Suzani embroidery - tapestries, curtains and pillows

Year(s) Attended:

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017


Zarina Kendjaeva uses silk threads dyed with madder, indigo, pomegranate and onionskins. She uses a variety of stitches including the hook stitch, an almost forgotten technique she is working to revive. She was taught by her mother, a master embroiderer, and learned hook work from a Bukharan woman who was one of the last artists who knew the technique. Zarina bases her designs on 18th and 19th century museum pieces.

Suzani are used for decorative wall hangings, curtains, and bedcovers, as well as functional household items, such as bags and pillow covers. They are made from finely hand woven cotton or silk fabric. Often the embroidery covers the entire cloth leaving only very small areas not filled with complex hand work. Suzani is part of a renowned tradition of textile production in Uzbekistan and Central Asia. The techniques are being revived and extended into the 21st century by artists like Zarina.