hen you step up into Dolan Uyghur Restaurant in Washington D.C., you're greeted with an iconic piece of Uyghur art: Muqam by Ghazi Ahmet. This painting is an integral part of Uyghur culture and can be found throughout Uyghur homes, restaurants, and establishments. In this article, we’ll explore the meaning and significance of this piece of artwork as well as why we choose to feature it in our restaurants. 

Muqam 1984 by Ghazi Ehmet

History of Uyghur Art

Uyghur art has a rich history, beginning with the world-famous Buddhist cave paintings of Dunhuan. Traditional Uyghur art includes handicrafts, embroidery, carpet making and calligraphy. The period of modern Uyghur art is defined as beginning after 1933, when Uyghur painters began to depict cultural events associated with Uyghur life. The most famous of these is the Uyghur Muqam

Uyghur Muqam

Ghazi Ahmet, was born in March 1935 in Kashgar and painted Uyghur Muqam in the 1970s. The artwork is one of the first Uyghur paintings to represent Uyghur cultural life, and one of the most famous.  

Ghazi Ehmet (Passed away November 16, 2017)

“Muqam” is a team referring to a variety of musical arrangements that are widespread throughout the communities in East Turkistan (Also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). A Muqam is a diverse mix of songs, dances, and music characterized by the diversity of content, choreography, musical styles, and instruments. The muqam has been performed throughout the province for centuries. Because of its location on the Silk Road, the East Turkistan has always had a high degree of cultural exchange between East and West. The muqam incorporates these themes from many cultures of Central Asia. 

The painting Uyghur Muqam illustrates this Uyghur community practice. In the painting, you’ll see a variety of traditional instruments including a rewap and dutar, which are both stringed instruments. The subjects in the painting wear regional clothing and each man wears a Uyghur hat called a doppa. This iconic painting celebrates both the historical and contemporary life of Uyghur society. 

Meshrep 1977 by Ghazi Ahmet

Uyghur Muqam Today

Uyghur Muqam is widely known throughout Uyghur society and has been incorporated into the Uyghur scholastic curriculum. The painting appears in textbooks, posters, and other locations throughout Uyghur life. It is said that nearly every Uyghur college student can recognize this painting. At Dolan Uyghur Restaurant, we choose to display Uyghur Muqam to share this important piece of our culture with you, and to honor the history of our people. When you visit our restaurants, we hope you see Uyghur Muqam and think of the rich history of the Uyghur people. 

Dolan Uyghur Restaurant

At Dolan Uyghur Restaurant, we serve fresh, healthy, and delicious Uyghur cuisine. On our menu, you’ll find hand-pulled noodles, chicken stew, handmade dumplings, and many more delicious dishes. Our chef prepares each dish with fresh, ingredients, authentic recipes, and pride for our culture. With every item on our menu, we are committed to preserving and sharing the authentic flavors and traditions of Uyghur and Central Asian cuisine. We invite you to learn more about us,view our menu, see our locations, or make a reservation.