Buryatia excels in many things – textiles, tees, greenstone, ethnic art, jewelry, cashmere … and ZAM Space in Ulan-Ude is one of the best places to buy just about everything and to do so whilst experiencing the authenticity and colours of this small republic. Head away from touristic boutiques and check for unique gifts this one-off traditional design shop – a true home of Buryat culture.
If you set up for a design aficionado or ethnic art enthusiast, ZAM Space would satisfy your thirst in full. Meaning a “way” in the Buryat language, ZAM made its mission to promote “Made in Buryatia” attributes both Russia-wide and internationally. Located at the city’s busiest neighborhood, this finest ethnical market in Buryatia is also within the stone’s throw from Lenin’s head, Ulan-Ude’s main landmark.
Either approaching from a busy alleyway of Sukhe-Bator or Lenin, the shop’s intriguing outside look won’t let walk you away. Organized on two floors, this stylish colorful space makes its visitors explore from the threshold. The first sight that greets you is a big blackboard – accurate icons written in chalk feature clothes, books, and shop’s social media channels – by the cash desk.
Though ZAM is undoubtedly more than just clothes and books. The overall philosophy of the shop is to present its visitors the best of Buryatia. And quite often, it includes hand-made silver jewelry, paintings, sculptures, home decorations, and other accessories with ethnic motives.
One of such outstanders is Nadya Suponina. Together with two other artists, she makes up a creative union and works primarily with bronze. Applying the moulding technique, they design genial miniature sculptures of human figures and animals. All the works reflect the touch of the Buryat culture, either in facial characteristics or clothes’ ornaments.
Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, it’s still worth a visit just to see these museum objects that fill up the room as far as the eye can see.
Be sure that you tried out all the casual-look garments with traditional ornaments and made a picture wearing the Buryat hat. Now, it’s time to sit down and relax. The shop boasts with free wi-fi and freshly brewed grained coffee. There is a cozy lounge area with sofas by the windows. Sink into the comfy cushions and watch the crowd of students and ministerial employees from outside, as this area features the Buryat State University and government headquarters. A friendly staff is always up for a conversation, whether you have general questions or feel genuinely curious about the Buryat culture.
No matter how diverse your artsy needs are, it’s guaranteed that everyone can find something memorable after his heart at ZAM Space in Ulan-Ude, a true home of Buryat culture.
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