Emma Harutyunyan
art historian
cultural manager
I have always admired the ability of art to absorb the energy of the past and bring it to the present; how it can be deeply rooted in history, yet continue its path toward our current moment.

New locations and fresh concepts for exhibitions are the primary medium through which I connect the dots of the forgotten past and the challenges of the modern world. Finding those connections enables me to concentrate on the pure creation process, to push boundaries of perception, to carry out an immersive research, get acquainted with contemporary artists, and provide a platform for the most impressive art emotions.

Today, the majority of the people around us are cast from their own cultural backgrounds and generally live beyond the art world. I find the work of a curator is one of mediation, a figure who tackles this issue by organizing exhibitions and initiatives. Curation is founded in decision making, to uncover the emergent ways of making art and cultural heritage more visible and attractive.

My projects
"Call it contemporary"
Art exhibition

Curation of the exhibition "Call It Contemporary".

The exhibition displayed the diversity and new tendencies of the Armenian art scenery. We have presented the works of fifteen young local artists, accomplished via different techniques and materials. Coming from diverse backgrounds, each has a unique approach and artistic style.

Sixty artworks convey the challenges and shifts emerging creators have to withstand in the modern world.

Matenadaran, Yerevan, Armenia
June 22, 2022

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"Khme" orange wine

Art direction of the "Khme" orange wine, produced in Artsakh. Wine is an integral part of the rich Armenian cultural heritage. With this project, I wanted to highlight the story of Armenia being the cradle of wine-making.

Creating "Khme" project, we had the idea of reviving the traditional methods, using old and abandoned karases (big clay amphoras) for making the traditional white wine (so-called orange wine). While working on this project, wine has become a way of talking about the culture and the land of Artsakh. Moreover, I have an idea to curate wine labels turning wine bottles into a canvas for contemporary designers and artists who think out of the box and create visual story-telling for each wine variety.

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Tumanyan Matchbox Label Museum

Matchbox Label Museum is located in a picturesque and charming village in Lori Region named after the forefather of Armenian storytelling Hovhannes Tumanyan.

Curating this kind of small and cozy museum was a lot of fun for me. The collection included matchbox labels from dozens of countries, with a huge variety of themes and designs. I would call them "compressed ideology and taste of their time and country." Matchbox labels used to be an efficient way of advertisement, propaganda and had an educating or even edifying function.

Tumanyan, Armenia.
April, 2021.

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Nerka Design Happening

Curation of Nerka Design Happening – an exhibit of product design.

We aimed at creating a space for inspiration and connection. For this purpose the IZBA project designers from Russia were invited to share their experience with Armenian colleagues.

The former building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yerevan, Armenia.
June, 2018.

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"The Source" Exhibition

Curation of "The Source" exhibition of New York-based design & art studio A Space.

Each piece of the design collection encapsulates traditional Armenian architectural forms and motifs, staying true to the material and the handcraft.

The collection was made with different colors and shades of volcanic tuff – the Armenian most famous stone.

AGBU building, Yerevan, Armenia.
April, 2019.

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Nerka Design Pavilion

Co-founding and curation of Nerka Design Pavilion. During this pop-up exhibition we have presented and sold design products, created by the emerging and already established young designers of Armenian origin from Armenia and the diaspora. One of the objectives was to broaden awareness of modern and contemporary design in Armenia, curate and ensure consistent and carefully selected products. NDP was the first exhibition of Armenian design in Yerevan.

3 Pavstos Buzand St., Yerevan, Armenia.
May, 2016

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Artsakh Fest

Curation of "Artsakh Fest" research-based installation.

In collaboration with the local community and contemporary artists we aimed at revitalizing the old theatre building, turning it into the heartbeat of creativity in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

I have curated the research-based installation exhibiting the theater's costume archives, posters, and documents of the theatre, which had a long and active past, being the center of cultural life in Artsakh after and even during the Karabakh war in the 90s.

Drama Theatre after V. Papazian, Stepanakert, Artsakh.
October, 2018

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"I am always a soul" Exhibition

Curation of the exhibition dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the famous Armenian author Hovhannes Tumanyan.

I had only one month to organize this exhibition and the budget was quite limited. Nevertheless, the temporary exhibition space of this museum is one of my favorites in Yerevan and as the year was dedicated to Tumanyan, I didn't hesitate to agree.

Hovhannes Tumanyan Museum, Yerevan
December, 2019.

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"Dadivank: The Revived Miracle" Book

Content and process coordination for the book titled "Dadivank: The Revived Miracle", 2018.

It is the only monograph on Dadivank monastery complex and the wall paintings of the Katoghike Cathedral – the pearl of the complex. It also paves the way for deep study and preservation of Dadivank.

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Armenian Art of Kutahya

Exhibition project development.

This special topic was one of the main targets of my research. As an expert on the Armenian ceramics art of Kutahya, I was the author of the research-based exhibition at the Komitas Museum where Kutahya ceramics from the archives of Armenian museums were exhibited for the first time in Yerevan.

Komitas Museum, Yerevan, Armenia.

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Vogue Russia in Armenia

Cultural consultancy of the photographer David Mushegian.

David Moushegian is the photographer of Vogue Russia and Vogue Japan. During his work trip to Armenia, I worked with David and his staff as a cultural coordinator. I had to choose inspiring places, people, and traditional details of taraz to prepare the photo history about Armenia and its culture for Vogue Russia's October 2015 issue.

June, 2015.

"Eclipse" Installation

Curation of installation dedicated to the victims of Soviet tyranny.

The exhibition tells the story of how Mustafa Kemal's and Bolsheviks' interests against Armenia coincided and how Armenian Bolsheviks became the zealous perpetrators of an anti-Armenian policy.

Hovhannes Tumanyan Museum, Yerevan, Armenia.
August, 2017

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Nerka Art Center & Gallery

Co-founding and curation of Nerka Art Center and Gallery.

The center was aimed at developing contemporary Armenian art, promoting young Armenian artists, organizing discussions, workshops, and cultural events.

Kochar 13, Yerevan, Armenia.

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Armenian Altar Curtains

Research, Armenian Religious Textiles at the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, 2012-2013.

I conducted research on the iconography and various techniques used to produce Armenian religious textiles. These include: embroidery, textile printing, wax printing, and ghalamkar (block printed).

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