Mongolia

Mongolia Monday- I Meet Mongol Artists (At Last!)

I’ve known since my first trips to Mongolia that art is an extremely important part of the culture, but had not found a way to meet or connect with any of the artists themselves. Until now.

Thanks to Janna, the Director of ArtiCour Gallery, who hosted my Ulaabaatar art event on September 22, I got my wish and then some. The gallery represents some of Mongolia’s most prominent and honored painters. Some of them were kind enough to come to the event and two invited me to visit their studios, which I did the next day. I had a wonderful time, thanks to Janna and Khaliunaa, who was one of my interpreters for the art event (along with Buyandelger) and who was nice enough to come along so that I could talk to the artists.

Although they did not have access to the West during what the Mongols call “socialist times”, many Mongolian artists traveled to Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Eastern Bloc countries to study in a variety of art academies and schools, so they were trained in classical, academic methods. They were limited in what was acceptable to paint, Impressionism apparently being totally off-limits, but still found ways to express themselves with great originality. With the coming of democracy in 1991, the artists of Mongolia became free to go wherever their artistic vision leads them.

The following is a “album” of my visit to the studios of six artists, all members of the Union of Mongolian Artists, which was founded in 1944 and has its own large, airy gallery space in the heart of Ulaanbaatar. I’ve been going there every trip since 2006 to see their exhibitions.

The studio photos and some of the art images were taken with my iPhone. Some of the other painting images I scanned from materials like brochures and booklets that the artists gave to me as gifts. I hope you enjoy this “studio tour” and you can be sure that there will be more to come in the future.

The artists are presented in the order in which I met them.

E. Sukhee, who I was told is one of the most eminent artists in Mongolia

Uulen Choloonii Nar by E. Sukhee

G. Dunburee; he was definitely the extrovert of the group

Dunburee’s famous painting “Ikh Khuree”, a scene of Ulaanbaatar in the 1920s, one of a series

Some of Dunburee’s location paintings

Fellow artist, Sosobaram, who stopped in for a short time, Dunburee and I

Sosobaram gave me a lovely booklet of his life and work. I scanned this and the following two images from it. Here is one of his drawings, I think from when he was a student.

Tsagaan Sarnai by B. Sosorbaram

Avto Portret 2006 (Self Portrait 2006) by B. Sosorbaram

S. Bayarbaatar

Talin Unselt by Bayarbaatar

Natsagdorj- one of the very few watercolor artists of his generation

Ikh Taigin Namar by Natsagdorj; he is from the northern part of Mongolia and at one time specialized in images of the Tsaatsan or “Reindeer People”.

Tugs-Oyun Sodnom

Ger District 2009 by Tugs-Oyun

D.Munkh

Landscape in progress- Munkh

Landscape in progress- detail

Finally, Tugs-Oyun, me and Janna Kamimila, the Director of ArtiCour Gallery, who arranged this memorable afternoon with the artists, who couldn’t have been more welcoming

1 reply »

  1. So many times we think “(insert name of country) Art” and have a stereotype in mind. It is delightful to see that “Mongolian” art encompasses so many styles and interpretations. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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