Artist Statement

ARTIST STATEMENT

 

I am the last of the fast vanishing nomadic Mongol ethnicity.

I was born and raised in the heart of the vast steppes and luminous mountains of Mongolia. I grew up in a society of parallel dysfunctions during the Socialist regime; an oppressive period when strong cultural censorship and Communist idealism shaped my adolescent mind.

My most prominent migratory experience came 19 years ago when I emigrated to the United Stated with my family from Mongolia. My identity as a first generation Mongolian American migrant allows a life of duality where opposing cultural values of my Eastern and Western identities constantly clash and fuse; creating a marginal periphery of absent origin. My ever-revolving identity as a nomadic voyeur profoundly shapes my artistic process. I am interested in expressing the embattled emotional middle space of the marginal human devoid of identity.

Through my work, I seek to explore the disjointed effects of globalization/duality on contemporary Mongolian identity, in reference to the generational divide that exist in abandoned culture among individual identity, family life, and culture amid the flux of Western preconception. My work is about history and tradition, identity censorship, mythology, folklore, dreams, spirituality, death, environmental change, set in contemplative scenarios that transform into symbolic allegories for socio-political issues.

My artistic process derives from a balance of intuitive and concept driven method of experimental creation. My artworks integrate much of my cultural and spiritual roots, embracing an abstract expressionist flare. In my paintings, I seek to create visual tension through automatic and intended mark making between realism and expression. I like to fuse binary concepts and techniques of representation, from contrasting languages of wet and dry textures, precision and chaos, into stimulatory layers as to create conceptual proximity between forces of opposition and displacement. I experience my artistic production as an act of creative play between subject and object, and aim for a convulsive spontaneity in the journey of their creation. Similarly, I express my ideas and concepts through mediums of drawing, sculpture, writing, installation, mask making and multimedia.

I am professionally trained in the art of the traditional Mongolian painting “Mongol Zurag”, ancient Mongolian “Tsam” mask making, and Buddhist scroll painting “Thangka”. I combine these three deeply traditional artistic practices with conceptual abstract narratives to examine the tensions/high social inequalities between traditional and urbanizing cultures in modern Mongolian and American societies. By way of juxtaposing figurative elements, traditional motifs, and contemporary icons with natural materials – I aim to create a visual language connecting the old with the new to depict the mental states of suffocation and alienation due to urbanization, overcrowding, and high social inequalities in today’s world.

Within these (psychological mind) spaces, where the fragments of memory, dreams, and the residues of formative experience intermingle with contemporary mythology – I present a space for the renegotiation of identity and the realignment of desire. By revealing the strange and curious inner-workings of the human condition, I aim to examine the fluctuating operations of human identity, desire, wonder and fantasy.