2023 Denver Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture Global Award

Zerosun Creative

Since 1986, the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture have annually recognized individuals and organizations that make significant and lasting contributions to the arts in the City and County of Denver. 

I am grateful to receive the “Arts & Culture Global Award” which is presented to an individual or organization whose work has had national and international significance, bringing the world to Denver and Denver to the world. Congratulations to all the other honorees this year!

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Urban Arts Mural Project in Colorado

From Summer 2021 – January 2022, I collaborated with my daughter artist Eriko Tsogo on a public mural project called the “Four Harmonious Friends of Colorado” funded by the Urban Arts Fund (UAF) in collaboration with Denver Public Art, Hampden Public Library, Denver City District 4 Councilwoman Kendra Black, and the Uran Biir Colorado Mongolian Art School.

The mural is due to be installed at the Hampden Public Library with an upcoming dedication ceremony scheduled in early March 2022.

“The Four Harmonious Friends of Colorado” by Tsogo Mijid and Eriko Tsogo, Acrylic on panel, 12 ft x 6 ft x .5 inch, 2022.

Story Behind the Mural

Our mural is inspired by the Eastern mythology of “The Four Harmonious Friends”. Through symbolism and motif, the mural depicts Colorado’s mythology. The composition consists of a central mandala design surrounded by fantastical landscape. The mural uses traditional Mongolian art, Thangkha and ornamental pattern styles of painting.

The central mandala represents the circle of life. Inside the circle, rests the four harmonious animals (Bird, Rabbit, Monkey, Elephant). The four animals represent the different habitats of the animal world—the sky, the trees, the ground, and underground. The four harmonious animals influence the human kingdom to be moral signifying the importance of interdependent cooperation despite differences in size, strength and species.

The outside ring of the mandala represents Colorado’s nature with mountains placed at the four cardinal directions (North, East, South, West). The mountains are separated by Colorado’s four spirit animals: the Buffalo, Black Bear, Wolf, and Mountain Goat. The range of animals depicted represent the diversity of our world; inviting peace between cultural communities, harmony, co-operation, interdependence and friendship.

The mural speaks of unity, integrity, friendship, generosity, and selflessness for the greater good. Underlying too are the themes of respecting the spiritual potential and of animals and environmental harmony.

Community Engagement

As part of the community engagement component of the project – we collaborated with the Uran Biir Colorado Mongolian Art School students grades K-12. Over 17 students participated in the workshop. Taking inspiration from the folklore, students designed and painted characters on the mural based on themes of unity, diversity and friendship. 

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Mongolia News National Broadcast Show “I Went, I Came” | Явлаа, ирлээ: Зураач М.Цогтсайхан

Watch full segment here:

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Another Angle: Asian American Art Group Exhibition @ University of Denver Museum of Anthropology

University of Denver’s Museum of Anthropology (DUMA) presents new exhibition Another Angle: “Asian American” Art from Thursday, November 1st – December 10, 2021. The exhibition is featuring artwork by Su Kaiden Cho, Sarah Fukami, Tsogo Mijid, Eriko Tsogo, Thomas Yi curated by Jane Burke  *funded in part through the University of Denver’s DEI Action Plan.

Exhibit Runs: November 1 – December 10
Virtual Panel Discussion: Wednesday, November 3 from 12pm-1:30pm MST >
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 4, 2021 5 – 7 p.m. MDT Sturm Hall – First Floor

Another Angle: “Asian American” Art

This show is born from a previous group exhibition entitled “Colorado Asians,” which provided a platform for underrepresented local artists in reaction to the homogeneity of the Front Range. Coinciding with the rise in Asian hate crimes last spring, it offered an opportunity to take up space and cultivate a sense of belonging in the face of racist scapegoating.

This iteration is truly “Another Angle,” featuring five local artists: Su Kaiden Cho, Sarah Fukami, Tsogo Mijid, Eriko Tsogo, and Thomas Yi and is located inside the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology (DUMA). The intention of this exhibition aligns with the mission of the museum itself, to increase our attunement to the diversity of world cultures and the human experience. However, diversity presents an inherent conundrum in its tendency to tokenize or limit the scope of identity.

In this case, we must view diversity from multiple angles. One angle is the destabilization of the construct of “Asian American” identity in and of itself, wherein it poses a misleading monolith. It is impossible to represent the multiculturalism of Asian American art amidst the complex geographic and cultural diversity within Asia and the Pacific Islands. The artists represented here are solely from East Asian descent, however their narratives surrounding immigration, assimilation, and marginalization vastly differ.

Another angle in which to analyze diversity is the interdisciplinary approach of situating the work within a non-traditional gallery. This will not only expand viewership by intersecting students from anthropology, art history, and Asian studies, but will also encourage dialogue outside of a hierarchical framework in response to the white supremacy found within art history alone. Albeit a small cross-section, it offers a lens into how Asian American artists find agency between tradition and modernity by recontextualizing cultural signifiers in costume, food, mythology, and historical records. Their work collectively addresses the paradox of consciously integrating and being beholden to an “Asian American” identity. The tension of this juxtaposition could potentially be offset through a more anthropological angle, wherein the work of these artists is ultimately interpreted as a form of universal human expression.

Guest curator, Jane Burke

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5280 Magazine October Issue feature + Meow Wolf Documentary Spotlight

Thank you Angela Ufheil for wonderful article! Read more here.

Mongovoo was one of five rooms to be highlighted by Meow Wolf Denver documentary series. Thank you Jilann Spitzmiller and her film crew for your hardwork in making our feature.

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Mongovoo @ Meow Wolf Denver 2019-2022

Project Title: MONGOVOO

Group Name: BETART Collective

BETART consist of four art musketeer family members; Tsogo Mijid, Baja Batochir, Eriko Tsogo and Jennifer Tsogo.

Welcome to “MONGOVOO” time machine temple. An ancient, sacred, mysterious Mongolian “Ovoo” (offering alter/shrine) sculpture called “MONGOVOO” guards the windhorse spirit of Meow Wolf Denver. 

Welcome to wild Mongolian(ism) experience on acid inside a mythical catacomb subterranean gallery.

Inside the MONGOVOO temple, visitors are transported in time into sensory narcolepsy. Set to ethnic throat singing background soundscape, the inside walls are tattered with Mongolian “Tsam” masks illuminated in neon lights. The floor and ceiling create an infinite hourglass vacuum. 

MONGOVOO is an alien time dimension transporter where visitors can explore the universal human urge to transform ourselves and question who we are by way of reflection. MONGOVOO is a psychedelic, carefully curated psychological art space experience designed to challenge our notion of time, space and memory by awakening the inner consciousness; connecting people to ideas and stories where they can mirror themselves and transcend into the formless dimension of the universe.

MONGOVOO marks a historical moment for Mongolia and Mongolian artists in the US as it marks the first time for Mongolian artists to work with a museum of experiemntal caliber.

Location: Denver, Colorado | Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


2018 онд  Meow Wolf компаниас Колорадо мужийн Дэнвэр хотод баригдах “ Meow Wolf ” музейн шинэ төслийгтанилцуулж нийтэд нээлттэйгээр зураг төслийн уралдаан зарласан.

2019 онд шилдэг 106 зураачдийг шалгаруулахад манай гэр бүлийн “ Моновоо “ төсөл багтаж шалгарсан билээ.

Бидний төсөл Музейн гурван давхарт байрлах газар доорхи ертөнцийн хэсэгт багтах бөгөөд бид өрөөгөө овоо юм уу урц маягаар бодож хаалгаа 20 ширхэг аварга могойн унжлагаар хийж, шал тааз нь тольтой, бүх хананд нь нийт 180 ширхэг Монгол цамын багнуудыг битүү байрлуулж , тааз шалнаас үргэлж солигдох неон гэрлүүд солбин , монгол эртний хөөмийн нүргэлсэн аяс зогсолтгүй явах нь үзэгчидэд эрт дээр үеийн нууцлагдмал агуйд орж ирсэн, сэтгэгдэл төрүүлнэ.Мөн шал таазанд тусах багнууд гэрлийн нугарлаар дамжин үзэгчдийн орон зайн тэнцвэрийг алдагдуулж өнгөрсөн, одоо, ирээдүйн вакуум хэмжээсэнд оруулна.

Моновоо дотор хөвж яваа үзэгчийг  олон зуун маскан дундах толинд өөрийнх нь  тусгалыг олж харуулснаар  хүн төрөлхтний нэгэн хэсэг гэдгээ мэдэрч , амьдралын тайлагдашгүй далдын хүч ,өөр ертөнц, урьд нь орж байгаагүй орон зайн хэмжээсийг мэдрүүлэх  зорилготой юм.

Моновоо нь дотоод ухамсарыг сэргээх замаар бидний цаг хугацаа,орон зай, санах ой гэсэн далд ухамсаруудыг харах, сонсох, мэдрэх эрхтэнүүдийн тусламжтайгаар сэргээхэд чиглэсэн сэтгэл зүйн нарийн боловсруулсан орон зайн урлагийн бүтээл юм.

“Meow Wolf “ 2008 онд анхныхаа музейг АНУ-ын New Mexico мужид байгуулж байсан түүхтэй. Музей болгон давтагдахгүй өвөрмөц байдгаараа маш сонирхолтой байдаг. Музей нь удирдлага Дэнвэр хотод эхний жилдээ 1 сая хүн үзнэ гэсэн тооцоотой байгаа юм байна.Мөн “ Meow Wolf”-ийн  түүхэнд анх удаа Монгол зураачид тэр тусмаа гэр бүлийн уран бүтээлчид орж байгаа анхны тохиолдол гэж онцолж байна.

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Featured artist at “Asian American Artist Showcase”, 2020 Dragon Film Festival, SIE Film Center

I am one of the featured artists at the “Asian American Artist Showcase” fine art exhibition at the 2020 Dragon Film Festival in collaboration with Denver Film Society at the Sie Film Center.

Curated by Eriko Tsogo, the “Asian American Artist Showcase” features a diverse selection of 15 original works by established Colorado artists Homare Ikeda, Yuki Horikawa, Tsogo Mijid, and Mamiko Ikeda. The group exhibition offers a celebration of culture, diversity and outstanding artistry by Asian American artists.

Curator’s Statement

Join us at the Film Festival’s Opening Reception on Thursday, February 20, 6-9pm.

Exhibition runs 2/19 – 2/23, 2020.

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“Border″ Upcoming New Art Exhibition, International Yurt Art Residency Program, Cultural Partner Program @ McNichols Civic Building

Here is a preview of some of the soft sculpture Tsam masks featured at the exhibition:

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“My Mother, My God” exhibition for “Dearly Disillusioned” at McNichols

I am part of a Denver art collective exhibition called “Dearly Disillusioned” curated by Pink Progression at McNichols Civic Building. The group exhibition runs from January 18-April 5, 2020. Our wall space is entitled “My Mother, My God” featuring three collaborating family member artists (Eriko Tsogo, Tsogo Mijid, Batkhishig Batochir). Each of us wrote a letter to our mothers the paired it with one corresponding artwork about our mothers.

“My Mother, My God” is dedicated to the power and inspiration of unconditional love, about the familial bond shred between a mother and her child. The exhibit pairs art and writing to celebrate a mother’s love as one of the most powerful forces on earth, promoting appreciation and gratitude for our mothers, inspiring altruism and love.

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“Tsogo Mijid: A Retrospective 1999-2019″ New Art Book Release

I will have the release of my new art book “Tsogo Mijid: A Retrospective” at my upcoming and final exhibition at Pirate Contemporary Gallery. The exhibition is also entitled “Tsogo Mijid: A Retrospective” and set to open Friday, November 29th, 2019 at Denver’s Pirate: Contemporary Art gallery with Opening Reception on Friday, December 6th, 2019 from 6—9pm. The art show will feature the select paintings from each year spanning through two decades of my career since immigrating to America.

Here is a preview of my book in print, please email if you are interested in purchasing a copy:

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“Tsogo Mijid: A Retrospective 1999-2019″ Upcoming Final Art Exhibition @ Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery

TSOGO MIJID: A Retrospective 1999—2019

Mongolia / Denver

[Denver, Colorado, November 2019]  Tsogo Mijid, a local Colorado Mongolian artist will have a major exhibition of his work to date at Pirate: Contemporary Art gallery—curated by Eriko Tsogo, his twenty-year retrospective art show will feature a prolific multidisciplinary oeuvre, carefully selected works from 1999-2019 featuring mix of paintings, drawings, and mixed media works of the artist’s career since his immigration from Mongolia to residency in Colorado.

Tsogo Mijid: A Retrospective” is set to open Friday, November 29th, 2019 at Denver’s Pirate: Contemporary Art gallery with Opening Reception on Friday, December 6th, 2019 from 6—9pm. Tsogo’s art show will feature new paintings and the release of his art book, which spans the artist’s career from early traditional Mongolian folk art through his iconic public sculptures, interactive installations and large-scale contemporary neo-folk abstract paintings.

Tsogo Mijid was born and raised in the heart of the luminous mountains of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. His artistic talents proved uninhibited from a young age while growing up in a society of parallel dysfunctions amid a conflicting period when strong cultural censorship and Communist idealism took place.

Tsogo has had numerous solo and select group exhibitions in Mongolia, Hungary, Germany, Russia and the United States. His artworks owned by noble peace prize laureate the 14th Dalai Lama and the Denver Art Museum Asian Art Collection, with permanent installations at The Denver Zoo and Meow Wolf Denver upcoming in 2020. Tsogo remains one of the few affluent Mongolian artists in the world to follow in the ancient art of the Mongolian Tsam Mask making tradition.

At once painfully personal and daringly public – the oeuvre of Tsogo’s artworks are imbued with theoretical concepts and ideas, providing a window into the private struggle and personal achievements of the artists life as an artist, father and immigrant fraught with endurance, fight and survival.

Tsogo’s “Tulga” public sculpture at Ulaanbaatar Park in Lowry launched him to international stardom in 2009. His sculpture remains an iconic symbol and celebration of Mongolian immigrants in America. Tsogo’s retrospective exhibition represents the pinnacle of the artist’s career in America, offering a glimpse into his history and the history of the Mongolian American immigrant experience within the multicultural context of the Colorado / Mongolian cultural connection as evidenced through the evolution of his artworks over time.

Over the course of his thirty-five year career, Tsogo’s commitment to creating powerful images of the marginal persons life is unwavering. Having lived an interesting life through various political systems in many different countries, Tsogo remains a versatile artist whose different art practices continues to reflect his migratory experiences. Using his virtuoso skills as Mongolian folk art draftsman, Thangkha Buddhist scroll painter, and Abstract Expressionist, Tsogo developed his style and approach over time to address shifting concerns and new audiences. In each of the cities in which he lived over the course of his career—Mongolia, Ukraine, Hungary and, finally, Denver—Tsogo continues to be a key figure within his dual vibrant Colorado and Mongolian communities.

TSOGO MIJID: A Retrospective 1999—2019 is sponsored by the Mongolian Culture and Heritage Center of Colorado, BD’s Mongolian Grill and The Denver Zoo.

Show Runs: November 29 – December 15, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday December 6, 2019 | 6—10pm

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Mongolian Folktale Themed Permanenet Art Comission Project for Denver Zoo 4D Theatre

The Denver Zoo commissioned me in early 2019 to lead all the art and design component for their new 4D Theatre building (due to open late Summer 2019). The new theatre has Mongolian culture theme, surrounding the Mongolian folk story “Four Harmonious Animals” and “The Tale of Cuckoo Namjil”. The theatre mimics the architecture of a Mongolian monastery. I got to concept, design and paint traditional Mongolian design patterns and install large scale permanent murals inside and outside the theatre. I also created the theatre logo and paint series of 40 lanterns with traditional patterns for the Zoo Lights event. In total, the project collaboration lasted over six month. It was an honor to work on such a large scale project with The Denver Zoo, thank you Denver Zoo team for your cooperation.

Denver Zoo 4D Theatre project process:

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“Sensors″ Upcoming New Paintings & Sculpture Art Exhibition @ Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery

Please join me at the opening reception of my upcoming 2018 solo art exhibition – “Sensors” – at Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery in Lakewood, Colorado on Friday December 7, 2018 from 6-10pm. My exhibition this year will feature new paintings and sculptures.

Exhibition info:
Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery
7130 West 16th Ave
Lakewood, CO 80214

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Making traditional Mongolian Furniture

I have been making one of a kind collectors edition traditional Mongolian house furnitures including customized chests. All the furniture is hand made and hand painted using Mongolian ornamental patterns. Find more furniture for sale at my SHOP.

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“Metamorphosis″ Upcoming New Drawing & Paintings Art Exhibition @ Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery

Please join me at the opening reception of my upcoming 2017 solo art exhibition – “Metamorphosis” – at Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery in Denver, Colorado on Friday December 1, 2017 from 6-10pm. My exhibition this year will feature new drawings and paintings.

Exhibition info:
Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery
3655 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211

Metamorphosis (2016), pencil on paper, 19"x25"
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“Dividers″ Upcoming New Drawing & Paintings Art Exhibition @ Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery

Please join me at the opening reception of my upcoming 2016 solo art exhibition – “Dividers” – at Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery in Denver, Colorado Friday July 22, 2016 from 6-10pm. My exhibition this year will feature new drawings and paintings.

Exhibition info:
Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery
3655 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211

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Creating Green Tara Thangka Painting for His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama

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“Relics of Mongolia″ Upcoming New Paintings & Installation Art Exhibition @ Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery

Please join me at the opening reception of my upcoming 2015 solo art exhibition – “Relics of Mongolia” – at Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery in Denver, Colorado Friday, July 31st, 2015 from 6-10pm. My exhibition this year will feature new paintings and installation art. Also, thanks greatly to my show sponsor – Denver’s Bd’s Mongolian Grill!

Exhibition info:
Pirate Contemporary Art Gallery
3655 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211

"Relics of Mongolia" postcard front

"Relics of Mongolia" postcard back

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Juried International Exhibition – NordArt 2015 in Büdelsdorf, Germany

I am pleased to announce that three of my large scale paintings have been selected to display in the”Mongolian Pavillion” of the 2015 NordArt International Juried Contemporary Art Exhibition at the Kunstwerk Carlshütte Museum in Büdelsdorf, Germany.  The country of focus for NordArt 2015 is Mongolia with curators Oyuntuya Oyunjargal, Bodibaatar Jigjidsuren who have been integral in piecing this exhibition together. The exhibition runs from June 6th to October 4th 2015.

(Exhibition Artist Bio + NordArt Flyer)


NordArt 2015

Opening Ceremony: 6. June at 5 pm
in the sculpture park in front of the ACO Wagenremise
Entrance in the Park at 4 pm
Entrance in the exhibition halls at 6 pmOpening times till 4. October 2015:
Tuesday – Sunday, 11 am – 7 pm
Info: +49 (0) 4331 – 354 695

About NordArt:

We are pleased to announce that 2932 artists from 99 countries have applied for the NordArt 2015. We would like to thank all artists for the very good response this year.
The jury of the NordArt selected 250 artists from 50 countries for this year’s exhibition.

Since 1999 the NordArt has established itself as one of the largest exhibitions of contemporary art in Europe which takes place anually in the summer months. The NordArt is an overall work of art in its own right and is designed as such each year. More than 200 international artists, selected by a jury, present a comprehensive panorama of contemporary art

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Bizarre Foods Denver episode Airs

Bizarre Foods: Denver episode has aired on February 18, 2013.

Link to video:

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Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern

Recently my family and I were featured on an upcoming episode (airing next year) of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern. The episode focused on the diverse cultures and foods of Denver, Colorado, with our family representing for the Colorado Mongolian community. We built a traditional ger with some of my Tsam masks inside outside my house as my wife, children and friends cooked a marvelous authentic Mongolian style sheep feast for Andrew.

Here is further reading about Andrew’s visit to Denver.

Clippings from Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern:

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“Nomadic Spirits 2” Upcoming New Exhibition @ Pirate

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Creation process of “Maitreya” Thangka for his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

I had the privilege to create another large scale Thangka for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama who will be arriving to Bloomington, Indiana to visit the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center on May 11, 2010. For the Thangka, I chose to create a rare Diety called Maitreya (Tibetan: Jampa) symbolizing the future Buddha within and without everyone, who is expected to come to earth from Tushita Heaven. He is a Bodhisattva whose devotion spans both Theravedic (Hinayana) and Mahayana countries. He is supposed to reappear on earth in human form, for the deliverance of all sentient beings to enlightenment by revealing that which time and ignorance have covered. He will be the last of the five Buddhas to gain supreme enlightenment in this aeon. He holds the stock of a lotus in his right hand and is either represented standing or sitting.

I was delighted to get an opportunity to create another Thangka for His Holiness. The Maitreya’s teachings wish all sentient beings to rid loose of doubts, and the torrents of cravings, free from all misery crossing the ocean of becoming and as a result leading a holy life of oneness. The finished Thangka came out wonderful which was then beautifully embroidered by my wife Baja.

In the following days, I accompanied my Dharma Wheel class, led by our teacher Lama Tetum and headed to Bloomington, Indiana by car from Denver, Colorado. Upon arrival to Bloomington we took up to a nearby accommodation and toured the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center along with the newly constructed prayer wheel pavilion. The next day, in preparation for the arrival of His Holiness and for the opportunity to gift the Maitreya Thangka, I was dressed in the traditional Buddhist Lama robe attire and was given a special Lama pass. Incredibly I did not realize that the pass would later allow me to sit with the monks just yards away from His Holiness at the welcoming conference. And just as His Holiness arrived at the Culture Center, I had a brief moment to gift him the Thangka on his way inside. I was very fortunate and grateful to all the people and Lamas that made possible such a great opportunity.

Below are a few of the pictures from the Maitreya Thangka creation process:

You can also go to my exhibitions page to see more picture from the day.

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The History of the “Tulga” Public Sculpture in Denver

The Tulga sculpture has been one of the biggest accomplishment in my career as an artist. Its amazing to experience the flowering of what was once an an abstract idea to what is now built, and in its physical presence, a towering 20 foot x 7’6″ stainless steel sculpture of a stylized Tulga (Mongolian for fireplace) that stand on a hill in the City of Ulaanbaatar Park of Denver, Colorado. The sculpture project undertaking was of a grand scale to say the least, spanning five years of joint efforts, dedication and hard work. There are many people who I list below that have helped make my idea come alive, but the most important support came from my family and my fellow ‘Tulga’ group whom I genuinely thank. Seeing that the Tulga sculpture opening ceremony will be coming up on May 24th 2009, I thought it would be a tremendous idea to chronicle the history of how the sculpture came to life.

The city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and Denver have been sister cities for five years in 2004. In recognition of this long held bond, the city of Denver has distilled their wonderful legacy and the Lowry district of Colorado has named their public park, “City of Ulaanbaatar Park”. This was perfect timing as the much anticipated “800 years of Mongolia’s statehood celebration” frenzy started up in 2005. In January of that year, the Colorado Mongolian Community Association (MCAC) held an important board meeting, and being a MCAC member, I suggested an idea of creating some type of a memorabilia both in recognition of the Mongolian culture at the City of Ulaanbaatar Park and Mongolia’s 800 year statehood celebration. I received positive feedback which marked the beginning of my journey to finding the identity and form of the Mongolian “Tulga” symbol into a sculpture.

Coming up with the concept of The Tulga sculpture was an important endeavor for me being that it was the first permanent public sculpture designed and built by a Mongolian artist in America. In the Mongolian culture, the Tulga is an open fireplace representing the spirit of the most esteemed piece of the nomad household. But the legacy of the Tulga spreads beyond just the project itself, establishing a rather deep rooted symbolic footing for the ethnic identity and migration of Mongolians that reside in America.

If we contrast America’s landscape as the inner structure of the mongol ger, Denver-Colorado positions at the center mimicking exactly where the Tulga (fireplace) takes place inside the traditional structure of a ger (Mongolian tent like house). I also took into account the symbolic reference of the Tulga being located in Colorado as referencing a greater emotional importance to all Mongolians in America. Colorado signifies the first state to which the first Mongolian immigrants called home, and just as we would when we build a new ger, we center the Tulga, start the fire, give birth to and raise our children, learn, grow, and educate, work hard for a chance at a better life, and most importantly, leaving the Tulga flames sparking for future generation to keep lit.

In addition to being a symbol of warmth and comfort, the Tulga Sculpture represents the spirit of the home. The three rings represent the sun, the moon, and the stars. The top of the four legs are sculpted to imitate a birds head,  the birds which protect the fire. For the base mount of the sculpture, I decided to incorporate/engrave the symbol of the endless knot pattern in the center of the circular base platform, which represent infinity and eternal bliss, foreboding an eternity of good omen for our children and the people who visit the park. The specific positioning of the sculpture also equate the Tulga in alignment with the earth, as each of its four legs are an alignment to the four cardinal directions.

The symbolic motivation and meaning behind the Tulga sculpture was of great significance but in order to gain official approval of the sculpture proposal, I introduced my idea to the board of the Ulaanbaatar – Denver Sister Cities International and gained full support. In 2006, the Colorado Mongolian Community Association granted also officially granted my proposal, and created the ‘Tulga’ group consisting of Naranzul ( 2006 MCAC president), Zolzaya (2006 MCAC vise president), and myself as the author of the sculpture. And with an equipped team, we early started the proposal initiation.

The Mongolians in Denver became the first to contribute to the project fundraising efforts, donating an estimated $2,084. In the following two years from 2007-2009, our Tulga group furiously went about the projects expansive financial undertaking; assembling paper works, vying for project approval from various official organizations of the city, receiving contracts and doing the utmost to raise funding. But even after our yearly efforts, we lacked in funds so as of May 2007, we proposed the project to members of the Mongolian Parliament. We hopes to gain support from Mongolia but in the long run, out proposal was not granted. In our final funding attempts, we looked to the members of the Lowry Community with an introductory video that explained the Mongolian culture, lifestyle and traditions. We were happy to find that the Lowry community responded in great support to the project, agreeing to provide us with the remaining funds with an even further request to increase the height of the sculpture to 20 feet which was two times its original length. We happily obliged to this request. And with its new alteration, the Tulga sculpture was officially noted as a landmark achievement for its size, design, and idea as the first public art statue created by a Mongolian artist in America.

Throughout the span of the project, I contributed a great amount of my own funds but I also wanted to acknowledge and thank the numerous other people who made the Tulga sculpture a possible feat. Generous contributions were made by the Kohn Family Foundation, Lowry Foundation, Wagner Asia, Fognani & Faught Company, Richard Hoffman, Jim & Mary Lee, Marilee Hegarty, Ward & Kary Polzan, Mayfair Park Community, Anita Hinsdale, and all the Mongolians, with special thanks to the Mongolians in Seattle, who have donated to the project. Below is an allocation summary of the funds according to the individuals and companies I’ve listed above:

85% of funds were received from outside organizations, companies, and fundraising efforts
10% of funds were received from Mongolian communities
5% of funds were received from outside communities

Here are a few of the pictures that document the creation process of the Tulga Sculpture during different phases, years, and seasons:

(All pictures and content in this post are © 2004-2009 Tsogtsaikhan Mijid and cannot be used for commercial purposes. If you are interested in using any photographs and or text, please send your request here)

You can also go to my exhibitions page to see pictures from the Opening Ceremony on May 24 2009.

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My art book in the making

Recently, my daughter Eriko gifted me with an art book. After years of anticipation, I was happy to receive a gift of such extent seeing that I’ve always planned on having one done. The book was independently published, designed and written with an interesting introductory essay by my daughter chronicling my life and art career from her critical perspective as an artist in coincidence with the political evolution of Mongolia.

I’ve posted some pictures of the book contents below for your interest. I see this book as a first step in a long process, but its off to a good start. I plan to continue my book journey and ultimately acquire sponsorship and professional publishing in the next few years.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Tsogtsaikhan Mijid: A Look Into Contemporary Mongolian Art, please email your request to or fill out a contact sheet here.

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Creation process of “Amatyus” Thangka for his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

I am excited to have embarked on an exciting artistic and spiritual endeavor as of recent. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was scheduled to arrive in Denver for the PeaceJam conference a couple weeks ago followed by a special appearance and talk at the University of Denver for the Mongolian and Tibetan communities that reside in Colorado. The event was a joint venture hosted by the Colorado Mongolian Association of Colorado and Tibetan Association of Colorado. Of course this became big news for my Dharma Wheel Buddhist class and the many religiously devout Buddhist Mongolians of Colorado. In conjunction to the event, my request of gifting a specially drafted Thangka to His Holiness on behalf of the Colorado Mongolian community was generously accepted by the organizations involved and so began my creation of the “Amatyus” Thangka.

The Thangka painting process consisted of a few weeks since I was on a very limited time frame before the arrival of His Holiness. For the Thagka, I chose to create the Amatyus Diety (Tibetan: Tsepagme), known as the Buddha of limitless life. Amitayus is the reflexive form of Amitaba and is the embodiment of infinite life and therefore the focus of the life practices that remove the possibility of untimely or premature death. He brings about a healing of sicknesses, degeneration and imbalances in the five elements of the body due to karma, excess and unclean living. He is often red but sometimes white in color. His two hands rest in his lap in the mudra of equanimity with the palms facing each other holding the Vase of Life, that is filled with the nectar of immortality.

Traditionally, the Thangka painting process consists of discipline and grueling labor, a practice that is very significant to my life and spiritual beliefs. Thus I was extremely honored and blessed to dedicate myself to creating the Amatyus Thangka wishing His Holiness and all sentient beings health and longevity. The finished Thangka came out wonderful which was then beautifully embroidered by my wife Baja.

On the morning of September 17th, His Holiness arrived at the University of Denver while a large crowd of Mongolians and Tibetans gathered outside. After everyone was seated inside, I had the honor of gifting the Amatyus Thangka to His Holiness The Dalai Lama on stage and in person. To my dismay, The Dalai Lama graciously accepted the painting as he kneeled forward in prayer stance to bless the Thangka. It was truly an incredible and indescribably moment that I will cherish with me forever.

Below are a few of the pictures from the Amatyus Thangka creation process:

You can also go to my exhibitions page to see a picture of me gifting the Thangka to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

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