Lkhamjav Bayanzul was a daring artist, who secretly continued creating his vibrant, shamanic, mysterious surrealistic works during socialist time beginning from 1960s till the end of socialism, in remote place where he was exiled. By that time his work was considered as anti-socialist and bizarre.
Lkhamjav grew up in the countryside herding goats, sheep, and camels. By the time he got to school, he was older than the other kids. In fact, he was sixteen when he graduated fourth grade. The children made fun of him, so he returned home and continued herding with the family. Lkhamjav was interested in the world of nature around him, small insects, and he drew pictures in the sand.
Once he took an exam to become assistant scenographer, to work in a theater in the capital city, and he was accepted. He continued working there until he went to Russia to study language and art. While he was student in Russia, Lhamjav once created abstract work, which depicted a naked woman. He put it behind the bed and forgot. But someone informed the authorities about the painting, and he was sent back to Mongolia, because his work was against the principles of Socialist Realism.
Lkhamjav continued painting in Mongolia. Once he showed other his painting entitled “Nomadic Life”, a dark abstract work, where father and daughter riding on a same camel together. A social worker who saw the painting described it as a lewd and immoral picture of a father having sexual intercourse with his daughter. And he was arrested, tried, and convicted. But before he was imprisoned, he escaped and joined the military. He hid all his artworks and stopped painting for a while. He felt alienated from the society and began to write a kind of abstract poetry in which he was able to say what he wanted, without getting into trouble. While he was living in remote village, he started working again.
He loved reading philosophical books, dancing shamanic rituals, singing, crying, calling the spirits and doing meditation. He nourished his creative spirit from all of these. Then reflected his feelings, soul and rhythm of the space in his works. He often portrayed communist dictators in his paintings.
He never spent much time on one painting and never worked again on them. As artist once said, “I can’t have a bath in a same water twice. My paintings are quick, like a fresh stream from my soul.”
Lkhamjav exposed his own fear, struggle, sorrow, lust and satisfaction through his works.
2015 Taboo, 976 Art Gallery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2005 Solo show, Gallery of Union of Mongolian Artists, Ulaanbaatar
1997 Solo show, Gallery of Union of Mongolian Artists, Ulaanbaatar
1994 Solo show, Ulan-Ude, Russia
1993 Solo show, Culture Palace, Khovd Province, Mongolia
1990 Solo show, Culture Palace, Sukhbaatar Province, Mongolia
2006 Best Painting of the Year 2006, Valiant Art, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2006 Art Expo Miami 2006, Miami, USA
2006 Art Expo New York 2006, NY, USA
2006 Silk Road Festivities, Chicago, USA
2006 Puro Arte, Vigo, Spain
2005 Dubai index, Dubai, UAE
1998 International exhibition in Bulgaria