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.


Solo exhibitions

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


Group exhibitions

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

Untitled 1982
Ink, pastel on paper
30×39 cm
Judging other without knowing oneself 1979
Ink on paper
74.5×89.5 cm
Untitled 2001
Ink, pastel on paper
30×39 cm
Lkhamjav Bayanzul Untitled 1992 Ink, pastel on paper 30x39cm
Untitled 1992
Ink, pastel on paper
30×39 cm