May 6-19, 2016
Solo show of Enkhbold Togmidshiirev, the artist selected to represent Mongolia at the 56th International Art Exhibition –
La Biennale di Venezia in 2015
Artist T.Enkhbold was invited to represent Mongolia first time at 56th Venice Art Biennale in 2015. The exhibition showcases some works displayed in Venice Art Biennale and new works created after this event.
Member of Blue Sun Contemporary Art Center, artist T.Enkhbold is also participant of Manchester Asia Triennial 2011, Shanghai Biennale 2012 and residence programs held in Holland, Finland and Korea. His works have been displayed in various solo and group exhibitions organized in Mongolia, Korea, China, Holland, Finland and UK.
Mining. We are always in search of something. That could be anything, but looking for oneself and eventually finding one is the most challenging mining process. The most powerful artists make a daring step to start a journey of discovering themselves. That is largely related to their viewpoints and mindset.
It took long way while Enkhbold was communicating with himself and collecting items that he was looking for.
Great things are extremely simple. Things that have been coexisting with us in our surrounding environment alter their nature over time. We often overlook them, taking as ordinary. It could be a solicitation of the artist Enkhbold to be communicating with us through the language of art by exposing individuality in those things.
His works illustrate the unique qualities of the things coexisting with us and creating the perception of time and space. Complex solutions of Enkhbold reside within the frame of his own mind and are unique in a way of offering us an opportunity to interact with art.
A member of the Blue Sun Contemporary Art Center, artist T. Enkhbold has been practicing art and expressing himself for over 10 years and has become one of very few contemporary artists to represent Mongolia internationally.
Head of the Blue Sun Contemporary Art Center, a curator
Instigation originated from the space
Another story of instigation… A man leaving Tuv province for Pori, Rotterdam, Cheju, Manchester and Venice carrying the model of Mongolian Ger. Running nude, wrapping the head with animal skin, flipping stones and spilling the milk… Performances and actions of Togmidshiirev Enkhbold are sometimes taken as a mere attempt to stand out. Such hesitation can be explained by the latest increase in various efforts to combine the tradition with the contemporary art. What would one see in a person who had built a mini Ger on the sea shore, taking-off clothing and lying in a home, which is barely enough to fit a single person? Or, how would you relate to art the human-being sitting outside the Manchester museum flipping a stone tied to the chimney part of the Ger in a depressed manner?
In many cases, the art leaves out questions and hesitations to us rather than giving the answers and directions. T. Enkhbold is excellent in that. His solo exhibition “Mining” will illustrate what kind of instigator he is. “What a madness?”, “Not the art that I know”… I believe he got used to it. Superficially, videos of his performances and paintings created using horse dung, iron rust; sacks and ash can seem absurd and shocking. “I try to create a spiritual contemplation through portrayal, sound and smell. The main purpose of my project is to establish relations with different places, travel with my own crafted Ger and introduce the nomadic way of living. One’s perception about dwelling and housing structure is related to the cogitation of limitations in communication, space and actions” – explains T. Enkhbold.
He stages such projects in the natural environment. The Ger is perceived as a micro universe for him and from that spiritual space, he attempts to contact and communicate with the mother-earth through specific actions and sounds. Using the Ger and nomadic subsistence for rendering his mind is not a brainwave emerged lately, it is rather habits and practices accumulated from his life experience and childhood memories from Guchin-Us soum of Uvurkhangai province, where he was born and grew up. T. Enkhbold’s works are not limited with performance art; he creates his other works using non-conventional materials. Ts. Uranchimeg, an art historian, a PhD of the University of California stated: “His use of ash, horse dung, felt and skin are a daring and extraordinary move. By doing so T. Enkhbold makes us to rethink of our perception about painting”.
On the other hand, the perception of the space seems to have an important role on his works. Nomadic lifestyle is fully dependent on and tightly harmonious with the nature. It offers the freedom to live and travel in the vast land. Nevertheless, in today’s world that had become “flat” under the storm of globalization, we are living in a tight and squeezed environment with limited space.
From his works one can feel the desire to escape from everything that is narrow, tight or egocentric and some of his actions are liberation kind. At first glance “Mining” may seem absurd. If you try to understand it, you may feel his criticism on modern lifestyle, his longing for vast space and his instigation. Or, it may bring complete new feeling. Besides the testimony of the time, the value of art may lie on its power to lead a viewer to the excitement, hesitation and contemplation.
Journalist B. Egshiglen