OCULA: Yinchuan Biennale – ‘Starting from the Desert. Ecologies on the Edge’
Hovering above sprinkler-coaxed beds of grass, the curved architecture of MOCA Yinchuan alludes to the topography of its more natural, flanking geographies: the desert and the marshland, divided by the Yellow River in China’s northwestern Ningxia province.
The question of nomadism is addressed in a ground-floor gallery darkened by a portion of deep grey walls. A wooden, canvas-covered yurt sits beside nine metal pales filled with water, upon which are laid two wooden poles with what appear to be yak’s hooves at each end. A sheepskin rug, bamboo mat and video depicting the yurt across Mongolian landscapes, are tucked into Enkhbold Togmidshiirev’s installation My Ger (2017–2018), which constitutes part of the artist’s decade-long focus on the structure and tradition of the Mongolian yurt. Over his career, Togmidshiirev has transported portable yurts across different urban settings around the world—initiating a contrast between their organic form and hard urban structures to highlight the way in which traditional, rural nomadism has become a foreign manner of existence in the contemporary world.
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