A recent chain of events made me think about how do memories imprinted on our brain and the process it involves. This specific process could vary wildly from one person to another, depending on many circumstances.
For example, I will use a photo I took a while ago in Berlin. This image of an evening in an unspecified location is hard to be understood by anyone else except me, by having some kind of personal importance. Why? Because the memory associated to this particular image is only known to me. Hence the contextual background telling is necessary, if this image was to be engaged by others.
I close my eyes, and I am transported to that time and place immediately.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
Цагаан уул цэцгэн дунд өнгөрүүлсэн зун
Ер бусын халуун гэхдээ байнгын сэвэлзүүр салхитай энэ хөндийг “Бяцхан Хөндлөн” гэдэг. Цагаан уул цэцэг бүрхсэн энэ жижиг хөндийд онц гойд зүйл байхгүй. Цагаан уул цэцэг нь жаахан өнгө нэмж буй мэт. Нүцгэн даваа, гүвээнүүд давхарлан оршсон энэ газар зуны сүүл сар болоогүй байхад царцаа дэвхрэг хэдэн арваараа хөлийн алхаагаар бужигналдана. Ургаад хэдэн сар болоогүй өвс аль хэдийнээ шарлаж эхэлсэн бөгөөд дээр нь суухад хатгана. Энд тайван байх гэж би ирсэн. Английн бүрхэг цаг агаар надад ихээр нөлөөлсөн бололтой, зуны халуунд байх нь миний хувьд Босхын “Халуун Там”-д байгаа юм шиг бүгчим мэдрэмж төрүүлнэ. Бушуухан л сэрүүн байшиндаа очих юмсан. Интернетээ залгаж, Фэйсбук-ээ шалгах сан гэх хүсэмжилнэ. Гэхдээ гүү татах хөдөөний хөрслөг залуугийн цамцны энгэрээс цухуйх дөрвөлжин цээжийг нь тэчьяадан харснаа, хотын амьдралыг бодох бодол маань хурдан замхарлаа.
Салхи урьдынхаас илүү ширүүслээ. Гэтэл аагим халуун нар төөнөсөн хэвээр ажээ. Уламжлалт Монгол ахуйг сайтар мэдэх тусам, тэр ахуйд тодорхой хэмжээгээр харьяалагдаж байсан бага насаа дурслаа. Зун бүр ээжийн төрсөн нутаг Баянхонгор аймгийн Заг суманд хамаатны нэг айл дээр зуны гурван сарыг өнгөрүүлдэг байсансан. Таван хүүхэдтэй айлд зургаа дахь болж хотоос ирэхэд түвэгшээгүй ч, айхтар баярласан байдал гаргадаггүй байлаа. Надтай чацуу нэг охинтой, тэр нь надтай бүх зүйл дээр барьцаж уйлаан майлаан болдогсон. Би түүнээс илүү цагаан царайтай л гэнэ, урт хөлтэй л гэнэ, гоё шинэ дээлтэй л гэнэ, хоолны сайхныг иддэг л гэнэ, ундны сайхныг нь уудаг л гэнэ. Эцэс төгсгөлгүй ундрах тэр шалтгаануудыг би ердөө ойлгодоггүй байлаа. Үүр цайхад бид бүгдээрээ аавд нь хөөгдөн босож, үнээ тугал хоёрыг нийлүүлэхгүй гэж амьсгаадан гүйцгээнэ. Зуны хүйтэн өглөө эрт босож, бээрсэн хөлөө үхрийн шинэхэн баасанд дүрж дулаацна. Нар гарч, үнээ саасны дараа гэрийн эзэгтэйн ажилд өдөржин тусалж, “сайн охин” гэж хэлүүлэхийн тулд завсаргүй “хөдөлмөрлөж” байлаа. Яг зугаацаж тоглох зав гарч байсан эсэхийг ерөөсөө санахгүй байна. Зуны гарван сар харвасан сум шиг өнгөрч, борлосон царайтай ангийнхантайгаа би баярлан уулзалддаг байсан.
Энэ хөндийд турлиах ихтэй юм. Урьд нь хусан ой байсны гэрч болсон цөөн хэдэн хөгшин улиас түүх өгүүлэн арай ядан зогсоно. Эхлээд би турлиах гэдгийг нь ч ялгасангүй. Яагаад ийм олон хэрээ сүргээрээ нисээд байгаа юм бэ гэж гайхалзаж байлаа. Удалгүй хэрээ шувуу ингэж олноороо нисэхийг би олон хараагүй, энэ шувуу шал өөр авиа гаргаад байгааг би анзаарлаа. Турлиах. Энэ үгийг хэлээгүй, бичээгүй арван жил лав өнгөрчээ.
“Бяцхан Хөндлөн”, Төв аймаг, Сэргэлэн сум
I would like thank Annu Wilenius, a Finnish artist-curator for helping me to get my article published.
Tsendpurev Tsegmid, Ph.D.
It took only 4.5 hrs of flight to get to the much talked Asian capital, a collection of islands – Hong Kong! I came out of Causeway Bay MTR metro and just stared at the busy streets of Hong Kong, not feeling the reality of what is happening. The surreal surroundings of the place took over all my senses. I wasn’t sure, if I am in 4D film set or not. Even after 2 days, I was still in awe of Hong Kong.
I remember my teenage years in early 1990s, watching endless hours of VHS films set in Hong Kong. My heroes and heroines were martial artists – Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Stephen Chow and many others. I tried my luck at learning jeet kune do and karate but none of them worked out since the teachers weren’t professionals, and it was quite clear that I wasn’t born to be a martial artist. However, it didn’t diminish my interest in Hong Kong!
I do look happy and confident in the photo above, but I felt anxious on the boat. For years, I have tried so hard to eliminate my fear of water while in the UK; nevertheless, it was a great experience!
If you get a chance, please visit the wonderful, the weird and the fascinating Hong Kong!
Би Монголын уран бүтээлчид, судлаачид болон оюутнуудад зориулан энэ богино өгүүллийг бичлээ. Та бүхний санаа бодол, шүүмж надад маш чухал тул, миний цахим хуудсаар дамжуулан холбоо баривал би их талархах болно.
ORON ZAI 2013
7 -18 Feb 2013
UMA (Union of Mongolian Artists) Gallery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
It is not a secret that every IFA (Institute of Fine Art, Mongolia, now School of Art) graduate dreams of coming back and teaching at IFA. However, I thought, I didn’t share that particular dream with other graduates. I was wrong though.
The inclusion in the group exhibition of artist-teachers at IFA is one of those perks of being in that club. Started in 1992, the group exhibition ORON ZAI (eng. perspective) has long showcased the best works of artist-teachers at IFA, a sixty eight years old institution. The institution still attracts some of the most renowned artists in Mongolia and wider Asia. This year, twenty nine artist-teachers were included in the exhibition, showing nearly hundred pieces, which were diverse in their themes, techniques, colours, and materials. This year’s coveted award called ‘Silver Belt’ went to Ganzam Sumberraz, who teaches Mongol Zurag at IFA. The silver belt was made by Enkhdavaa Dambii (Ph.D), an experienced artist-teacher, who continues to keep the metal burn by teaching the rapidly disappearing art of Smithing to undergraduates and postgraduates.
The winner of ‘Silver Belt’, Ganzam Sumberraz
The exhibition was kindly supported by the Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture. We have been told that the next year’s exhibition will have a cash prize of 1 million tugrug in addition to the customary ‘Silver Belt’ award. For my part, I am hoping to get involved in the organisation of the next year’s exhibition and make my contribution.
Artist-teachers of IFA
My piece The Border Guard in Scarborough (2010-2013) was exhibited publicly for the first time, and it is also the first time my work shown in Mongolia since 2007. In some ways, this marks my return to Mongolian arts scene after my self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom.
Yesterday, I have received an email from WordPress team; it was a report on my blogging in 2012. One of the most fascinating news was that my blog was viewed from 67 countries. This was a nice surprise! And thank you for everyone who had a look at my blog. I know, I wasn’t the most active blogger in 2012 but it was because I was so busy completing my PhD. I like to do things properly. I take my time, and I try to do the best I can. However, I am learning not to be too perfectionist when it comes to blogging. So, expect more blog posts from me. Also contact me, if you have any questions about anything I said, referred to or might know about.
Since 2004, I have worked on numerous art projects and art works. Most of these works haven’t been on show to public or anyone outside of my PhD advisory team, Dr. Elizabeth Stirling, Dr. Asa Andersson and Jill Morgan; PhD examiners, Prof. Marsha Meskimmon, Dr. Neil Witts and Independent Chair Prof. Ruth Robbins. Now, I am seeking for opportunities to showcase my works in Asia, Europe and North America. If you are interested in working with me, please connect me on Linkedin.
Happy New Year!
“Liverpool Biennial 2012 presents work by 242 artists in 27 locations. The festival takes place in galleries, museums, and sites across the city and includes a dynamic programme of talks, events, screenings, and family activities.” (Source: Liverpool Biennial 2012 Guide)
It has been a while since I visited the opening of the Liverpool Biennial. I was rather unhappy about spending only two days in Liverpool as it was impossible to see all the works in that short space of time. Therefore, I needed to be quite selective, and the review is no way exhaustive. I have been a faithful follower of this fantastic festival since 2004. It always amazes me, just how large the biennial is. I want to congratulate everyone who was involved to make this enormous and complex operation to work. Let’s talk about the art now.
This year’s main theme was HOSPITALITY, and the festival was divided into the following sections: The Unexpected Guest, Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken – The Source, City States, Anthony McCall: Column, John Moores Painting Prize and Independents.
As I mentioned before, I couldn’t make it to all of the venues, talks and performances. However, I saw and experienced numerous works, which I thought were mesmerising, provocative and engaging. The highlight of my visit was definitely the piece by Rhys Chatham, A Grimson Grail for 100 Guitars and 8 basses. After queuing nearly an hour or more in the chilly evening winds, I managed to get inside the Liverpool Cathedral to witness the highly anticipated “…epic composition for 100 electric guitarists and 8 electric bassists, exploring the ideas of resonance, tone and texture in sound at Liverpool’s historic Anglican Cathedral”. (Source: Liverpool Biennial 2012 website) I haven’t heard of Rhys Chatham before or knew about his works. It is not because he is a new-comer, far from it. He is a veteran composer, famous for his eclectic compositions; has been active since early 1980s. This particular work has only been performed once before at the Damrosch Park Bandshell in New York City.
Rhys Chatham, A Grimson Grail for 100 Guitars and 8 basses, Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool, UK. Photo by T.Tsegmid.
What came next was the most transcendent experience, I had ever been in. I sat down on the cold marble floor, closed my eyes and let the sound flow through me. I will never forget that sound produced by those guitarists and bassists, who were positioned within the spectacular building of the cathedral. The composition lasted around 70 minutes in total, and was divided in two parts: 30. 46 min and 37. 10 min.
Tate Liverpool organised an exhibition entitled Thresholds from its permanent collections; including some of the best artists in the world: Mark Wallinger, Gilbert and George, Yukinori Yanagi, George Shaw and Pak Sheung Chuen. Thresholds is a part of The Unexpected Guest section of the biennial. In particular, I was impressed with Mark Wallinger’s pieces, Royal Ascot (1994) and Half-Brother (Exit to Nowhere Machiavellian) (1994-5). Royal Ascot (1994) is a four screen video installation showcasing different moments of the royal procession at the Royal Ascot, an annual horse race produces a lavish display of British tradition, history and of course, the gathering of the wealthy and the famous. It is not an event, a commoner or ‘working class’ person will be invited or be part of. From my personal experience, the only way to be part of these kind of exclusive events was to work as servicemen and women. I worked at Aintree Racecourse and Doncaster Racecourse as a waiting staff for VIP boxes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see any horse racing, except listening for people cheering and horses galloping. Half-Brother (Exit to Nowhere Machiavellian) (1994-5) is an oil painting of two horses of different colours, merged as one. It is as if there is an irony about these two separate bodies of horses symbolising the ambiguity of British national identity. What Britain displays to the world is not necessarily the whole truth, but nonetheless Royal Ascot, Royals and Racecourses are part of its making.
Mark Wallinger, Half-Brother (Exit to Nowhere Machiavellian) (1994-5), Tate Liverpool collection. Photo by T.Tsegmid.
Mark Wallinger, Royal Ascot (1994), Tate Liverpool collection. Photo by T.Tsegmid.
Note: Part 2 of the review will be posted shortly.
The publication features art projects and artworks produced during my practice-based PhD (2007-2012) of the same title. Please note that the publication is Part 2 of the overall PhD submission which consists of four other parts: Part 1 Contextual Document, Part 3 DVD, Part 4 Canvas Roll Print and Part 5 Photo book. I am planning to produce an e-version of the publication soon.
I just finished watching ‘Britain in a Day’, a BBC documentary based on hundreds of hours of footage submitted by the UK public recorded on 12th November 2011. Amazing piece! It got me welled up couple of times. How can you not? Tearful father watching his daughter to marry while both knowing his days are over in couple of weeks, a Gurkha girl sat down at the bus stop crying to lines of poem read by a Gurkha man: “Many remember, many forget but the true story of the Gurkhas, only the lower class people know. Thank you.” She was asked why she was crying: “Because of the poem of that man. The Remembrance Day poem.”http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00kqz5p/Britain_in_a_Day/. [Accessed 12 June 2012]
Someone once said that everything in this world is connected. Here, I might seem to go off topic but the conference I attended @ Tate Modern, according to Marko Daniel, Public Programmes Curator of the gallery, derived from a Curatorial Lab took place during Asia Triennial II in Manchester, UK. Fortunately, I was there at the Triennial working as an interpreter for a fellow Mongolian artist Enkhbold Togmidshiirev. Many thanks to Paulette Brien and Laurence Lane for giving me the opportunity. There, I met many interesting people, one of them was Marko Daniel, an engaging intellectual whom I exchanged my thoughts about the Triennial, ‘Asian’ contemporary art, artists from Asia, their cultural, national identities and relevant issues.
Fast forward 9 months on, Marko Daniel in collaboration with Chinese Art Centre (Manchester, UK), the Centre for Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham and the Uiniversity of York, had organised this one-day conference titled ‘Current Research into East Asian Visual Culture’.
I had a such a great day at the conference. A great of mix of artists, curators and arts practitioners presented their papers throughout the day and 3 blocks of 4 presentations followed by panel discussions chaired by Sally Lai, Michael White and Wenny Teo. See below for the list of papers presented:
Chae Jung-Gyun, Going East: Abstract Expressionism from a Korean Perspective
Beccy Kennedy, Translocating Positions: Korean Artists Working in Britain
Yao Yung-Wen, China’s cultural diplomacy: A case study on the Chinese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Yujin Min, An introduction to Korean Diaspora Writing: A critical reading of ‘Point, Lines, Encounters: The World According to Lee Ufan’ by Joan Kee.
Ros Holmes, Paper dreams: Visualizing ‘civility’ in Contemporary China
Jing Meng, The Reflexivity of Art: Representation of Red Art in Contemporary Chinese Independent Documentary
Yuen Fong Ling, The Tactical Life Model: Reconfiguring the Chinese Male Body in Performance and Participatory Art Practice
Marco Bohr, Deconstructing Voyeurism in Contemporary Japanese Photography
Kyung An, The ‘Tal’ Syndrome: Korean Artist Collectives in the 1960s and 1970s.
Chou Yu-Ling, Cognition of Isolation: Cartography of the Non-Place in the Films of Chen Chieh-Jen
Wei Yu, Taipei Broken Life: A Case Study of the Taiwanese Avant-Garde in the 1990s
Yujie Zhang, The social impact of art in public space- A Case Study of Shanghai CaoYang Village Public Art Project
I was enriched by Chae Jung-Gyun’s research into Korean abstract art, how it influenced Jackson Pollock’s art and its wider impact on American painting. Through detailed comparisons and observations, Jung-Guyn makes a compelling case. Yujin Min had travelled all the way from Korea to present her paper and it had definitely shed a light on that less known local perspective of local Korean artists as opposed to Korean artists relocated elsewhere. Min concentrated on Lee Ufan, a prominent Korean artist.
Yuen Fong Ling is an artist and academic based in Manchester, UK, delivered a critical paper based on his PhD research. He uses his body or as he referred as ‘Chinese body’ to ‘return the gaze’ by engaging with audience through participatory practice. The feeling of being looked at, stared at or gazed at is a sensation I am very familiar with. I do not know if that’s because I look ‘ethnic’, ‘not from here’ or ‘stranger’ to others. Every artist will react differently to a near similar experience. In the case of Yuen Fong Ling, he is exploring ways to tackle, challenge and contest the seemingly passive act of being gazed at.
Marco Bohr delivered an entertaining presentation on contemporary Japanese photography by taking examples of works by Kohei Yoshiyuki, Nortitoshi Hirakawa and Hisaji Hara. I wasn’t aware of these photographers’ works and I was completely captured by the ambiguity and mystery of those images. What he referred his research as ‘uncovering the act of looking’, directly corresponds to Bohr’s own body of works.
Wei Yu’s presentation on ‘Taipei Broken Life’ festival series was equally interesting as I had little prior understanding of Taiwanese avant-garde in the 1990s.
After a long but stimulating day, Marko Daniel concluded the conference with a high note which was to make it as an annual event. I think the conference has a great potential to become a major event in the calendar of artist, curators and arts practitioners from all over the world.
11 June 2012
Islington Mill Studios, Oct 2011. Photograph by T. Tsegmid
First I heard about Islington Mill from Paulette Brien and Laurence Lane, Curators and Directors of The International 3 Gallery. According to them, Islington Mill is this amazing creative space for artists, curators and musicians. They were right. As part of the Asia Triennial II, a Mongolian artist Enkhbold Togmidshiirev was invited to come to Manchester and take a residency at Islington Mill’s B&B for 2 weeks while he participated the city-wide visual arts events organised by collaborating galleries, curators and establishments. I also had the pleasure to stay at Islington Mill for couple of days and got to know its founders and permanent residents, Bill Campbell and Maurice Carlin.
Artist Enkhbold Togmidshiirev building his site-specific installation My Home at Islington Mill front of Islington Mill B&B, Oct 2011. Photograph by T. Tsegmid
From afar, Islington Mill looks deceptively ordinary and no one would notice that there is a creative hot-house inside this gloomy looking building. This perception will be cemented even further, when you face a huge steel door asking for entry codes. All these assumptions will disappear as quickly as they formed when you first step into the Islington Mill entrance hall. Walls plastered with posters of exhibitions, music performances and other arts related events will welcome you.
Personally, I felt re-charged by Islington Mill’s constant flow of creative energies. There is always something going on. People I met were friendly, willing to take their time to discuss about arts and related topics. It was as if the life outside the building doesn’t matter so much. For me, it was the perfect getaway. I closed my eyes and pictured myself as one of the workers of the old Cotton Spinning Mill. Unlike the long hours and harsh conditions the mill workers were subjected to in the past, its present day occupiers and visitors alike enjoy spending time at the mill and contribute to keep the place alive. I for one, would like to be the worker at this Utopian ‘Factory’ of Creative Energies…along with many other creative individuals the mill continues to attract.
Inside Islington Mill B&B, Oct, 2011. Photographs T.Tsegmid
T.Tsegmid, Paulette Brien, Laura Mansfield & Laurance Lane at Islington Mill, Oct, 2011.
Photograph by E. Togmidshiirev
Last week, I visited Manchester Museum’s Archery collection along with Enkhbold Togmidshiirev (Artist), Paulette Brien (Curator and Director of International3 Gallery) guided by Stephen Terence Welsh, Curator of Living Cultures and Anna Bunney, Curator of Public Programmes.
Wendy Hodkinson, Honorary Curator of Archery kindly agreed to welcome us and show the selection of bows and arrows originated from Mongolia. The Archery Collection of the Manchester Museum consists of some 4000 objects including bows and arrows from all over the world. This vast collection is preserved and kept inside specially made stacks. It was such a great experience to be able to see and touch those Mongolian bows and arrows. Although, they are old, dating back to 17 Century, they had been preserved very well by the Museum. http://www.museum.manchester.ac.uk/collection/archery/
T. Tsegmid and Wendy Hodkinson. Photograph by Paulette Brien, Sep 2011
The phrase ‘living cultures’ is an interesting one. It not only refers to present but has many similarities to current contemporary art practice and what it tries to achieve by exploring ‘the now’, what surrounds us and what makes us who we are. Is it possible to preserve ‘living cultures’? How does a museum setting supports this cause? What does preserving those objects of necessities, rituals, cultures means to public? These questions have been raised during our discussion with Stephen T. Welsh, Curator of Living Cultures and the potential change in how Museums see their existing roles as guardians of selected objects. Please check out Stephen’s post about this visit. For example, the bows and arrows from Mongolia looked old, authentic and perfect museum objects but its versions are still used in Mongolia. Surely, people may not hunt using bows and arrows nowadays but the archery is one of the three manly national games of Mongolia and we have professional archers competing at regional and national levels.
As an art student back in Mongolia, I painted hundreds of horsemen drawing bows and arrows, hunting for animals or battling each other. Then, I painted archers because I was expected to portray the life of 13 Century Mongolia using Mongolian traditional painting Mongol Zurag. I always questioned why I have to portray lives of Mongols existed some 800 years ago? There is very little fact about their actual lives except limited historical manuscripts, paintings and drawings which students used to study and pass the photocopies of them to each other. Mostly, we used to go by a book (in Mongolian Cyrillic), which was a transcription of an old manuscript titled The Secret History of Mongols (mong. Монголын Нууц Товчоо).
I haven’t painted for a long time but maybe it is time for me to go back to painting. Maybe this visit to the Museum was a sign? Personally, I was just very surprised to find such a big collection of original bows and arrows at the Manchester Museum. If I am going to depict those objects in a contemporary painting, I would want to put emphasis on ‘living cultures’ aspect of those Mongolian arrows and bows.
Wendy Hodkinson, Enkhbold Togmidshiirev, Tsendpurev Tsegmid and Stephen T. Welsh. Photograph by Paulette Brien, Sep 2011.
Lastly, I would like to thank Paulette Brien, Anna Bunney, Stephen T. Welsh and Wendy Hodkinson for their kind support and welcome.
Artist, Curator, Doctoral Candidate
Leeds Metropolitan University
I’ve been ‘in hiding’ ‘for the last year in order to concentrate on my PhD completion. Now I am back! I will be more visible from now on. Many more exciting projects are on the way and I will post more information about them shortly.
By the way, I will be attending Asia Triennial: Manchester II. For more info check out: www.asiatriennialmanchester.com
Happy to be back!
My mum Bayarsanaa looking at the North Sea, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire, England, UK
Photograph by Tsendpurev Tsegmid, 2011
‘Detective and his daughter’, a still image from the video, 2007-8
Watch the video on clicking here.
Detective and his daughter (2007-8)
A video piece, 8.32 min
Room was only small but very plain. There were two Russian styled and steel bodied beds located against each other and a huge rectangular window looking down to railways from 5th floor. He is not the talkative type but his words usually heavy. He isn’t the complaining type either. Despite completing 6 years of rigorous study, gaining the highest mark at Police Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia, his boss’ kept him on a minor position for 30 years whilst his former classmates getting to the top of the organisation through various ways, the ways he is not comfortable with.
He is anything but conformist. He rejected everything attempted to change him: Russians, Communism, co-workers, friends and neighbours. Among all those common identities, he chose to stay simply a ‘father’. Family is where he feels most supported because none of us tried to change him or challenge his ego. Mum told me he once suspended from studying in Russia because he broke a guy’s teeth. I asked why he broke his teeth. He looked at me then smiled. After few minutes of silence, he said in a very serious manner; ‘you have to be extremely careful with people at some point of your life, especially if you get luckier than them’. Just before he set off to Russia, one of the contestants who lost his chance provoked my father deliberately. As any guy in his twenties he didn’t resist. Consequently, he spent year working as a registrar at one of garages of Police Force in Ulaanbaatar.
I have never seen his tears until last year when I saw him at an airport in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He grabbed me and kissed me. I saw glimpse of tears in his eyes which of course he quickly wiped off. He did everything in his power to prove that he wasn’t just stubborn and overly honest police detective among his co-workers, who always wondered why he is so not business-minded or inflexible when it comes to bending rules to achieve something. I never blamed him for that. Our family always had a shelter above us and food on a table. I did ask no more. I feel I am completing his unfinished business, which he wasn’t able to finish off due to political structure and bureaucratic career ladder existed along with multiple forms of corruption and bribery up until 2000 in Mongolia within Police force.
I am becoming more and more like him. We are emotionally much closer since I come to the UK. Today we are on a journey all by ourselves without mum or brother. He is with me. Our aim was to get to the nearest border from Ulaanbaatar, the Capital city of Mongolia. Now we are in a hotel next to a train station, which is less than an hour away from border. Room is only small but very plain. There are two Russian styled and steel bodied beds located against each other and the huge rectangular window looking down to railways from 5th floor.
We are enjoying each other’s company in that continuous silence of deep understanding. I am forging my very own way along with my father embarking our emotional journey. Every sensation is fresh. Suddenly, everything makes sense; a smell of earth, familiar faces of encounters, a dancing wind, a cinematic landscape, endless railways crossing boundaries and static tension around borderlands.
Unlike many of my other carefully planned projects, ‘Mama’s Garden: words of love’ has multiple layers which are hard to be understood as coherent. However, there are couple of clear stages of the project.
- 15th Jan 2010. I’ve found the project idea.
- February 2010. Whole February has been spent on obsessing on the idea of creating an imitation of an ‘English’ garden and the history of the ‘War of the Roses‘.
-By the beginning of March, thanks to Asa and Liz (Research supervisors), my obsession has discontinued and took a turn to a more ‘realistic’ project implementation. In addition, the discovery of finding how much fake grass actually costs had a real potential to ‘kill’ my idea of creating a garden for my mama. Of course, I quickly erased the existence of the fake grass out of my memory. I thought; let there be a grassless garden. And the likelihood of obtaining or borrowing real park benches had a slim chance of realising.
-Mid March. Lucy and Jess have been great so far, adding ideas which helped a lot to shape the project. They are also putting many hours towards the project, I can’t really imagine doing it alone. Yes, yes, now I know what I am looking to create, my interpretation of a garden, represents pieces of emotions of exchanged between a mother and daughter and those secret words truly understandable only by two of us. The words can be extracted, translated and displayed. That actual activity interferes with the flow of exchanges but this maybe the only way to stop and show the process to others. In other words, this is our stop, a static period of communication. A temporary constant.
The garden fences stands as the political borders separates us, but the letters and flowers are the connectors of our love and dedication to each other.
-Late March. Finally, we have our garden fences and couple of chairs (borrowed from Sian Prosser, my mate) many other objects. Lucy and Jess are producing many flowers using different materials.
-Beginning of April. Finally, things are getting together. Few days left to open to public. You will have to come and see what we have done. For anyone who can’t make it, I will post photos on the blog once the project is over.
Stage One 13th March 2010. The very first images of the space inside the Light.
Stage Two 23d March 2010. Working out what to do with the space, which was much bigger than I imagined.
I am pleased to announce that The Light in Leeds has been confirmed as a host location of the proposed project. Before I continue, I would like to thank Brian Oakley, The General Manager of the Light Leeds and his colleagues in advance for allowing me to work flexibly in the space and being understanding to my ‘many’ requests.
The shop unit used to be a branch of ‘Eden Park’ and currently not occupied. However, it is temporary and I am very happy to use it while it is available.
Since my relocation to Leeds in 2004, The Light has become my favourite place to spend time and there is never a day I don’t go through the Light because it locates at the heart of the city. The Light has successfully positioned itself as the hub of the shopping, relaxing and entertainment in Leeds. And it is the ideal space for public project. (T. Tsegmid)
Please go and check out its official website to find out more: http://www.thelightleeds.co.uk/
I have a great news! Recently, I’ve applied to be part of a scheme called ‘Art in Unusual Spaces‘ in order to host my site-specific installation and performance. My application has been successful and now I am in contact with co-ordinators of the scheme. Hopefully, I will find out more details about the space very soon. I will keep you informed throughout.
Miss you Mama! Ээж ээ, таныгаа санаж байна!, self-portraits, digital photography, 2010
I am proposing a new public art piece which you might find interesting. As you can gather from the title, the piece is about mother. Yes, it is not that challenging and shocking contemporary art works you encounter too often. The piece is a celebration of my mama and tribute to that endless flow of words of love she sends me. It is very sentimental theme, but I believe this is my chance to fulfill her dream and create an English garden with full of white roses for her. Although, the piece might appear subjective and personal, it is about the person we feel most grateful for.
I am an artist from (Outer) Mongolia, a research student at LeedsMet University specialsing in practice-led contemporary art practice. Since 2004, I’ve been living in Leeds and the city is my second home. In this particular project, I’ve decided to shy away from conventional art spaces such as; gallery or purpose built exhibition space because I want to reach out to wider audience. Ideally, I want to install this piece in a non-gallery environment where people feel comfortable and accessible.
I am planning to find a space and install this piece around mid-March and I will be adding more information about the project on this website. Particularly, the project is not-funded and will solely rely on a help and support from Yorkshire people and local businesses. I’ve already told about my idea to my supervisors (Asa Andersson and Liz Stirling) at LeedsMet Art School and they are encouraging me to carry out this project as it is very different from projects which I’ve been previously engaged with.
Feel free contact me on TSTSendee@yahoo.com, if you want to support me in some way. You could donate a white rose or just show up and help me to create my garden.
I’ve set up a separate website/blog. Check out the blog on www.mamasgardenartinleeds.wordpress.com
Thanks in advance,
A great-grandmother (mong. Buurai eej)
Before I start talking about my step-great-grandmother, I need to explain number of terms which might be unique to Mongolian culture. For example; the literal Mongolian translation of the word ‘great- grandmother’ is elents emeg, ‘grandmother’ is tursun emeg. However, we usually call our grandmothers and great-grandmothers as buurai eej. Buurai means older or respected and eej means ‘mum’. When we use the term for step-grandparents, we don’t necessary include the word ‘step’ or urgusun in Mongolian.
Zaluu eej is also another term which is not widely used now but people still know what it means. Zaluu translates as young. The term used to distinguish grandmother or buurai eej from mother (mong. zaluu eej).
Chimid Baljin (1915-1973) is my step-great-grandmother, who I always addressed as buurai eej. I’ve only seen couple of her pictures but I heard a lot about her from my mother, Bayarsanaa Sodnom. A few days ago, I spoke to my mum on the phone and asked about more about her life. Buurai eej married to Sodnom Moni, my step-great-grandfather in 1932 and adopted my grandmother Densmaa Khalzan 3 years later. My grandmother Densmaa Khalzan was only 3 days old. My step-great-grandfather also had five other children from his previous marriage. I don’t know much about my grandmother Densmaa because buurai eej adopted my mum from her. Densmaa worked as a diarymaid or milker in the countryside but buurai eej lived with my mum and her family in the centre of the sum called Zag of the Bayankhongor aimag. Every province (mong. aimag) consists of districts (mong. sum). Densmaa was a champion diarymaid from 1960-1963. In a communist collectivism at its peak, everyone used to have a target and the individual who exceeded the target named as the champion and it was a recognition that many people aspired to regardless of what lines of jobs they do. For my mum, Densmaa would be zaluu eej. Unfortunately, zaluu eej passed away when she was 33.
My mum’s memory about buurai eej is that she was a very strong woman, worked hard to make things work, especially after zaluu eej‘s departure to heaven. Buurai eej raised my mum along with her other five step-children and left a remarkable memories of dedication and love.
It is one of the cases, where I really wish I’d knew her in person. Impossibility is painful and all I left is her photographic imprint. Judging from her appearance, she looks confident, assured and hopeful. In addition to what I heard from my mum, naturally, I always saw her in a positive light and believed that she was someone who never gave up.
Note: This post is a part of an ongoing research project; therefore, the content and the approach subject to change at any time.
Tserendulam Yondonjamts (b. 1916) is a dancer turned choreographer who have been instrumental in the development of art of choreography in Mongolia. She has become a dancer at the Ensemble of Mongolian Army at age of 19, and built her remarkable career from scratch. For people, who don’t know about Ensemble of Mongolian Army, it is an entity within Army structure which consists of large number of musicians, singers, dancers and support staff. All staff are considered as Army personels and they wear uniforms like others, however, they don’t get involved in Army duties. Usually, they tour around and perform at Army stations and at national celebrations. In her case, succeeding in an all male environment wasn’t the main achievement. It is her amazing commitment to her profession which needs more attention not her gender. I heard she still comes to a dance studio to give advice to young dancers, and she is 93.
Note: This post is a part of an ongoing research project; therefore, the content and the approach subject to change at any time.
Note: This post is a part of an ongoing research project; therefore, the content and the approach subject to change at any time.
Image 1. ICHINKHORLOO DASHZEVEG. The exact date and the name of a photographer are unknown.The photograph is sourced from Mongolia through private contacts.
MONGOLIAN FEMALE ICONS SERIES 1: Ichinkhorloo Dashzeveg
This series will introduce six Mongolian women, who I think are Mongolian female icons. The selection method is based on oral history passed down from elders, parents and my personal experience, the factors which often undermined due to their subjective and unevidenced components. The list includes: the great and the ordinary. The historical accuracy is not my primary concern in this project, however, due to lack of or non-existence of background information (published, non-published) available about these women, I hesitate to claim the information is ‘historically true’.
Ichinkhorloo Dashzeveg (1910-1972) is a Mongolian national treasure, a highly accomplished actress and musician. She was one of the most recognisable women of 20th century in Mongolia. Her portraiture of Too-Khuar, a middle aged woman who emotionally bruised and deeply corrupted by Chinese traders in a film called ‘Sin and Beneficence’ is considered as the highest quality of acting by generations of professionals and public alike. She was part of countless stage plays in her lifetime. It is believed that she never had any formal training in acting nor there is any evidence of existence of a drama school in Mongolia around 1930-1940. If there was any drama or stage school, it would be in a form of an informal home school (one-2-one) or trainee role at a local culture/music club. If an argument sparks about who is the greatest Mongolian actresss, Ichinkhorloo has no contender and many believe that there will be no one greater than her.