By LUCY THOMPSON
B.Sarantuya’s muted and delicate exhibition of fashion art explores the interweaving of nature, style, and environmental practices in today’s clothing. “White Treasure” is on display at Articour Gallery, at Zaisan Square, until May 21.
The artist says her inspiration was “nature’s patterns”, an idea visible in different facets of her artwork from the mixed colors in her dresses and coats to the similarities drawn between leaves and weaving. The viewer is able to examine the parallels between the growth of leaves on branches and the way knitted wool develops on the needle, while B.Sarantuya also makes links to historic felting and weaving techniques.
The artist is a senior year student at the School of Fine Arts of the State University of Arts and Culture, and in “White Treasure”, her graduation exhibition, she has established a thoughtful discussion of Mongolian fashion’s future while appreciating its past. The delicacy of the patterning and decoration reflects this considered approach.
The exhibition’s six assorted outfits and four pairs of boots are in shades of russet, beige, and cream shot through with black, all colors evocative of autumn and winter. Fitting this and the nature of the materials, the theme of winter runs through the exhibition from the bare trees to carefully arranged piles of dead leaves. However, given the environmental focus in her use of eco-friendly wool, felt, and leather, it seems the artist is also suggesting that a new attitude toward fashion is rising as previous approaches fade. By presenting her work as so intricately linked with nature, B.Sarantuya is offering a reminder about how important it is to choose environmentally sustainable lifestyles and fashions in this day and age.
“White Treasure” is an accurate title, pointing as it does to the value of natural resources such as felt and wool, and just how precious they are.