By Kristine de Leon
Blue Moon Art Gallery is currently celebrating the fourth anniversary of the annual juried art exhibition “360°”. Located on the first floor of BlueMon Center, the open “no theme” exhibition is a showcase of outstanding works of Mongolian contemporary art.
Beginning in the 1990s, a generation of artists began to embrace the concept of storytelling to articulate the politics of identity and difference, investing both abstract and representational forms with narrative content. The fourth annual “360°” juried exhibition offers an expansive view of the new paradigms for storytelling forged over the last two decades to communicate ideas about race, gender, sexuality, history, and politics, among other trenchant themes.
Bringing together over 30 works from artists who submitted pieces for consideration, “360°” examines the diverse ways in which artists today engage narrative through installation, painting, photography, sculpture, illustration, and performance. For these artists, storytelling does not necessarily require plots, characters, or settings. Rather, narrative potential lies in everyday objects and materials, and their embedded cultural associations. In projects created through extensive research, acts of appropriation, or performance, the artists in “360°” uncover layers of meaning, turning to individual experience as a means of conveying shared stories, whether real or fictional.
Situated at the center of the exhibition is artist L.Munkhgerel’s installation, titled “#…”, a multi-component interactive piece that engages the dynamic relationship between current trends and art. The resulting polyphony signals the diverse interpretive potential that lies within the everyday objects attached to worn door of a ger. Facing the installation, two landscape paintings by artists Ch.Bolor and G.Amgalanbaatar, respectively titled “Stone of the Great Steppe” and “The Sun in the Night”, capture the visitor’s eye with their harmonious juxtaposition and blending of earthy tones of reds, oranges, and yellows into peaceful scenes of the steppe.
At one end of the gallery, a bright, colorful painting by S.Erdene seems to be an exploration of sexuality and femininity, aptly titled “Arousal”, and depicts a female figure in a suggestive pose. O.Batzorig’s sculpture, at the opposite end of the gallery, is similarly replete with sexual imagery. The sculpture, titled “Woman”, depicts a horned abstraction of a sensous female figure. On an adjacent wall, B.Uyanga’s media art, titled “The Etheric Body”, references the theosophical concept of the “astral body”. Centered in the painting of a universe-like world is a photograph of a close-up view of a woman’s face in a painting of the universe.
The “360°” juried exhibition presents interesting works in the different styles of the participating artists. There is definitely something for everyone here, whether you like conceptual, performance, or media art.