The Mongolian Contemporary Art Support Association and 976 Art Gallery have been implementing a mind-blowing art project titled “Nomad Spirit”, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The Nomad Spirit project aims to raise public awareness of potential threats to important environmental and cultural resources in rural areas of Mongolia, threats caused by mining and other human-related activities.
Seven artists, including J.Bolortuvshin, G.Munkhbolor, E.Enkhzaya, S.Ganzug, Ts.Davaajargal, Mauricio Dias (Brazil), and Walter Riedweg (Switzerland), took part in the project.
In September 2016, the artists traveled 1,500 km over 11 days, mostly exploring gold mining sites and ecologically damaged areas in four different regions of Mongolia: Uvurkhangai, Tuv, Arkhangai and Bulgan provinces. The artists documented their observations and organized discussions and workshops at different locations, and wrapped up the project with an exhibition on March 6 at Contemporary Art Center of Mongolia.
Video art, sculpture, and sound installation are included in the exhibition.
A video art piece featuring Mongolian livestock, mining sites, and the steppe was unique. It is clear from the video that cattle struggle to find grass to eat and that people are being displaced by mining activity and heavy machinery. The work is a plea for us to stop destroying the Earth that is our home, that we won’t have a place to stand anymore if destructive mining processes aren’t stopped.
The Nomad Spirit exhibition will be on view at Contemporary Art Center of Mongolia until March 25. Three of the project’s artists, J.Bolortuvshin, G.Munkhbolor, and Ts.Davaajargal, were selected to represent Mongolia at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Their work created for the Nomad Spirit project will be displayed at the biennale’s Mongolian Pavilion.