Fans of the rapidly grow­ing con­tem­po­rary art scene in Mongolia had a cause to re­joice this week. The much an­tic­i­pated re-open­ing of the 976 Art Gallery was held on Septem­ber 6 at the newly re­fur­bished, stylish Choi­jin Suites.

976 Gallery, which first opened its doors five years ago tem­po­rar­ily closed in search of a more be­fit­ting lo­cale, re­opened as Art Space 976+ with a new team and new in­tents.

The event, which started at 5:00 p.m., from the get go was ex­tremely im­pres­sive, mod­ern, taste­ful and ex­cit­ing.

From the mo­ment I stepped out of the car in front of Choi­jing Suites, it felt as if I had been trans­ported into a dif­fer­ent city, not the Ulaan­baatar we are fa­mil­iar with. And this feel­ing of be­ing some­where else was the­matic and car­ried through the en­tire evening.

The venue of Choi­jin Suites it­self was im­pres­sive. It is both mod­ern, re­fined and edgy.

And with a guest list that boasted some of the most premier names in Mongolia’s art scene, in­clud­ing trendy, young and emerg­ing artists, gallery own­ers, art sup­port­ers, mu­si­cians and mod­els, the night was im­me­di­ately headed for an in­her­ent suc­cess.

The of­fi­cial open­ing speeches were given by the founder and owner of Art Space 976+ B.Gan­tuya who in­tro­duced the new gallery team, the gallery’s new di­rec­tion, the artists and the new part­ners of Art Space 976+.

The new Art Space 976+ ush­ers in an ad­min­is­tra­tive team which in­cludes Bil­guun Tu­vshin­gold and the owner of Choi­jing Suites, and sees B.Gan­tuya take a more con­sult­ing role, who is opt­ing so to fo­cus her con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence and at­ten­tion to the Mon­go­lian Con­tem­po­rary Art Sup­port As­so­ci­a­tion.

The re­open­ing of Art Space 976+ also marked the strength­en­ing re­la­tions be­tween Mon­go­lian artists and a more in­ter­na­tional artis­tic au­di­ence. This was done through the fact that the Art Space 976+ re­opened in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Alaqi and Mat­tias Ku­per Gal­leries. Mat­tias Ku­per hails from Ger­many and runs sev­eral suc­cess­ful gal­leries in both Stuttgart and Beijing. He was present at the open­ing and de­liv­ered an open­ing speech that em­pha­sized that this work­ing re­la­tion­ship would al­low for Mon­go­lian artists to show­case in his gal­leries abroad and the in­creas­ing re­cep­tive­ness for in­ter­na­tional artists to show­case their works in Ulaan­baatar.

In re­gards to the ex­hi­bi­tion it­self, “Be­fore the Sky Folds, Whist the Wind is Awak­en­ing” ex­plores themes of con­scious­ness, uni­ver­sal­ity, ties with na­ture, and defin­ing shifts in time. It show­cased the works of artists D.Odon­chi­leg and T.Davaa­jar­gal. The artists de­scribed their main in­tent for the ex­hi­bi­tion as “to shape feel­ings and test sounds within one place us­ing two sep­a­rate eyes, two sep­a­rate ears and two sep­a­rate hearts, and to ex­plore the se­cret feel­ing of hu­mans and na­ture, it’s changes and frag­men­ta­tion, this is what we wish to ex­plore and dis­cuss.”

D.Odonchimeg (born in 1990), who goes by Odie Chaavkaa, is a Paris-based artist for whom the ex­hi­bi­tion was the first time her work was fea­tured in a ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion in Ulaan­baatar. Odie Chaavkaa has pre­vi­ously show­cased her work in Hey Marie! Tex­tiles in Brus­sels, Bel­gium, Art Vi­sion at the Q Art Gallery in Ulaan­baatar, as “body and soul-love” at the Store Gallery in Ar­les, France, in “thou­sand pages vi” at the Gallery Ygrec in Paris, France and at the “erotic draw­ing sa­lon - salo iv” in France in 2016.

In recog­ni­tion of her tal­ents, Odie Chaavka was se­lected for the PRIX ARTAGON II in Paris France. She also has a sig­nif­i­cant artis­tic per­for­mance ex­pe­ri­ence, per­form­ing in venues and events such as FRASQ #6 to the gen­er­a­tor in Gen­tilly, France, at the In­ter­na­tional Per­for­mance Meet­ing at the Glass Theatre in Paris, France and sev­eral Red Sun­day ses­sions also in Paris.

Davaa­jar­gal Tsaschikher (born in 1988) is an ex­tremely cre­ative and tal­ented sound artist and con­tem­po­rary mu­sic com­poser. He is well known amongst the Mon­go­lian mil­len­nial generation as the founder and vo­cal­ist of the Mon­go­lian ex­per­i­men­tal rock ‘n roll band Mo­hanik. He is also one of the found­ing mem­bers of the “Hu­man Na­ture Love Free­dom” con­tem­po­rary art move­ment and the founder of the “Eduge” con­tem­po­rary mu­sic records.

Ts.Davaa­jar­gal’s work place an em­pha­sis in pieces that in­cor­po­rate the unique ma­nip­u­la­tion of sound, and has been rec­og­nized as far as the 2017 Venice Art Bi­en­nale where he fea­tured work part of the “Lost in Tn­gri” Mon­go­lian Pav­il­lion. He has also show­cased work at the Con­tem­po­rary Art Cen­ter in Mongolia, at the Lost Chil­dren of Heaven II joint ex­hi­bi­tion in the 976 Art Gallery, at the Union of Mon­go­lian Artists Gallery, at the ARTLAB @ 976 joint ex­hi­bi­tion with Les Joynes, at the Mar­shal Art Gallery and many more.

The works fea­tured were done in a va­ri­ety of medi­ums, such as mul­ti­me­dia, tex­tile and acrylics and in­cluded a to­tal of eight large scale works and sev­eral sup­port­ing pieces. Most of the pieces seam­lessly tran­si­tioned from each other and were tied to­gether with the sup­port­ing pieces, which flaw­lessly car­ried out the themes of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

While the works were strik­ing and im­pres­sive, the high­light of the night came in the form of a joint per­for­mance piece by the artists. The per­for­mance was a mov­ing piece evoca­tive of con­sumerism and the blend­ing of el­e­ments and was ac­com­pa­nied by eu­phony of sounds care­fully ar­ranged by Davaa­jar­gal that tied and car­ried the emo­tions con­veyed by Odie Chaavka.

Over­all, the evening was an im­pres­sive night of art, mu­sic, din­ing and meet­ing new and in­ter­est­ing peo­ple. The am­biance of the evening seeped class mixed with mys­tery and was a tes­ta­ment to B.Gan­tuya’s ef­forts to se­cure new and ex­per­i­men­tal art in Mongolia. It was also a pro­gres­sive and pos­i­tive step for Ulaan­baatar to be­com­ing a flour­ish­ing artis­tic hub.

To Ms. B. Gan­tuya, T. Bil­guun, Mr. Mat­tias Ku­per and the artists Odie Chaavka and Davaa­jar­gal:


Pho­tos by G.ARGUUJIN

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