GALLERY OPENING REVIEW: Art Space 976+
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: