Instigation originated from the space

Another story of instigation… A man leaving Tuv province for Pori, Rotterdam, Cheju, Manchester and Venice carrying the model of Mongolian Ger. Running nude, wrapping the head with animal skin, flipping stones and spilling the milk… Performances and actions of Togmidshiirev Enkhbold are sometimes taken as a mere attempt to stand out. Such hesitation can be explained by the latest increase in various efforts to combine the tradition with the contemporary art. What would one see in a person who had built a mini Ger on the sea shore, taking-off clothing and lying in a home, which is barely enough to fit a single person? Or, how would you relate to art the human-being sitting outside the Manchester museum flipping a stone tied to the chimney part of the Ger in a depressed manner?

In many cases, the art leaves out questions and hesitations to us rather than giving the answers and directions. T. Enkhbold is excellent in that. His solo exhibition “Mining” will illustrate what kind of instigator he is. “What a madness?”, “Not the art that I know”… I believe he got used to it. Superficially, videos of his performances and paintings created using horse dung, iron rust; sacks and ash can seem absurd and shocking. “I try to create a spiritual contemplation through portrayal, sound and smell. The main purpose of my project is to establish relations with different places, travel with my own crafted Ger and introduce the nomadic way of living. One’s perception about dwelling and housing structure is related to the cogitation of limitations in communication, space and actions” – explains T. Enkhbold.

He stages such projects in the natural environment. The Ger is perceived as a micro universe for him and from that spiritual space, he attempts to contact and communicate with the mother-earth through specific actions and sounds. Using the Ger and nomadic subsistence for rendering his mind is not a brainwave emerged lately, it is rather habits and practices accumulated from his life experience and childhood memories from Guchin-Us soum of Uvurkhangai province, where he was born and grew up. T. Enkhbold’s works are not limited with performance art; he creates his other works using non-conventional materials.  Ts. Uranchimeg, an art historian, a PhD of the University of California stated: “His use of ash, horse dung, felt and skin are a daring and extraordinary move. By doing so T. Enkhbold makes us to rethink of our perception about painting”.

On the other hand, the perception of the space seems to have an important role on his works. Nomadic lifestyle is fully dependent on and tightly harmonious with the nature. It offers the freedom to live and travel in the vast land. Nevertheless, in today’s world that had become “flat” under the storm of globalization, we are living in a tight and squeezed environment with limited space.

From his works one can feel the desire to escape from everything that is narrow, tight or egocentric and some of his actions are liberation kind. At first glance “Mining” may seem absurd. If you try to understand it, you may feel his criticism on modern lifestyle, his longing for vast space and his instigation. Or, it may bring complete new feeling. Besides the testimony of the time, the value of art may lie on its power to lead a viewer to the excitement, hesitation and contemplation.

Journalist B. Egshiglen

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