Modern Mongolia: from steppe to urban dynamics
Having gone through Mongolia’s political and social changes in the early 1990s, Mongolian artists initiated a new wave of artistic experiments, epitomizing the impact of Western media and broad exchanges between the West and Asian countries. As an attempt to demonstrate the verve of Mongolian modern artists, the exhibition “Modern Mongolia: from Steppe to Urban Dynamics” comprises most prominent artists of Mongolia as well as young emerging talents while introducing key works from the past century to form a contextual and a historical background for the changing contemporary Mongolian art scene. Among them are art works created by twenty contemporary artists, who work with both modern and conceptual media, such as ink and calligraphy. Diversity in terms of genres, subject matters, media and themes characterize the current state of Mongolian modern art.
The search for identity and position in modern world underlines each of these artists’ work, depicting these struggles beyond a personal level. While the artists represent challenges in Mongolia’s art scene, the questions their raised also pertain to the current debates in art across borders among contemporary Asian artists. The exhibition thus juxtaposes reflections on, and debates about, modernism and conceptual art, representation and statement, personal and political, modernity and tradition.
Chang Tsong-zung (Johnson Chang) 張頌仁 is an independent curator, guest professor of China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China, and director of Hanart TZ Gallery in Hong Kong. He has been active in curating Chinese exhibitions since the 1980s, and recently served as co-curator of “Post-Pop: East Meets West” at Saatchi Gallery in 2014, and also the co-curator of the 2012 Shanghai Biennial. He is currently involving in projects such as Jia Li Hall, the research on Confucian rites and aesthetics; West Heavens, the Sino Indian exchange in art and social thought; Yaji Garden (a project relating to the Yellow Box Projects), which investigates Chinese aesthetic space and the culture of connoisseurship; and Inter-Asia School, which organised the “2014 Inter-Asia Biennale Forums” at 2014 Taipei Biennial, Shanghai Biennial and Kochi Biennale.