Everyday, during my childhood, I walked about three kilometers to school and I often crossed the railroad track under the bridge in Ulaanbaatar City. I was fascinated by the moving railroad cars. Sometimes I waited an hour to watch the railroad cars moving. One day as I stood there I got a “doodle” moment in my mind. It was my first inspiration to do something powerful. I can remember this day as clearly as the day it happened . I can remember the strong orange mongolian sun, the dazzle of the rails like a laser beam and strange smell from rusted iron machine parts.
My works express concrete situations including globalization and conflicts, discoveries and innovation of human history, mostly based on current events heard through Mongolian, English, German, Russian and international radio. I do not express my ideas directly to prevent guiding the viewer to their meanings. Some parts of my works provide clues to this challenge, like paying respect to a tradition using a twist of irony, humor or sarcasm. Under the influence of radionews, storytelling, the occult and nature these works are drawn together like parts of irony to create a surrealistic reality. Within my work I probe the current issues of tourism and wilderness, actions and consequences, submission and dominance, consumption and environment that play out in the physical and psychological space between tamed and untamed worlds.
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Tuguldur Yondonjamts was born in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) in 1977. He completed a BA (Hons) in Thanka Painting (traditional Mongolian Painting) from the Mongolian University of Arts and Culture, in the class of Professor Narmandakh Tsultem in 1997. In 2004, he graduated Fine Art from the University of the Arts, Berlin (UdK), Germany, in the class of Professor Lothar Baumgarten.
Yondonjamts’s practice focuses on works on paper mainly. He tackles issues surrounding the changes affecting Mongolia’s society and economic development. The nomadic culture and its symbiotic relation to nature is disappearing as the mining of natural ressources (gold, coal) are being exploited without effective control. The artist is currently developing a body of drawings that critiques the exportation of falcons in Mongola to Saudi Arabia (currently 240 per year). Taking an ironic perspective, his work questions how these factors are played out in the physical and psychological space between tamed and untamed worlds.
Yondonjamts’s works have been exhibited in Mongolia and abroad. His work is currently part of the exhibition “Magische Geshichten” at the KunstvereinGraz, Regensburg (Germany) on view until May 5th 2012. In the summer 2012, his work is featured in an exhibition with New York artist Jessica Segall at the Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery Ulaanbaatar/Mongolia. Previous exhibitions include Haus der Kunst in Munich/Germany, Werkraum Godula Buchholz in Denklingen/Germany, Mongolian Embassy in Berlin/Germany, Museum of Modern Art/Hofstallungen in Vienna/Austria, Cologne Art Fair 21 in Germany, Arsenale in Venice/Italy. He is the recipient of various awards including Djerassi Resident Artist Award 2012 (CA, USA), a grant from Karin-Abt-Straubinger Foundation 2009 & 2011(Stuttgart, Germany) and the ART OMI International Artists Residency 2010 (Ghent, USA). In 2010, he was a visiting artist in the residence program at the Cité International des Arts in Paris (France).
Tuguldur Yondonjamts is supported by Residency Unlimited within the framework of the organisation`s partnership with Flux Factory. His residency is made possilble with funding support from the Open Society Foundation, NY and the Arts Council of Mongolia.
1. What interests inform and inspire your work?
My desire and focus in my works is to use facts, and to create endless narrative or mystery. Time is also a very important element to me, and I try to have it feature somehow in my drawings or in my works.
2. Who influenced or still influences your work? Whose work do you admire?
The recent economic development of Mongolia, in contrast to the countryside and ancient lifestyle and myth, is an enormous influence and interest for me. I admire many artists and it is difficult for me to make a list. Ryenchinii Choinom and Andrei Tarkovsky are my first favorite intellectuals, who made me think, and I left Mongolia to discover the Western world.
3. What’s a recent exhibit you went to which stood out, or who would you recommend seeing?
There is amazing show, “The Web,” by Jon Kessler in Swiss Institute Contemporary Art New York. The Drawing Center is also great place to visit.
Born in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2004 Graduated Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in the class of Professor Lothar Baumgarten, Berlin (UdK), Germany
1997 Diploma/Bachelor Mongolian (Thanka) Painting, in the class of Professor Narmandakh Tsultem,
The University of Arts & Culture Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2012 Helen L Bing Fellowship/ Djerassi Resident Artist, CA, USA
2012 Arts Council of Mongolia/ Open Society Foundation grant, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2011 Project grant from Karin-Abt-Straubinger Foundation, Stuttgart, Germany
2010 Project grant from Karin-Abt-Straubinger Foundation, Stuttgart, Germany
2010 Finalist of 4 edition of Arte Laguna Prize 2009, Venice, Italy
2009 Nominee & Special Appreciation of Walter Koschatzky Artistic Prize 2009, Vienna, Austria
2008 Finalist of Gesellschafter Art Award 2008 / Cologne Art Fair, Germany
2012 RAPID/TRANSIT, Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery, Ulaanbaatar,
Mongolia, July 27-31, 2012
2012 Magic stories, KunstvereinGRAZ e.V. in Regensburg, Germany, April 5- May 3, 2012
2011 Drawings, Werkraum Godula Buchholz, Denklingen, Germany
2011 Walter Koschatzky Artistic Prize 2011/ Exhibition of the nominated works,
MUMOK- Museum of Modern Art-Hofstallungen, Vienna, Austria
2010 Open Studio, Omi International Art Center, Ghent, USA
2010 Im Haus, Haus der Kunst München/ Munich, Germany
2010 4 edition of Arte Laguna Prize 2009, Tese di San Cristoforo Arsenale di Venezia, Italy
2009 Drawings, Werkraum Godula Buchholz , Denklingen, Germany
2009 2009 Walter Koschatzky Artistic Prize 2009/ Exhibition of the nominated works
MUMOK- Museum of Modern Art-Hofstallungen, Vienna, Austria
2009 Was uns antreibt, Haus der Kunst München/ Big Art Exibition 2009, Munich, Germany
2008 Good Work, Trippen showroom, Berlin, Germany
2008 Medium Drawing, Haus der Kunst München/ Munich, Germany
2008 Cologne Art Fair 21, Cologne, Germany
2008 Anonymous Drawings, Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
2007 Contemporary Art Ruhr KunstQudrate07, Zollverein, Essen, Germany
2007 International Exibition Nord Art 2007, Rendsburg, Germany
2007 Große Kunstausstellung 2007 im Haus der Kunst München/ Munich, Germany
2003 Iim er huu/ That male boy (translated from Mongolian),
Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2000 Holz-Legno-Xylo, The University of the Arts (UdK), Berlin, Germany
2012 Residency Unlimited with Flux Factory, New York, USA
2012 Djerassi Resident Artist Award, Woodside California, USA
2012 Collaboration with Jessica Segall and May Tveit in Mongolia
2010 Omi International Art Center, Ghent, USA
2010 Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
2010 Residency programm a collaboration between Ferrin Gallery, Mass Moca and Storefront
Artist Projects in Pittsfield/Massachusetts, USA
2000 Holz-Legno-Xylo, (Universität der Künste Berlin), Gutshof Sauen, Germany
2010 The Wall Street Journal-Online, „Artists Roaming the Neighborhood“ by Ralph Gardner, New York
Im Haus, Haus der Kunst München/Munich, Germany (catalogue)
4 edition of Arte Laguna Prize 2009 (cataloque)
2009 Was uns antreibt, Haus der Kunst München/ Munich, Germany (catalogue)
2008 Art Fair 21 2008 (catalogue)
Medium Drawing, Haus der Kunst München/ Munich, Germany (catalogue)
2007 Contemporary art ruhr KunstQudrate07 (catalogue)
International Exibition Nord Art 2007 (catalogue)
Große Kunstausstellung 2007 im Haus der Kunst München/ Munich, Germany (catalogue)
Francis J.Greenburger Collection, New York, USA, 2010
Godula Buchholz Collection, Denklingen, Germany, 2009-2011
Omi International Art Center Collection, New York, USA, 2010
Rotary Club Albertina Vienna, Austria, 2010 & 2009
Mongolian Embassy in Berlin, Germany, 2002