Explore Mongolia Ancient and Modern Art Forms
Mongolia is the center of Asia. Due to its geographical location, many tribes from different origins have ruled the country. From conquering the land and setting their kingdom to completely disappearing in the future, these tribes have gone through calm and rough journeys. But the Mongolians have passed their legacies, culture and art and craft from generation to generation. The impression of their history and art is prominent in all facets of life.
The second half of the second millennium B.C is the time when Mongolian art and craft are witnessed to be much developed, marking its unique impression over the natives and others who study it. Mongolia tours are idyllic for art lovers, art students and professionals. Here are some popular art and craft styles from Mongolia.
It started in the late bronze age for decorating hunting tools. In this art form heads of animals with the exaggerated size of ears, horns and eyes are carved or sculptured. These figures are carved on stones, metal tools like knives, daggers and even on leather or fabric. Though the Cara-Suksky Art started in Mongolia and flourished here, later it spread to China and South Siberia as well.
Mongolia trips can be a roller coaster ride to different art forms. The more you get into ancient art forms the more you understand the Philosophy and living style of that time. Many art schools recommend Mongolia tours especially to Ulaanbaatar for art galleries and museums.
Mongolian Folk Religion Shamanism:
To create objects for worship or praise as per Shamanism, Mongolians used to create wooden sculptures. Ovoo are the holy stone triangular heaps used as shrines, you will see amazing shapes created with pebbles. They are often decorated with blue or other colored cloth stripes.
The costumes and accessories of Shamans are another amazing art form that delivers a sense of human connectivity with spiritual powers, their combat with evil and affection towards land and sky. Leather, fabric, bird feathers, animal horns, wood, metal, and other different materials are used to create outfits. The details, big round eyes on masks, and fluttering cloth or leather pieces are stunning.
The best time to visit Mongolia is between June 20th and June 22nd. During these three days, Shaman celebrations are held in Mongolia. Mongolia trip to witness Shaman celebrations is much recommended to textile, fashion design, and industrial design students.
Mongol Zurag Painting Art
This art form developed in the early 20th century and has secular and nationalist themes. Bright colors on cotton medium, long brush strokes with tapered ends are the specialties of this painting style. The zurag painting style is connected with the prehistoric rock painting style of Mongolia.
Zurag paintings customarily show subjects or themes from Mongolian nomadic life. Its beauty lies in the idea of presenting multiple subjects and activities at the same time. You can relate it with the timeline idea of today's era. Zurag painting has no concept of perspectives, hue differences because of distance or shape. Everything is presented in the same proportion so the painting looks symmetric and you cannot fix your eye over one subject. You have to give time to see the whole of it to grasp the essence.
Balduugiin Sharav is the most popular artist of Zurag painting from 1920 and his masterpiece “One Day in Mongolia” is still praised by art lovers internationally. Later the Zurag style got a touch of contemporary style and artists like Ürjingiin Yadamsüren's from the 1950s got popular for their masterpiece “The Old Fiddler.”
Visit Mongolia to see mesmerizing paintings and artifacts of century`s old artists. Your Mongolia tour will also offer you amazing Mongolian music and performance art as well.
Horse Decoration Art:
Mongolian horse culture is very prominent and they use their horses for traveling, carrying goods, for sports, hunting, and war. It is believed that,
“The Mongol without his pony is only half a Mongol, but with his pony, he is as good as two men.”
Mongolian men love their horses so they create ornaments to decor it, highlight its individuality and show tribal pride. Saddle, whip, bridle, and the beast band even the horseshoe is well decorated. Mongols use the applique of leather or thick fabric and add some wood or metal. Embroidery, carving, sculpting techniques are used to create horse decoration accessories. You can find detailed repetitive symmetric patterns and calligraphy as well as the ornaments of horse saddles made of silver, gold and even precious jewelry.
You can openly explore horse decoration art during your Mongolia tour to any countryside area. The best time to visit Mongolia is during the Naadam Festival, July. During the festive season Mongolian natives specially create ornaments and decorate their horses. Mongolia tours are ideal to observe top-notch craftsmanship and a high standard of common and unique art forms.
Mongolian Contemporary Art:
By the 20th century Mongolian young generation traveled to European states and Russia to study art and craft. They learned European techniques of the last century and combined them with their native art forms to create an individual Mongolian Contemporary Art style.
At present time impressionism, realism, abstract, expressionism, and surrealism styles are very dominant in Mongolia. These artworks are usually produced by artists near to or above 50 years old.
The 90s generation has witnessed the economic transition in Mongolia which sternly impacted the culture and art of Mongolia. As the first decade was the time of the economic and cultural collapse, the second decade is the time of recovery. The art clearly expresses both decades through paintings, sculpture and other art forms.
Democracy in Mongolia came up with several advantages and opportunities. So the young generation traveled abroad to explore the world. This time-traveling was not limited to specific areas. They started reaching out to different areas of the world.
By the 21st century, modern and more flourished art forms started to appear in Mongolia. It was the time of the New Contemporary Art Movement in Mongolia. The themes are diverse but not like that of previous generations. Now artists show personal issues, social and economic imbalances, political concerns, gender bias attitude and corruption in their art pieces.
Now artists are not limited to painting, carving, and sculpturing. Multimedia art, cinematography, photography, graphic art, calligraphy, street art, performance, land and sound art, etc. are also popular in Mongolia.
Where in Mongolia you will find museums and art galleries showing tradition and culture, you will also find modern, contemporary and futuristic art very prominently. So your Mongolia tours are a complete package of multiple art styles and their impacts. You can explore their unique techniques and ways of expression throughout your Mongolia tour. However, the modern art of Mongolia is not perceived much nationally but the artist gets their due praise internationally.