AT THE 56th INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION OF LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
MONGOLIA has a living tradition of nomadic life specific in its everyday interaction with nature. The nomads
live through seasonal migration without causing any modifications to environment, and create their life based
solely on natural resources. The Mongolia Pavilion presents Unen Enkh and Enkhbold Togmidshiirev, the artists
who work with organic materials from Mongolian nomadic culture and raise questions about global problems
of cultural otherness and displacement.
The Mongolia Pavilion consists of two types of art presentation: a sedentary pavilion space at the Palazzo
Mora and a nomadic pavilion with artist Enkhbold’s performances presented at designated public spaces
around the city of Venice. Unen Enkh’s sculptures explore the culturally-laden products of nomadic traditions,
such as felt and horsehair, in juxtaposition to metal and wood. Enkhbold’s two-dimensional works, made
primarily of horse dung, ash, tripe, sand and shrub, are displayed at Palazzo Mora.
Venice was built by mainland residents fleeing invasions by nomads, including Attila and the Huns in the 5th
century. Centuries later, Venetian merchant Marco Polo (1254–1324) traveled to the Mongol Empire, where he
spent 16 years at the Khubilai Khaan’s (1215-1294) court. Enkhbold, building upon the historical legacy of
Venice’s relationship with nomads and Mongols, brings his performance art to the heart of Venice by
nomadizing around the city and socializing with Venice locals and visitors. The idea of social interaction
between people without dependence on modern technologies is central in Enkhbold’s performance art.
Mongolia opened its doors to the world in 1990 after seven decades of socialist regime. Contemporary artists
of the new Mongolia explore issues of identity in the post-socialist era of political, social, and cultural change.
The works of both artists here presented are rooted in nature, suggesting that it is not industry that brings
people and cultures closer together. The Mongolia Pavilion suggests responses to modern-day problems of
alienation and displacement through a multifaceted notion of what constitutes one’s “home” in a global
Unen Enkh, Enkhbold Togmidshiirev
Boldbaatar Chultem, David A Ross
E. Bat-Uul, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar City
Embassy of Mongolia in Rome
Mongolian Contemporary Art Support Association
Phone: +39 3407465713 (Italy); +976 99051127 (Mongolia)
Email: [email protected]
URL: www. mongolia-pavilion-venice-biennale.com
Address: European Cultural Center
Palazzo Mora 2nd floor Cannaregio 3659, Venice, Italy
Open: May 9 to 22 November 2015 (closed on Tuesday)
Unen Enkh. Untitled 2015-02. Detail. Felt, horsehair, iron-wire, lead sheet. 278x29x22cm. Photo by Unen Enkh
Enkhbold Togmidshiirev. The Desertification in the Art – Performance, South Gobi, Mongolia 2011.
Enkhbold Togmidshiirev. Argalant 2014. Horse dung, felt, wooden stick, animal skin on Canvas. 280 x 200 cm