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Woman in Silence

‘I just express what I think and feel. It is up to the viewer to interpret what they see. Mongolians have always respected women as equals,’ she says. ‘Women have the right to rule the household and the state. When men, in the past, went to war, women controlled everything. In traditional life men had to listen to women. So all my paintings represent the power of women.’
Woman as her central subject has given Munkhtsetseg the opportunity to create an uncompromising narrative through which to explore questions of spirituality, birth and death, female sexuality, personal disappointment, and motherhood. To examine these she uses numerous symbols from Mongolia’s rich cultural heritage. The birds, clothing, children, traditional Mongolian medicine, legends and myths on the origins of the world, humankind’s relationship to nature and animals, and the striking traditional hairstyle known as ehkner us, which means ‘married woman’s hairstyle,’ all inform her figurative art, recent abstractions, and representational collages and drawings.
The power flowing from Munkhtsetseg’s bold figures is in stark contrast to her slight physical presence that hides a steely determination. She observes and listens intently. Her slim hands exude an appealing combination of fragility and strength. She wields a brush thick with paint and tears paper for her collages with equal passion. When the results are not to her liking, she simply begins again, working until she is satisfied. When she is happy with the results, she is never boastful. Indeed, Munkhtsetseg (“Mugi” to her friends) has a sense of humility about her that is memorable. For all her accomplishments, since the mid-1980s, she says simply, ‘It is only during the past five years that I have considered myself an artist. Before, I only saw myself as an artist in training.’
Munkhtsetseg’s portraits of women are not gentle or refined or timid. They are tough, highly textured, boldly colored studies of characters that exude powerful emotions. While she speaks clearly to her own culture, she is also addressing womankind far beyond it. Her commanding protagonists are by turns also absolutely still and animated by tension in their fluid geometry. This is accentuated by her use of strong blues, reds, browns, and greens. This is especially true of her works in which children and giving birth sit at very heart of her narrative,” wrote Findlay.

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Posted by on Jul 26 2012. Filed under Arts & Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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