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Otgonbayar’s “Thangkas” popular in Berlin

By B.KHASH-ERDENE

Today, the UB Post would like to show some of the works by a very talented Mongolia artist, Otgonbayar Ershuu.
Otgonbayar Ershuu is the first Mongolian artist to open a gallery outside of Mongolia.The Gallery ZURAG was founded in 2010 in the middle of Berlin, one of the world’s most vibrant art capitals.
Born in 1981, Ershuu is one of seven children. His talent was discovered early and by the age of 15 he had his first solo exhibition.
In 1996 he was awarded the gold medal “Knowledge” by the culture palace of Mongolian Children institution in Ulaanbaatar. He studied traditional Mongolian Painting in Ulaanbaatar in 1998 and in 2004 he was awarded “Best Mongolian National Talent” by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of Mongolia.
Ershuu has been living in Berlin since 2005. From 2007 to 2010 he studied at the Institute for Art in Context at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Berlin University of the Arts. He graduated with a Masters of Arts degree in 2010. Otgonbayar Ershuu has been exhibiting his work at international exhibitions in Japan, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, India, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany and Mongolia.
One of “Otgo’s” unique characteristics is to paint his depictions directly on the canvas thereby evading the process of sketching. After considering that some his pictures are only slightly bigger than a slide, one can perceive clearly how detailed, precise and perfect he painter has to work in order to create such a picture. Otgo has created 600 Thangkas, the majority of which were created in a single attempt. Each streak can only be commenced once and it is impossible to correct a mistake. States of utter concentration need to be maintained despite natural human needs or unpredictable distractions. Mongolian Thangka painting has been miniaturized according to the tradition of its country and even the iconography has been adapted to the diverse existing beliefs.
Remarkable is also his depiction of mostly erotic themes. One of the principles of Mongolian belief is the achievement of “unity of all” by overcoming all antagonisms perceptible in the world of reality. Emblematic of this, is the sexual union of man and woman, which bears the seed of a new life. It follows in considering this principal thought, that the eroticization of religious content of images becomes a natural and almost self-evident consequence. Otgo takes his topics and divine figures from traditional artistic depictions. His miniature gods are partially details of bigger paintings or pictorial interpretations of a sculpture.
During the production of his Thangkas, Otgonbayar Ershuu uses different primers. In order to obtain these it is necessary to pre-treat his canvases. The black primer is a mixture of carbon black, chalk, and vodka or milk liquor. He adds to this a mixture of pigments, minerals and plants. Finally the mixture is bound with glue extracted from yak hide and applied to both sides of the canvas. Even after ten years a “smelling test” regarding these small pictures will reveal the use of carbon black and alcohol to pre-treat the canvas and endows these miniature works of art with a mysterious and antique nature.
His works are breathtakingly precise and executed in the most delicate manner.All of his paintings are a testimony to his mastery of the brush and diligence and years of hard work required to master such skills.
Berlin Gallery owner, Uwe Ahnert stated in 2009 review of art, “Through his studies Ershuu has brought miniature painting to new heights. In modifying his position in regard to the picture the onlooker discovers the picture-in-picture composition as if looking through an artistically arranged prismatic telescope, which reveals detailed sceneries with completely independent meanings with every approaching step. This obfuscates the painting’s overall impression of the playful handling of colors and motifs and the peaceful coexistence of stencil-like precise, seemingly light and cheerful elements which may only be perceived from a distance. With each step towards the picture the onlooker discovers a new and diverse aspect of its interiority.”

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=687

Posted by on Aug 27 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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