Acquired through the George and Mary Rockwell Fund
Uurintuya Dagvasambuu was trained in Mongol Zurag, a local tradition of Buddhist painting, which she(…)
Uurintuya Dagvasambuu was trained in Mongol Zurag, a local tradition of Buddhist painting, which she uses to depict contemporary life in her post-nomadic homeland. Artists working in this traditional mode are reasserting Mongol cultural identity that had been suppressed prior to 1990 under the Soviet-influenced People’s Republic of Mongolia.Here a vertical column of tangled bodies dominates the landscape, parachuting down from the clouds and disrupting the flock of sheep tended by a herder. The remnants of the parachute fall to the ground and some of the bodies are caught up in net-like shreds. Due to desertification resulting from climate change, traditional herding is becoming less and less viable. Economic and political changes have led to mass migration to Mongolia’s capital and urban center Ulaanbataar, where nearly half of the population, including the artist, now lives. These changes have upended centuries of nomadic tradition, as represented here in the collision of bodies and sheep. In a relatively short period of time, people who were accustomed to living across vast stretches of grassland are now crowded into high rise apartments. Through the strong contrast between idyllic herder with horizontal line of sheep and the vertical throng of humans, the artist calls attention to the struggles and disorientation resulting from rapid urbanization and its concomitant social, infrastructural, and environmental problems.