Hibernating Tattoos Guarding the Sweat of the Sun

13 Jul — 27 Aug 2017 at the Richard Taittinger Gallery in New York, United States

17 JULY 2017
Hibernating Tattoos Guarding the Sweat of the Sun. Courtesy of Richard Taittinger Gallery
Hibernating Tattoos Guarding the Sweat of the Sun. Courtesy of Richard Taittinger Gallery

Richard Taittinger Gallery is honored to present "Hibernating Tattoos Guarding the Sweat of the Sun," the first major solo exhibition in the United States of Mongolian artist, Tuguldur Yondonjamts.

With recent group exhibitions at the Sculpture Center, New York and Para Site, Hong Kong, and an upcoming show at the Drawing Center, New York, Yondonjamts’ multi-disciplinary works are reaching new grounds. While most recognized for his works on paper, his practice has expanded into the arena of performative, sculptural, and video art.

Yondonjamts studied traditional Mongolian and Tibetan Buddhist Thanka painting in Ulaanbaatar, as well as Fine Arts in Berlin and New York. He adapts this praxis in tandem with Asianic materials for drawing, such as the resin, dragon’s blood. His work is a visual manipulation of his classical training against his research-based art practice. For him, the process of his scientific and mystical studies is as important as the artistic output. He presents both real, imagined, and interpreted landscapes, tracing the coexistence between the tamed and untamed world.

The exhibition title, Hibernating Tattoos Guarding the Sweat of the Sun, is pulled from a specific installation of drawings made by the artist. These are a series of scrolls, which reference myths and descriptors of fossils found in the Gobi Desert. The drawings are a visual result of both imaginary and gathered information captured in different grid systems derived from archeological sites in the Altai Region.

He is extremely influenced by the complex social history of the country, in addition to its natural environment. The work can be understood as a series of journeys, not unlike the historically nomadic people of Central Asia. A critical work in this exhibition presents the artist’s documented mock pilgrimage to find a fabled crocodile fossil (Tsagaanosuchus) in the Gobi. This is a triangulated work shown in the form of a film, installation, and drawings. At the base of the film is a subsumed crocodile as-sleeping-bag, which the artist slept in on his expedition. The dreams he had dictated later drawings, which are also exhibited, in addition to the solar panels Yondonjamts used amid his more rural investigations.

Patterns of reptiles and snakeskins are interwoven throughout the artist’s body of work. References of archeology, chess games, mythologies, and languages are other modes to which he culls his findings. These common placeholders are but a few threads that exemplify and reflect his studies on the discoveries, innovations of human history, and the development of Mongolia.