at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia
A Journey Through Vulnerability
The fourth appearance of Mongolia at La Biennale di Venezia features Munkhtsetseg Jalkhaajav (Mugi), one of the foremost figures of contemporary art in Mongolia. During her long-distinguished career, Mugi (b.1967) has significantly contributed to the growth of Mongolian contemporary art and has exhibited locally and internationally in the USA, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Mugi’s artistic practice incorporates sculptures, paintings, videos and performances, and explores the notion of pain, fear, healing and rebirth. Mainly reflecting her personal experiences, Mugi investigates the complexities of female bodies, minds and souls, and the connection with one-self and nature, capturing the tensions between different realms. Seemingly fictional, yet grounded, her unique works embody invisible forces, such as spirits and myths and tell sensible stories of women, unborn children, and the sorrowful fates of animals.
Inspired by Mongolian traditional healing methods and spiritual therapy, the process of her artistic creation is deeply intuitive and ritual-like. Through embodiments of the subject matter that evoke strong sentiments and juxtapositions of symbolic elements used for healing and protection, she meditatively examines the nature of her own anxiety and the process of its healing. Her ways of tearing, cutting, collating and stitching imply pain, anxiety, fear, hope and patience and creates a specific language that allows Mugi to articulate and manifest her inner feelings and visions. In her works, birds represent the pulse of life, pregnancy, healing and protection, whereas female bodies represent her constant search for inner strength. The concept of reincarnation is the foremost interest of her artistic journey
A Journey Through Vulnerability, presents a series of installations, including soft sculptures, collages and video pieces, created by the artist during the last 15 years. The works are spread across 3 different rooms entitled: “Miscarriage”, “Dream of Gazelle” and “Pulse of Life” and narrate the stories of women and animals, offering the viewer a journey through the intimate, fragile, yet powerful world of Mugi.
The exhibition is curated by Gantuya Badamgarav, art patron and founding director of the Mongolian Contemporary Art Support Association. She initiated and organized Mongolia’s first ever participation at La Biennale di Venezia in 2015 in addition to organizing two subsequent editions and curating the Mongolia Pavilion in 2019. In 2022, Gantuya was invited by the Ministry of Culture of Mongolia to curate again the fourth edition, following a landmark decision made by the Government of Mongolia to henceforth ensure the continued participation of Mongolia at La Biennale di Venezia.
Commissioner: Nomin Chinbat, Minister of Culture of Mongolia Exhibitor: Munkhtsetseg Jalkhaajav
Curator: Gantuya Badamgarav
Organizer: Mongolian Contemporary Art Support Association
Supporters: Ministry of Culture of Mongolia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Swiss Agency for International Development and others
Partner in Venice: PDG Arte Communications
Opening hours: Apr 23 to Nov 27, 2022, 10am - 7pm. Closed on Mondays (except Monday 25 April, 30 May, 27 June, 25 July, 15 August, 5 September, 19 September, 31 October, 21 November). Address: Calle S. Biasio, Castello 2131, 30122 Venezia