Since the political and economic transition of the 1990s, the country has gone through many changes quickly, and there are many more ahead. Its cultural community seeks new and different ways to preserve and sustain arts and culture in Mongolia ‘s new economy.
The Government directed the Education, Culture and Science Minister to approve a “Master Plan for the Development of Mongolia’s Culture and Art” with a view to define policy guidelines for the next ten years. /2003 2013/.
The literacy. Mongolia is the one of the oriental countries with an ancient and unique culture. The Mongolian script created by Mongols is one of the six most recognized alphabets used in the contemporary world. The earliest monument, which scientists call “Chinggis’ stone inscription”, was created in 1225. It was dedicated to Esunkhui- hero, who managed to shoot all targets from a distance of 500 meters during the archers’ competition when Chinggis Khaan celebrated his victory over the Sartuul tribes.
In 1204 by the order of Chinggis Khaan, the Mongolian script had a state status and the 800th anniversary of this event will be celebrated in Mongolia next year.
The Mongols developed their alphabet many centuries ago, but because of their nomadic way of life and continued wars and campaigns, very few ancient literary monuments have actually survived.
All the best works of history, culture, philosophy and literature, written in Mongolian, are kept in Mongolian Central Library with great care. From the 1990s, the renaissance of Mongolian script began by teaching it in all secondary schools. As a result, nearly half of all Mongols now write and read in traditional script. It should be noted that the State Ikh Khural approved the Law on State Official Language.
After the revolution of 1921, the Mongolian script was used in the MPR until 1941, when a new Cyrillic alphabet was adopted. This helped to almost totally eradicate illiteracy by the end of the 1950s. The new Mongolian script has 35 letters.
Books and Book Printing. From the ancient times, Mongols have a reverence for books and considered them as one of the three holy things. Besides, the history shows that nomadic Mongolia itself was respected for being as one of the three highly educated Oriental states. As for books, except for the famous “The secret history of the Mongols” with 760 years of history, no earlier precedent has been found. Historical facts proved that the Mongols 2500 years ago knew not only a script but also the art of producing books. For example, in the State Central library we can see a book written on tree bark from this period.
Readers at the Central library also have the opportunity of acquainting themselves with “Ganjuur” and “Danjuur”, extremely rare Tibetan books of the 11th century. They set forth the fundamentals of ancient Indian sciences, philosophy, medicine, art, logic, grammar and astronomy. It proves that books were printed in Mongolia a thousand years ago. “Ganjuur” was printed by the xylographic method in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Mongolian. Mongolian translation of Ganjuur (109 volumes) and Danjuur (226 volumes) contains the fundamentals of ancient Indian five sciences.
Another book is the sacred sutra “Sunduin jud”, created at the beginning of the 20th century by well-known jeweler Dagva and others. Each of the 111 pages of the book is a thin silver plate, and the letters are engraved and covered with gold. The title page bears a relief representation of Buddhist gods embellished with coral and pearl. Totally, 52 kilograms of gold and 400 kilograms of silver were used for the creation of the sacred sutra. In fact, it is an art of application of “nine precious”-gold, steel, silver, pearl, coral, turquoise, azurite, mother-of-pearl, copper, all ground to powder – in making books.
Since the era of printing books by modern methods, about 9 million books of 800 kinds have been issued per year, which meant 7-10 books per person.
By the 1990s, more than 1000 libraries and reading halls with 14 million books operated nationwide.
The Literature. Mongolian nation has a great cultural heritage of oral and written literature. Since the earliest times the best of it was used widely when educating and bringing up children and this is the reason that folklore is still known to all Mongolians. It takes the forms of tales, legends, proverbs, wise sayings, teaching, riddles, verses, poetic repartees, heroic epics and odes.
Since it is an oral form, all of them would be narrated or sung to the accompaniment of such national stringed instruments as Morin khuur (Horse head fiddle).
“The Secret History of Mongols” is a unique form of folklore – a combination of prose and poetry.
Works that explicitly continue the spirit and style of the Secret History include such notable monuments of the Mongolian prose and poetry of the 13th century as “The Story of Chinggis Khaan’s Two Steeds”, “The Legend of Argasun, the Rhapsode”, “The Wise Discourse of an Orphan Boy with Chinggis Khaan’s Nine Warlords” etc.,
The largest form in native literary expression is the epic (tuuli), which originated many centuries ago. There are many Mongolian famous epics such as Geser, Jangar, and Khaan Kharangui.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, translated books on religion, history and literature dominated. Through these and other efforts, the spiritual life of Mongols was enriched by the ancient Indian poetry of Kalidasa, the poetical theory of Dandina, and the philosophical treaties of Nagarjuna. Thus, the literature of Mongols developed as an entirely independent phenomenon in the process of continuous interaction with world literature, above all the literature of the Asian region: Indian, Chinese and Tibetan.
In the later half of the 19th century, a new stage in the Mongolian written literature found expression in the works of the poets D.Ravjaa (1803-1856), V.Injinash (1837-1892), B.Gulrans (18201861), Gelegbalsan (1846-1923), and R.Khishigbat (1899-1916).
The history of contemporary Mongolian literature began in the 1920s and is represented by famous poets and writers such as D.Natsagdorj, Ts.Damdinsuren, B.Renchin, S.Buyannemekh, D.Tsevegmed, D.Namdag, Ch.Lodoidamba, B.Yavuukhulan, Ch.Chimed, L.Tudev and D.Purevdorj.
As statistics show, more than thousand works of 100 Mongolian writers were translated into 20 foreign languages and published in 9.5 million copies. The Law on the cultural policy of the State adopted by new democratic Parliament gave a great opportunity for development of the national culture in combination with achievements in the world cultural life.
Music, Songs and Dance
Mongolian traditional music composes a wide range of instruments and uses for the human voice found almost nowhere else. For instance, the Mongol Khuumii may be fascinating for foreigners. It is a musical, which can be delivered with a help of a guttural voice and specific way of breathing. One tone comes out as a whistle-like sound, the result of the locked breath in the chest being forced out through the throat in a specific way, while a lower tone sounds as a base. The style of khuumii can be distinguished, according to the direction of an air breathed out, from deep in the lungs.
The unique traditional singing style is known as Urtiin duu or long songs. It is one of the most ancient genres of Mongolian musical art, a professional classical art of the 13th century. Urtiin duu involves extraordinarily complicated, drawn-out vocal sounds. It has philosophical style, evocative of vast, wide spaces and it demands great skill and talent from the singers in their breathing abilities and guttural singing techniques.
Mongolian long songs could be classified into “lesser long songs”, “long songs” and “majestic long songs”.
Urtiin duu sounds relate traditional stories about the beauty of the native land, and daily life, to which Mongolians offer the best of their wishes in such popular long songs as ” Cool Beautiful Mountains “, “Sun of melodious universe” and “Four seasons”.
It is difficult to find a person in Mongolia , who does not know N.Norovbanzad, People’s Actress ofthe country and State Prize winner. Her voice sounds full and clear. The solemn free-flowing melody calls to mind the boundless steppes, meadow flowers, majestic Khangai and Altai mountain ridges, bright green forests and the fathomless blue sky of Mongolia . She toured many countries, cities and participated in national and international contests, popularizing the wonders of Mongolian Long song.
In some traditional music, the small and large drums (damar) are used. The main instruments, played alone or accompanying singers, are the horse head fiddle (marin khuur), several kinds of lute (tavshuur), a trumpet (buree), three kinds of flute (bishguur, tsuur, limbe), three- and four-stringed instruments (shanz, khuuchir) and others.
The songs and dances of Mongolian, especially of the Buriat and Durvud ethnic groups, which are performed with accompaniment of morin khuur and tovshuur, are highly distinctive. While dancing “Biyelgee” dance, particular in the western Mongolia , people perform it principally using the upper part of their bodies to express their identity in such respects as sex, tribe, or ethnic group. Originally, this dance was performed at festivals in herders’ tents, in ceremonies by local dignitaries and in monasteries.
The ancient religious mask dance “Tsam” is one of the most significant religious rituals reflecting Buddhist teaching through correct images and essence. The custom to celebrate Tsam was introduced into Mongolia in the 16th century from Tibet . In Mongolia Tsam was enriched with elements of witchcraft and the pagan traditions of the nomads. The Mongolian Tsam costumes and masks, as well as stage sets, differ considerably from those used in other Buddhist countries. They contrast sharply in color in accordance with local tastes; Mongolian masks were in bold primary colors – red, black, yellow, white and blue – and therefore looked more expressive. In the present day, Tsam has become one of the elements of Mongolian cultural life.
Dances imitating the gait of a horse, such as the Jonon Khar and Jamal Khar are in general very popular among the Western Mongols – the Durvuds, the Bayads, the Torguuds, the Khotons and the Zakhchins. Each nationality, however, performs them in its own way. The ability to dance without using one’s feet at all is the highest achievement in the art.
Another popular Mongolian dance is performed with cups. While dancing, people balance cups full of water on their heads without spilling a single drop. The dance varies on whether the cups are balanced on the head, on the hand or on the knees.
Each dance is distinguished by extraordinary flexibility, composition, and color. In comparing the dances, it would be well to recall that the traditional manner of performing
“Biyelgee” and other dances came from generation to generation reaching us, albeit, in a somewhat modified form.
Modern music. The state Philharmonic was established on June 5, 1957 . It was the most important event in the spiritual life of the Mongols. Over 40 years the Philharmonic has played many works by famous western, as well as Mongolian composers. Its proudest monument was the playing of Beethoven’s ninth Symphony, conducted by Ts.Namsraijav in 1980, which showed the outstanding professional level that Mongolian musicians had attained.
It is unthinkable to imagine modern Mongolian music without State Prizewinners L.Murdorj, Gonchigsumlaa, Birvaa, D.Luvsansharav, B.Damdinsuren, N.Jantsannorov and the famous I composer B.Sharav. The premiere of a new opera production named after the great Mongolian Khaan “Chinggis” by B.Sharav took place at the State Opera and Ballet Theatre on the occasion of the 840th anniversary of the Khaan’s birthday on May 3,2003 .
Rock and pop music The popular music groups such as “Kharanga”, “Khurd”, “Chinggis Khaan”, “Camerton”, “Nomin Talst”, “Freezone”, “Ice Top”, “Mr. Dogs”, “Digital”, girl bands “Emotion”, “Uruuliin budag” (Lipstick), pop female singers T.Ariunaa, B.Sarantuya, Serchmaa, Nomin and Minjee, male singers Dashka, and Chinbat, in the show business since the 1990s are widely accepted by Mongolian youth.
Camerton are the leader of Mongolian bands and singers. The group, which has eight albums and seven concerts under their belts, sings in a number of different styles, ranging from acapella to funk and pop. Camerton’s “Don’t I think About You” has been included in the Asian All Stars’ CD, named “Love is The Answer”.
Also among Mongolian singers, B.Sarantuya became “The Singer ofthe Century”, and T.Ariunaa was appointed as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador in Mongolia two years ago.
In recent years, Mongols have enjoyed performances in UIaanbaatar of such foreign groups and singers as Chris Norman, Pupo, formerly known as Enzo Ginazzi, DJ.Bobo, well- known Swiss 21- member music and dance group, Bad Boys Blue, and Boney M, as well as Russian pop stars Alsou Saphina, Philipe Kirkorov, Andrei Gubin, and Ivanushki International. Mongols become familiar with Hollywood Stars such as Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Steven Seagal during their visit to our country.
Music education and contemporary arts skills in Mongolia are managed by the Ulaanbaatar University of the Culture and Arts, Music and Dance college, Music Hall, Cinematographic Institute, and the Bers Institute. Many singers and musicians, who studied abroad, in Russia , Italy , and Bulgaria came back with refined skills and increased knowledge.
Drama. The history of’ the Mongolian Yuan Empire shows that during Khubilai Khaan’s times about 412 performers, singers and dancers would give a splendid show. In the 1517’h centuries, specific performances with dancing, singing in turns and playing roles were widespread in many parts of Mongolia .
The Lord of Gobi, Danzanravjaa, first established a theater by the end of the 19th century and staged his “Saran Khukhuu” (The Lunar Cuckoo) play.
The foundation of contemporary theater was established in the 1920s when youth organizations founded artistic groups and began their work by staging several plays based on the folk stories – “The stories of Sengee”, “The lord Sumya” and others.
The Mongolian government in 1931 took the decision to found the State Central theater under the “Bumbugur” name. In the 1940s, the theater’s performers were lifted into orchestra, chorus and dancers’ groups, and the institution was reorganized as the Musical Drama theater. Later in 1948, the Puppet show, in 1940 the Circus, the Khovd, Bayan-Ulgii and Dornod aimags’ thei!ters, in 1963 the Academic theater of Drama and Ballet grew ITom it respectively. Since then, for over 40 years the theater successfully produced national and classic opera and ballet for the public. For instance, “Evgeny Onegin”, “Iolanta”, “Queen of Spades” by Chaikovsky, “Choi-chio san”, Toska”, “Turandot”, “Trubadore”, “Othello” by Puchinni; “Prince Igor” by Borodin; “Carmen” by Bizet; “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “The magic flute” by Mozart and more than 30 ballets like “The Nutcracker”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan lake” by Chaikovsky; “Flame of Paris”, “Fountain of Bakhchisaray” by Asaffiev; “Don Quixote” by Myncus, and “Spartac” by Khachiturian and many others are on stage.
The Dramatic theater has been successfully staging both Mongolian and foreign famous writers’ plays like Lopper de Vega, Sheller, Shakespeare, Chekhov and others. In general, most of the theaters are taking part in international competitions and visiting other countries with performances.
The Circus The National Circus of Mongolia was established on July 10, 1940 . Since then it has become one of the most prosperous organizations in the Mongolian cultural world, and for many artists it has been the start of their career.
In the past 40 years, Mongolian circus troupes have been performing in different countries introducing Mongolian circus to the world, as welt as taking part in international competitions where they have won gold, silver, and bronze medals.
Circus fans in many foreign countries are familiar with Mongolian contortionists – B.Norovsambuu, _D.Majigsuren, L.Enkhtsetseg, J.Erdenechimeg, Ya.Oyunchimeg and others.
B.Norovsambuu is a star of Mongolian plastic acrobatics. In the history of Mongolian circus, the pride of place belongs to her as the initiator of a peculiar kind of acrobatics – a twin plastic etude.
Mongolian contortionist sisters Ya.Erdenetuya and Ya.Oyunchimeg won the Monte Carlo “Silver Clown” award in 1986. In addition to such accomplishments, the National Circus troupe is well known for its jumping acrobats and performances using heavy weights.
There are seven main types of performances: acrobatics, gymnastics, juggling, tightrope walking, animal acts, clowns and magic tricks.
Some of the countries where the Circus has visited are the USA , Austria , Switzerland , Japan , Germany , Holland , Italy , France , Norway , Great Britain , Korea , Russia and China , and the cooperation with the international circus artists has been expanding.
Cinema Cinema, the miracle of the 20th century, came to Mongolia in 1910. The first movies were shown in the capital city, at the American Consulate and Russian Stock Exchange’s hotel. In 1913, the Sain Noyon Khan Namnansuren (Prime Minister of Mongolia in 1911) is known to have brought some films from Russia to show at the residence of the Bogd Khaan. After the revolution of 1921, films and films equipment were purchased, and students trained in Russia .
Thus, Mongolian people acquired access to cinema, called then “Shadow show”. It was free of charge until the first cinema theater “Ard” was built in the 1930. In 1935, under the decision of the Council of Ministers, a movie production company “Mongol kino” was set up with Soviet assistance.
The first production of the Mongol kino was a documentary film “The celebration of the 1st of May”. In 1936, the first feature film “Son of Mongolia” was created with the technical assistance of Soviet’s “Lenfilm” studio.
Mongolia ’s the first movie directors, cameramen, editors and other personnel were trained in famous “All Unions’ State Cinema Institute” in Moscow .
In 1938 Mongols independently made “Norjmaa’s way” and “Herd of Wolves” in 1939.
During World War II, Mongolian and Soviet cinematographers worked on few of joint production with patriotic themes, particularly “His name is Sukhbaatar” (1942),”Tsogt Taij” (Prince Tsogt) (1945). In this process Mongolian directors and camera operators M.Luvsanjamts, DJigjid, B.Demberel, artists Ts.Tsegmed, E.Gombosuren, B.Mijiddorj and Ch.Dolgorsuren and others became more mature professionally. Movies directed by the famous Mongolian first professional movie director R.Dorjpalam, such as “Golden ger H – first j oint production with Germans – “Oh, those women”, “I wish I had a horse” have become classics of Mongolian cinema. The screen version of the novel by Ch.Lodoidamba “The Clearwater of the Tamir (1970-1973) brought Dorjpalam a tremendous popularity.
Film directors like H.Damdin, Ts.Navaan, B.Baljinnyam have made their own unique contribution to further development of the cinema.
Documentaries about the beautiful nature and wildlife of the country by O. Urtnasan have provided a new element in Mongolian cinematography.
There are 27 functioning cinema theaters with 300-1200 seats and many other video clubs in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar , aimags and cities.
The children’s cinema studio established in 1990 has become a theater of Children and Youth and a Cinema Institute, and they have made on the stage and screen much of their creative work so far. It should be said that the creative artists of the children’s cinema studios have successfully presented their masterpieces at the cinema festivals in Hawaii , Irelands , Fukuoko, Calcutta , Hong Kong , Moscow , Estonia , Berlin , Frankfurt , Brussels , Cairo and Rome . Before the 1990s, about 7-9 feature films were being produced a year. However, Mongolia ‘s film industry has suffered from financial constraints, and competition from western products, which are shown in the numerous CaTV that have been opened in recent years in Ulaanbaatar and other cities. A few private film-makers have successfully adopted new techniques to appeal to younger audiences.
Foreign relations with similar companies have expanded also. Joint productions of both documentary and feature films with French, Japanese, Chinese and Mongolian producers have successfully participated in various international film festivals. Based on the government policy to develop documentary movies, every month 2 series of documentary movies titled “Wheel of History” is produced and becomes an archive document.
Museums Until the beginning of the 20th century nomadic Mongolia did not have any museums as such. All the beauty of the country was open for both Mongols and foreigners.
In 1924, the National Museum of Mongolian History was founded. It contains some of the oldest collections in the country. There are more than 40.000 archeological, historical, and ethnographic objects. Its ten galleries show Mongolian history and culture from the dawn of humanity to present days. The rare esteemed items on display include the remains from the Hun state period (the first Mongolian state) of 3rd century B.C to 1st A.D. There are also intriguing signs of human remnants from the early Stone and Bronze Ages.
The Museum of Natural History was founded in 1966. It houses large collection of Mongolia ‘s natural history, culture and minerals exhibits. The museum covers five areas: geology, zoology, botany, anthropology and paleontology. The last section contains the skeletons, fossils and eggs of giant dinosaurs that roamed the present territory of Mongolia some 70 million years ago, and is very attractive for every visitor. The largest dinosaur skeleton on show is 5 meters tall and 12 meters long. The museum is undergoing expansion and will cover the natural history of the whole world.
The fine art museum in Ulaanbaatar is named in honor of the first Mongolian Buddhist leader Zanabazar. It was opened in 1966 and shows Mongolian art work from the Paleolithic Age to the early 20th century. Three types of prehistoric rock carvings and paintings can be seen: The Paleolithic (40.000120.000 ago), Neolithic (8.000-4.000 ago) and Bronze Age (4000-1000 B. C.)
The displayed museum artwork proceeds right into the 13 th century and exhibits the supercilious portraits of the Great Mongolian Khaans: Chinggis, Uguudei and Khubilai. Zanabazar’s masterpiece: the White Tara (Sita) and Green Tara (Syama) depicting the spirit of God expressed in the beauty of women. Thanka, the portable icon painting, is done in colors obtained from minerals and precious stones, is a graphic art piece. Silk paintings are yet another popular attraction to art lovers.
The Bogd Khaan Museum , originally the winter Palace of the last ruler of pre-revolutionary Mongolia , Bogd Javzandamba Agvaanluvsan 8th, was built in the area of the Temple of Mercy , between 1893-1903. Bogd Khaan was born in 1869 in the family of a Dalai Lama’s vice-dignitary in a palace called “shodda”.
Bogd Khaan was only five years old when he was proclaimed as a supreme religious leader of Mongolia . He died in 1924. The museum consists of two ensembles: the temple and monasteries and the winter palace. Inside the palace, there is the Khaan’s ornate ger covered with snow leopard skins. The main gate was made without a single nail.
The center of Mongolian Buddhism and largest functioning monastery Gandantegchilen- was built in 1810 onwards, partly destroyed in the 193 Os and partly reconstructed in the 1990s.
Here one of the largest standing Buddhism Gods in Central and East Asia, a gild image of Megjid Janraiseg (Buddha of Compassion and Mercy), is situated. This was initially built in 1911 as a sign of Independence of Mongolia by the decree of Bogd Khaan. But it was destroyed by the communists in 1937. This image of Janraiseg was newly made in 1996 and considered to be of better quality than the previous one.
Founded in 1989, the Mongolian National Art gallery has an impressive collection of paintings representing modem art and traditional fine arts. More than 6,000 exhibits in the Gallery include paintings, sculptures, appliqué and embroidery made both in modem and in classical Mongolian techniques.
In the 1980s, the Theatrical museum was founded as a devotion to the history of Mongolian theater. There are rare photos of actors and actresses and a wonderful collection of puppets.
At the end of the 20th century, the Museum of the people subjected to repression in 1930-1939 was opened.
All aimags have own historical and natural museums. Today there are 47 museums nationwide.
Painting Historical and cultural monuments being preserved on and under the ground of the Central Asia is the mirror of the wisdom and rich cultural heritage of Mongolian ancestors. The rock and cave pictures, found in territories of Dundgobi, Uvurkhangai and Khovd aimags, indicated that this art was flourishing in Mongolia at the end of the Bronze and in the beginning of the Iron Ages. The paintings of 13 and 14 centuries reflected mainly the nomads’ life style, wars, and nature. In addition, the art of portraiture began to flourish. The evidence of it is Chinggis Khaan’s portrait drawn in 1278 under the order of Khubilai Khaan – is still kept in Taipei .
Beginning in the 15th century, the religion, especially the yellow Lamaism, began to dominate the art of painting. Later it developed into a fine art form.
Since that time, Mongolian painting began developing in two major directions: iconography and genre painting, depicting simple life and the people around.
B.Sharav (1869-1939) is the painter who linked the old with the new in his art. The Mongolian way of life was depicted in his outstanding work “One day of Mongolia ” and various portraits.
A new social system, which was founded upon the victory of Revolution in 1921, was focused on art works. All of them were dedicated to publicizing the new system. Mongolian artists became acquainted with European paintings and began using both Mongolian and Western drawing methods. In order to develop Mongolian art systematically, specialized artists were trained and their agencies were established in the country.
In 1950s, many genres of fine art, carpet and porcelain production were introduced and developed. During this period a number of artists and architects , became famous for their thematic work, namely, painter O. Tsevegjav for animals, U.Yadamsuren for workers, N.Chultem and G.Odon for history and everyday life, L.Gavaa for nature, architect S.Choimbol for monuments, etc. In 1960s, there was a great change in the tradition of art: artists began refusing to use linear perspectives, harmonization of colours and colour endowment in every respect, and began to use other techniques of painting. Themes and content expanded as well.
Art works, which represent today’s painting techniques, are: U.Yadamsuren’s “The Old Horsefiddler”, A.Sengetsokhio’s “The Mongol Lady”, B.Avarzed’s “Uurgach”, Ts. Minjuur’s “Caravan Guide”.
The painters L.Gavaa, O.Tsevegjav, and Ts.Dorjpalam are famous not only at home, but also abroad. They’made great contributions to the creation of new art based on tradition and trained several generations of gifted painters. At present, new and different artistic trends are emerging, and such creative young painters as S.Sarantsatsralt, Do. Bold, J.Munkhtsetseg and D.Tengisbold are developing the modem art.
Sculpture Deer carvings in rock constitute the historical monuments of ancient times. Thousand of these rocks are evidence of the development and wealth of sculpture in ancient Mongolia .
At the Tureg Age – 6-8 centuries the richest collection of stone sculptures was created. Now more than 500 of them can be found in the Altai and Khangai mountains. Undur Gegeen Zanabazar of Khalkh, the prominent religious figure and glorious sculptor of the 17th century, created 2 tara (consort of Buddha), which show the beauty of Mongolian women. Zanabazar laid the foundation for the depiction and praise of the human beauty in Mongolian sculpture.
Important achievements of modem Mongolian sculpture include S.Choimbol’s (1907-1970) monument to Sukhbaatar, leader of People’s Revolution in Mongolia , located in the central square of Ulaanbaatar .
Since 1931, when a monument of D.Sukhbaatar was first built in Ulaanbaatar , Mongolia has built over 80 monuments.
Before the 1990s during the period of socialism, many monuments were built to commemorate and, show respect to famous state leaders, workers and herders.
Portrait monuments in particular, dominated, as seen by the monuments of Lenin, Stalin, Choibalsan, Jukov, Natsagdorj and Sukhbaatar.
However, during the past 10 years free style monuments dedicated to the images of the city have been more and more popular among sculptors. The most recent monument was built in front of the Bayangol hotel by sculptor B.Hiimori.
Crafts Mongolian nomads’ home, clothes, weapons, and living conditions are impossible to imagine without crafts and embroidery. A unique art has developed from the common things used in the everyday life of nomads over thousands of years. The beginning of the decorative art was cave painting. The Bronze Age developed molten metal, and zoo form art. Fortune telling conglomerations of animal figures and animal body parts characterized the art of the Hun and Bronze Age’s people.
They also had the crafts ability to make embroidery, appliqué, and stitched felt art. As Hun goldsmith technology developed rapidly, they also developed pottery art; especially creating vases by the returning method with lock up mechanism or by hand. Among the Uhuani, the leaders were their expert artisans: they were able to make bows and arrows, weapons, embroidery, woven items and processed leather. At the Tureg Age, people created silver plates, golden jugs with floral motifs, crooked and straight-line figures. The Uigur made gold earrings, horses’ bits for the first time decorated by continuous ornament, and vases. During Chinggis’ time, traditional craft and embroidery art were enriched with foreign arts. The 19th – 20th centuries made up an energetic period of development of craft and decoration. After having gained the independence from China and the Manchurians in 1911, Mongolians decided to renew the old monasteries and stations. In this time painting, sculpture, embroidery, felt art, book and Buddha printing from plates, bone, wood, and fossil amber craftwork developed powerfully. In the 20th century, starting intensively in the 1930s, craft art almost separated from herding life style and became an independent section of Mongolian art.
There are 7000 different kinds of Mongolian patterns. The most ancient of them include “Sulden (emblem) khee”, the next one is” Galan (fire) khee”, and it is a very important pattern because all Mongolians honor Fire. The patterns symbolize the view of the masses and their wishes and aims. It has become a good tradition that the Mongolian Government purchases the best artistic works to enrich the Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery ‘s fund.Coming soon…