Mongolia’s debut to take the first appearance of Mongolian contemporary art at the 56th International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia was initiated and organized by the Mongolian Contemporary Art Support Association (MCASA), chaired by Gantuya Badamgarav. The team structure and participants include B. Gantuya, Commissioner; Ts.Uranchimeg, Curator; Ch. Boldbaatar and David Ross as advisers and Scientific Committee members.
While Mongolian economy and business possibilities present as a promising potential for foreign investment especially in the mining sector, Mongolian art and culture remain almost unknown. Gantuya, who holds MA in Economics from Williams College, and has a solid background in business executive leadership, international project management, and nonprofit organizations, took a pioneering step to make a critical change. The change that is important not only for Mongolia but more so for the Western public in the opening of the world in the globalization era – after all, that is the main goal for international exhibitions with Venice taking the lead.
Gantuya took tremendous, if not impossible, courage in initiating and organizing a project with zero budget during the time of Mongolia’s economic downfall, unexpected change of the government in November 2014, and subsequent internal politics.
With the little support from the government and businesses at the time, MCASA first time launched an online crowd-sourcing campaign that aided the project with $820, which in the given situation was “better something than nothing.” The Indiegogo fundraiser, however, brought more than something: international awareness of the project, and its impossibly ambitious and pioneering goals. But this is the beauty in all pioneering endeavors, and the case of the success of Mongolia Pavilion by MCASA is another proof of how courage and unbroken management lead from zero to the ultimate success. The fundraising success was secured by MCASA last February aided by Mr. Bat-Uul, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar capital city and local private funders, and the final decision for the venue was made in discussion with the supporting international institutions and new partners, including the Dutch Global Art Affairs Foundation.
The project is also solidly backed up by former Whitney Museum director David A. Ross and the winner of the Golden Lion at the 2004 Venice Biennale, artist and musician Yoko Ono.
Currently, Mongolia Pavilion is planned to show two Mongolian artists–UnenEnkh and T.Enkhbold– at European Cultural Center at Palazzo Mora. Mongolia Pavilion also ventures to present a new performance art of its Nomadic Pavilion component as its additional feature in designated public spaces in the city of Venice.
Text by Curator Ch.Uranchimeg
Gantuya Badamgarav, Commissioner of Mongolia Pavilion, Founder of MCASA
Uranchimeg Tsultem, Curator of Mongolia Pavilion
David A. Ross, Adviser
Enkhbold Togmidshiirev, Artist
Dorjderem Davaa, Video Editor
Gantulga Jargalnasan, Graphic Designer, Camera Operator
Tsolmon Naidandorj, Camera Operator
Davaa Tsaschiher, Composer
Emma Ellis, Media Vanessa Soetanto, Media