MONGOLIAN CONTEMPORARY ART SUPPORT ASSOCIATION – MCASA is a non-government organization established in 2012 with the aim to support and promote contemporary art in Mongolia. The Association implements strategically important projects to improve the competitive capacity of Mongolian artists at domestic and international platforms, through involving them in various exhibitions and artistic collaborative projects and works to raise public awareness on social, environmental and political issues through art.

Having started with little funding and only a few staff, the association has been working ambitiously to fulfill its aim, utilizing limited sources and bringing together people and organizations, who shared their enthusiasm for the support of contemporary art in Mongolia. Over the last years, MCASA was able to collaborate with the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ulaanbaatar City Government, Mongolian embassies abroad, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Embassy of the United States in Ulaanbaatar, Goethe Institute, IFA (Germany), the Getty Foundation, the Prince Claus Fund, the Pinault Foundation, Asia Culture Center (South Korea), Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, the Global Art Affairs Foundation, the Asia Europe Foundation and various other organizations, implementing fascinating projects.

MCASA organized Mongolia’s participation at the Venice Biennale in 2015, 2017 and 2019 and has collaborated with Documenta 14, Germany (2017), Asia Pacific Triennial Australia (2015, 2019), Yinchuan Biennale, China (2018), Busan Biennale See Festival, South Korea (2019) and Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2020) to involve Mongolian artists for the first time at these highly regarded exhibitions.

In collaboration with 976 Art Gallery, MCASA organized over 90 exhibitions, performance shows and public discussions, becoming an “art incubator” like space for both artists and the audience; offering different artistic expressions to the public, making fundamental contributions to the city life. Art for Public Awareness series have become signature projects, each time attracting over 3,000 visitors and reaching over 300,000 people through various media channels. In 2020, MCASA in collaboration with 976 Art Gallery, launched the Red Corner project to create artistic neighborhoods and organize contemporary art events in the Ger districts of Ulaanbaatar city, where the majority of rural-urban migrants live.

Through the activities and efforts of MCASA, in 9 years, over 70 artists, journalists and art managers were able to receive small to large size grants.

The founder of MCASA, Gantuya Badamgarav is a Fulbright alumnus and holds an MA in Economics from Williams College, Massachusetts, USA. She was the first-ever Commissioner of Mongolia at the Venice Art Biennale (2015), Project Director in 2017 and Artistic Curator in 2019. She was invited to the 8th World Summit for Arts and Culture in Malta 2016, Culture Summit Abu Dhabi 2018 and GAAB World Summit Warsaw 2019, to speak about her experience of supporting contemporary art during the time of budget deficits with lack of support from the government. She is one of the authors of Daybook, published by Documenta 14 and the official catalogue of the 58th Venice Art Biennale.

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