Exhibition and its opening at Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Dugarsuren Batzorig (MGL), Ganbat Enkhjargal (MGL)), Sedbazar Ganzug (MGL), Aletta de Jong (NL), Chris van Mulligen (NL), Christine Saalfeld (GER/NL), Karin Suter (CH/NL), Togmidshiirev Enkhbold (MGN), Oula Salokannel & Annu Wilenius (FIN)
BARE HOUSE.Ulaanbaatar is part of an international exhibition and publication project that comments on the built environment, reflecting upon the past and present ideals of modern society through different traditions and experiences around the world.
The project focuses especially on architecture and the dimensions of personal existence with a core idea that as much as we design our environments, these environments design us - and as such we as well as our houses stand naked in the world. This is not a nakedness we should – or could – do away with, but which compels us to be more attentive and subtle with our surroundings.
The Bare House -project started from the base of another exhibition exchange project, Mongolia: Perception and Utopia, realised between 2005 and 2008 also in Mongolia and Finland. Whereas the first project focused on the merging of experiencing ‘real’ Mongolia and the ‘ideal’ images both the Mongolians and Westerners held about it, the current project - Bare House - focuses on the built environment and especially on the tensions created by the recent urbanisation processes. Mongolia – where nomadism and soviet city planning is changing with disorganized ger districts and staggering tower blocks – functions as a reference point and perspective in the project, alongside the post-industrial cities of Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Pori in Finland.
The exhibition project works on the idea of exchange and fusion of experiences in differing social and physical environments. These mixtures can be perceived for example In Christine Saalfeld’s works where felt objects and images suffuse Mongolian and European influence. Another mixture of this kind is Annu Wilenius’ video work combining a verbal description of her Finnish childhood environment with slides of Ulaanbaatar ger districts. The images and the story have their connection point s as well as differences. Yet another fusion is Salokannel & Wilenius’ Pavilion bringing together imageries of birch woods all the way from Finland and Russia to Mongolia and China.
The works contest not only the design and experience of different environments, but also the act of display and its environment.
Two works comment the museal display especially: Karin Suter creates a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ of her own from the Zanabazar museums collection and display furniture. During the exhibition T. Enkhbold will be exhibiting in Manchester Art museum’s Asia Triennial in the United Kingdom - living in his self-built ger in the museum hall for a week - and sending video documentation to participate in Bare house Ulaanbaatar.
In cooperation with Blue Sun Contemporary Art Center & Aalto University, Pori Department of Art and Media Supported by Arts Council Mongolia, House Company, Alfred Kordelin’s Foundation, Swedish Arts Council in Finland, Kone Foundation, Finnish Arts Council