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Editor's choiceJ. ANUNARAN’S SOLO EXHIBITION: IN BETWEEN FANTASY AND REALITY

J. ANUNARAN’S SOLO EXHIBITION: IN BETWEEN FANTASY AND REALITY

Child of God emanates ethereal tranquility. As birth and death demarcate the boundaries of earthly life, what happens before and after, or even in between, remains largely a mysterious phenomenon. In her tenth solo exhibition, artist J. Anunaran explores the vast topic through her innovative techniques and personally stylized approach to ancient Mongolian spiritual imagery in correlation with Tibetan Buddhist animal symbolism. Child of God represents hope, longing, rebirth, and the space of transition between material and non-material realms. It intimates the artist’s concept of beingness at the crossroads of dreamlike reality and mythical fantasy.

Protected, peaceful, and rich with symbolism, Anunaran’s view of the space between reality and beyond is a world of delicate, childlike enchantment with the mystical, dreamlike experiences of life.


Since the beginning of her career in 2011, Anunaran’s artworks have continuously evolved as she has come to place greater emphasis on the conventionally hidden, inconspicuous side of universal dualisms such as feminine and masculine, interior and exterior, subconscious and conscious, metaphysical and physical. Thus, for instance, in exhibitions Freewill (2015) and Metamorphosis (2016), she created artworks on the wrong side of brocade silk and print textiles to bring attention to the fabric’s inner beauty that is often left unnoticed in favor of the perfect exterior. In Crescendo (2017), a series of negative images with inverted colors printed on rice paper brought light to the dark parts of the image. This highlighted imperfections that make the totality unique. In Love (2019), she applied padded fabric onto the canvas creating soft, three-dimensional relief paintings that expressed loving kindness and tender care. Thereby, the artist emphasized the subtle and essential qualities of the feeling of love.

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The female body has long been a pivotal vehicle for the exploration of important issues and universal questions by women artists. The womb as a reference to the origin of life and the feminine condition is one of the central themes in Anunaran’s art. “For me, the womb represents safety and repose,” said the artist. “Maybe that is why one feels a sense of longing in my art because I often wonder what returning to the feeling of absolute protection would be like.”

The transcendental quality of peace and protection at this exhibition is not dissimilar to the gentle atmosphere one may experience in a meditation room or an infant’s nursery. In Child of God, the artist bravely but gently ventures forth in her investigations of the relationship between the known and the unknown worlds by exploring the boundaries between the body and other living beings. Protected, peaceful, and rich with symbolism, Anunaran’s view of the space between reality and beyond is a world of delicate, childlike enchantment with the mystical, dreamlike experiences of life.

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Anunaran collaborates with sound artists to create an immersive experience for viewers. For this exhibition, she worked with Inner Mongolian sound artist Ts. Bayandalai. His piece has the same title as the exhibition and creates a soothing, meditative ambiance, like the gentle waves of a placid ocean. “Through the sounds of Tibetan Buddhist musical instruments and the guitar, I wanted to convey the idea that the soul is boundless and therefore not limited by the physical body,” said Bayandalai. By letting the guitar speak of life unfolding in reality, and the Tibetan instrumental elements expressing the spheres beyond this life, he layered the motifs to create a harmonious coexistence of the two concepts.

As the solo exhibition at the eminent National Gallery of Modern Art opened on December 2nd, it was enlivened by a serene modern dance performance. The improvisation by dancers D. Enkhgerel and B. Norovbanzad presented a symbolic gift of presence from the public to the talented young artist. Connected to ancient Mongolian shamanic traditions, the dance invited the spirits to imbue the occasion with goodwill and cheer as visitors’ presence breathed life into the newly created objects of art. In other words, the artworks were spiritually handed over to the public.

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The exhibition attracts a great number of visitors. The secret of its success can be attributed to the unusual perspective of the artist on the image of the Mother – one of the key values in Mongolian culture and a figure of reverence in the eyes of the Mongolian viewership at large. Her exploration through ancient Mongolian and Tibetan spiritual imagery of the question of the continuation of life beyond the present also inspires contemplation. As Anunaran’s experimentations with various contemporary media continue to evolve, she will undoubtedly delight viewers with fresh alluring works of art, time and again. For the young and hard-working artist, this solo exhibition symbolizes the ending of one and the beginning of a new enchanting wave of creativity in the miraculous ocean of life.

By Ariunaa Jargalsaikhan
Published in UB Post on December 06, 2021
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