First Exhibition of Young Painters (Mongolia)

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Date: 1968

Region: Asia

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Painting


Artist: Several artists, including G. Soosoi, P. Baldandorj, G. Dunburee and O. Tsevegjav

Confronting Bodies: The Communist Party, Mongolian Government

Date of Action: July 20, 1968

Location: Ulan Baatar, Mongolia

Description of Artwork: In 1968, the Exhibition Hall of the Union of Mongolian artists opened an exhibit called First Exhibition of Young Painters, which featured several paintings that diverged from the government sanctioned style of "socialist realism." The paintings symbolized Mongolia's first steps towards modern art with the use of abstract shapes and experimental colors. The show included such works as, Mother by G. Soosoi, Khovsgal Lake by P. Baldandorj, Ten Goats and Ten Camels by G. Dunburee and Mother's Honestyby O. Tsevegjav.

The Incident: The Communist Party denounced the work as, "bourgeois" and "capitalist art" and the Mongolian government immediately closed the show. The artists involved were strictly punished, with some being sentenced to reside permanently in Mongolia and only paint posters and portraits of socialist leaders in the style of socialist realism.

Results of Incident: Despite this incident, the modern movement in Mongolia continued to grow. In 1980, the Exhibition Hall of the Union of Mongolian Artists displayed more modern art without repercussion. By the fall of the Communist Party in the 1990's, modern Mongolian art hit its stride.

On June 17, 2008, Khan Bank curator Ts. Uranchimeg opened an exhibit at the Art Gallery called, The Bourgeois Art, featuring many of the original works from the 1968 exhibit.

Source: Montsame Agency & Caucasas and Central Asia Newsletter The Caucasus and Central Asia Program at the University of California, Berkeley Issue 7, Spring 2005