et al. 2020 | Charwei Tsai on Mongolian artists Ganzug Sedbazar & Davajargal Tsaschikher

Lullaby for Mother Nature, a performance by Ganzug Sedbazar & Davaajargal Tsaschikher for the 15th Anniversary of Lovely Daze, published by Charwei Tsai on January 15th, 2020, at TKG+, Taipei. Photography by Anpis Wang. Image courtesy of TKG+.
Khun Ovoo / Human Cairns, a performance by Ganzug Sedbazar & Davaajargal Tsaschikher the for book launch of Lovely Daze, published by Charwei Tsai on January 18th, 2020, at C-Lab, Taipei. Photography by Christopher Adams. Image courtesy of the artist.
Lullaby for Mother Nature,
a performance by Ganzug Sedbazar
& Davaajargal Tsaschikher for the 15th Anniversary of Lovely Daze, published by Charwei Tsai on January 15th, 2020, at TKG+, Taipei. Photo by Anpis Wang. Image courtesy of TKG+.
Portrait of Shaman Purevdorj. Image courtesy of Charwei Tsai.
Khun Ovoo / Human Cairns, a performance by Ganzug Sedbazar & Davaajargal Tsaschikher
for book launch of Lovely Daze published by Charwei Tsai on January 18th, 2020, at C-Lab, Taipei. Photo by Christopher Adams.
Lovely Daze Issue 11: I Wish I Had a Horse! A publication by Charwei Tsai since 2005. Courtesy of Lovely Daze.
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I first met Davaa and Ganzug during their performance in the “IS/IN LAND” exhibition curated by Nobuo Takamori at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei. I was intrigued by the authenticity of their practice. For me, there is nothing more important in art than authenticity. It doesn’t matter how well a
work is produced, how intelligently an idea is thought out, or even how hard we have worked on it. As artists, when we lose a genuine approach, we lose everything.

 

Lullaby for Mother Nature, a performance by Ganzug Sedbazar & Davaajargal Tsaschikher for the 15th Anniversary of Lovely Daze, published by Charwei Tsai on January 15th, 2020, at TKG+, Taipei. Photography by Anpis Wang. Image courtesy of TKG+.

 

How do we define this quality of authenticity or genuineness when most often it’s just based on a feeling or an intuition? In the works by Davaa and Ganzug, what is clear to me, is the sense that their performance is not limited as an opportunity to express an idea or a thing. It goes beyond an expression. It is a warm invitation for us to enter a passage that transports our mind from one place to another. It pushes our senses to open up and our awareness to heighten. Through their performances, we embody an understanding that there is greater space in our mind than what we are used to.

 

Khun Ovoo / Human Cairns, a performance by Ganzug Sedbazar & Davaajargal Tsaschikher the for book launch of Lovely Daze, published by Charwei Tsai on January 18th, 2020, at C-Lab, Taipei. Photography by Christopher Adams. Image courtesy of the artist.

 

This is also the heart of Shamanistic rituals that I witnessed last summer in Mongolia.
I was invited by Taiwanese curator Meiya Cheng to conceive a work for a conference in Ulaanbaatar on migration organized by the Goethe Institut. I had a loose idea to trace the immaterial migration of two spiritual traditions, Tantric Buddhism and Shamanism in Mongolia. Spontaneously, the three of us together with choreographer, Arco Renz, planned a two-week road trip to the mythical site of Shambala in central Mongolia and towards the lake areas in the north.

On our way north, we met with Shaman Purevdorj. He happened to be heading to Darkhad Valley the next day to practice with three of his students, and invited us to join. Together in two cars, we travelled mostly off roads to where it is considered as the most sacred place for shamanism in the region.

 

During our time working together it became hard to separate what is art and what is life. 

 

On our way north, we met with Shaman Purevdorj. He happened to be heading to Darkhad Valley the next day to practice with three of his students, and invited us to join. Together in two cars, we travelled mostly off roads to where it is considered as the most sacred place for shamanism in the region.

 

Lullaby for Mother Nature,
a performance by Ganzug Sedbazar
& Davaajargal Tsaschikher for the 15th Anniversary of Lovely Daze, published by Charwei Tsai on January 15th, 2020, at TKG+, Taipei. Photo by Anpis Wang. Image courtesy of TKG+.
Portrait of Shaman Purevdorj. Image courtesy of Charwei Tsai.
Khun Ovoo / Human Cairns, a performance by Ganzug Sedbazar & Davaajargal Tsaschikher
for book launch of Lovely Daze published by Charwei Tsai on January 18th, 2020, at C-Lab, Taipei. Photo by Christopher Adams.

 

The shamans have mastered what makes a memorable performance, which is a play between accident and control. They were precise and diligent with their preparations of deciphering the right time and space for the ceremonies to happen as well as
the appropriate ceremonial costumes
and offerings. Yet they also welcomed the unpredictability of the great spirits and natural elements that they worshipped. Along the way, everywhere we arrived with the shamans, the weather would change dramatically. The first time this happened was when we stopped at a nomad’s home on a sunny day. Almost as soon as the shamans arrived, some clouds started to gather and it started to drizzle forming
two giant rainbows just above where we were setting up camp. Then at night, while they were performing rituals to call their ancestral spirits, lightning struck and thunder roared all across the valley suddenly as if they were a part of the ceremony. During the last day of the practice, as we were parting, it started hailing and fog gathered creating an ethereal smoky pathway.

Through our journey together, I began to
learn from the shamans and Mongolian friends the art that runs in their veins. Every time we stopped, they would always make
an offering and pay respect to nature. They would build stone structures, burn incense, kiss the earth, tie prayer flags on trees, pour milk or liquor on the ground, or throw flour into the air. They would also help the nomads to tame their camels, the local people to move rocks blocking the roads, and invite anyone who we come across to join us for meals. Wherever there is nature and kindness, a temple is found.

During our time working together it became hard to separate what is art and what is life.

 

Lovely Daze Issue 11: I Wish I Had a Horse! A publication by Charwei Tsai since 2005. Courtesy of Lovely Daze.

 

Davaajargal Tsaschikher is a sound artist, singer and lead of the famous Mongolian ethnic Rock band Mohanik.

Ganzug Sedbazar is a graphic designer and artist.

 

 

 
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