Artist Residency 2017


Photo-Journal

LAM 360º MONGOLIA

I'd like to share some of the photos I took during the residency. Many thanks to Land Art Mongolia for the great opportunity and to the Prince Claus Fund for their support.

Suvd and her family welcomed us into their home a couple of times. I can not describe how beautiful the landscape is, I felt really far from being able to capture the immensity around us. Although we didn't speak the same language, Suvd and I felt connected somehow. Maybe because we are both the same age or just simply because we liked each other. She wanted to give me something special because "I gave her a good feeling" so she gave me a silver ring she had since really long ago. I didn't know what could I give to her that would be as special as her ring was, the only thing I could think of was to print the portraits I took of them and give it to her. There is nothing else I can give that is so meaningful for me as my work, she smiled when she opened the envelope (I draw a landscape on it) and I knew she will keep it for a very long time, as I will keep her ring.

One of my favorite places was the winter camp close to us, I was totally fascinated the first time we walked there. It belongs to the Nomad family that lives close to the Khentii Eco Camp and it's been there for a few generations already. I walked there very often to take photos or just to sit there to draw next to dead goats, abandoned cookware and empty barns.

I asked Suvd, what does the word "home" means for her, since the premise of my project proposal was to work about "home as an unlimited space" I was very interested to know what it could mean for her. After a couple of minutes she answered that the ger itself was home. Although she she studied programming in the city, she decided to go back to the steppe and grow up a family. Living as a nomad, was for her a life choice at a time when more and more Mongolians decide to move to the cities.

The hardest thing of traveling to Mongolia as a photographer is to avoid taking beautiful photos, it's just impossible to not have a thousand photos in a file on your desktop of amazing landscapes. But as I mentioned before, it was not about the stunning sunsets or the endless mountains to the horizon... (because you just CAN'T capture it nor with the highest definition camera ever created). It's about the immensity and you can only experience it by being there, aware with all your senses. So I decided to focus on the moment and be less worried about the exposure or the focal length, that's why I actually don't have so many photos as I have from past residencies.

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