An artist is famous for his work, not his nameThe Mongol Messenger
One of the goals of our magazine is to write about the life and history of our older generation. Thus, it is a pleasure to tell our readers about great, humble artist Luvsandorj Bavuudorj. His painting ‘Mother’ is one of the best works of our fine arts and it resides in the Mongolian Contemporary Art Gallery. Anyone who saw the painting can feel a mother’s love, care and hopes for her son.
L.Bavuudorj started painting from the age of 4. After graduating from high school in Govi-Altai aimag, he moved to Ulaanbaatar and worked as an artist at the City Art Council. Then in 1980, he majored in painting from Mongolian State University of Education and became a professional artist. Afterwards, he worked as the city general artist, designer at the Monumental decoration factory and freelance artist up to 2012.
During Socialist period, freelance artist was not a popular term. At that time, the Union of Artists was the governing authority and our artists who worked at the City Art Council, Monumental decoration factory, Handicraft factory etc., with plan norms and created a lot of things. Therefore, the pay was good; the supply was good, and was a time when the government supported art greatly. However, artists did not like the captive ideology and blocking people’s mentality of that time.
Now, a time with more opportunity and freedom is approaching for artists. All things have two sides, so it also has cons as well. While Bavuudorj was working at Monumental, he did mosaic, bas-relief wall decorations of ‘Mongol zoog’, ‘Uran ber’ restaurants and ‘Negdelchin’ Hotel, mosaic wall decoration of the Service Center of Erdenet city, and several historical works for the Military Museum and Aviation Museum. Specializing in painting, he had been painting historic, nature, and particularly life paintings; to name some of them: historic — ‘Ancient dance’, ‘No place further than this’, ‘Eight light bay’, ‘Divine punishment’, ‘Taking over the universe’, ‘Bodonchar munkhag’, ‘Before the battle’, etc. Life: ‘Mother’, ‘Life’, ‘Naadam’, ‘That years’, and ‘Sight of homeland’. Portraits: Byambyn Rinchen, Tsendiin Damdinsuren, ‘Local Elders’ and ministers’ portraits.
Most recently, he participated the ‘New work’ exhibition with his ‘Summer’ painting. His first independent exhibition ‘Life’ was in 1998 and ‘Under the sun and moon’ in 2007. In these works was featured nomadic life of Mongolians, and big paintings describing mountains, steppe and Gobi migration were displayed also.
Under the reservation of ‘Silk Road’ company, L.Bavuudorj painted about 350 paintings for books, DVDs, CDs and painted 5-6 of them on a big format with themes from the Secret History of Mongols. He has paintings residing and displayed in private painting collections and galleries of France, Russia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, USA, Bulgaria and Bangladesh.
For composition, he picks mobile and multi-figured compositions. Also, he likes to draw on big formats. L.Bavuudorj likes to say that his goal is to study Mongolian history and create comprehensive work from it. His daughter, Munkhtsetseg inherited his job and became painter.
People got a strong impression after seeing his paintings. It isn’t easy to draw multi-figured and mobile shapes, but he courageously entered this genre and created amazing works. For instance, ‘Before the battle’, ‘Liberating Khovd’, ‘Amarsanaa’, ‘Punishment of the Sky’ and ‘Ancient dance’ paintings of Bavuudorj show that he is highly skilled artist. Once, the correspondent of daily newspaper quoted him as saying “an artist is famous for his work, not his name”.
The article is featured in the Mongol Today magazine's issue for May-July 2015 No. 2.