Herdsman-turned-photographer wants everyone to adore Mongolia

Art & Culture
2017-06-08 11:30:42
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A photographer and livestock herder S.Tsengelbayar from Xilingol League of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China is the first Inner Mongolian photographer to ever throw an independent exhibition in Mongolia. S.Tsengelbayar named his exhibition, opened in Gamma Gallery in Hunnu Mall of Ulaanbaatar, “I am a Mongolian”. The exhibition wrapped up on June 7.
His photos showed images of a little girl in a fur hat with her contagious smile shining from beneath, men showing off spirits of horsemen in the steppe, race of male camels, herds of five kinds of livestock grazing in grasslands and a portrait of a beautiful Mongolian woman.

“I want Mongolia to be loved by everyone around the world”        

-You have opened your independent exhibition in the Mongolian capital city Ulaanbaatar? How do you feel about this?

I feel wonderful. Many Inner Mongolian photographers dream about opening an exhibition here in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. My dream has come true.

-What impressions are the viewers getting from you photos, in your opinion?

The exhibition’s name “I am a Mongolian”, I suppose, is clearly stating the purpose of my exhibition. I gave this name to sound closer to Mongolians’ hearts. Everyone, who came, said kind and encouraging words. One of the viewers said “I love all of your photos”.

-I heard you are originally a herdsman. Since when did you come to be interested in photographing?

From when I was little, I always had this great interest in arts such as music, crafts and photography. It was 1994, when I bought my first camera and took my first-ever shots. Initially, I started photographing rivers, forests, mountains and animals, because I am a herder. Luckily, with the emergence of digital cameras thanks to technological development, quality of my photos improved.

-What do you think is the best thing about photographing?

I like to tell people that photography is a “language of the world”. Although it is hard to understand people from different nations, photography can be understood by all. Photography is an art that is open for everybody who can see.

-What is your goal for the future?

I am thinking about opening an exhibition of photographs of Mongolians living all around the world. I came to Mongolia for three times before and traveled through 18 aimags, and now I am planning to go through the aimags and soums I have never been to. After this, I will be travelling to Buryatia and Kalmyk of Russia and Inner Mongolia to take photographs carrying the expressions of Mongolian traditional values and heritages, in order to promote Mongolian culture to many other countries. Mostly, I aspire to capture moments of happiness and buoyancy. I want Mongolia to be loved by everyone throughout the world. 
Interview by B.Altankhuyag