Ruth writes: It isn’t often that we hear about a Mongolian event in
Toronto. An art exhibition was included in the recent Culture Days
weekend. Of course I couldn’t miss it. I love Mongolia. I’ve been
there three times — attracted by its big skies, its horses, its music, boots. I could go on and on about it.
The Mongolian art exhibit was in the East Asian Library at the University of Toronto on September 26. The highlight for me was an example of khoomei – Amai, the singer, refused to call it “throat singing”. That of the world-traveling adventurist-author was more profound and spiritual than any of the throat singing I heard in Mongolia. It was short and wonderful, more like what I’ve heard in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries than in tourist shows in Ulan Bator.
Amai sang to us from New York City via Skype. He had been unable to get a visa in time to come to Toronto. Links to a video and to Amai’s interesting website are below.
I saw two of the three artists present from Mongolia. Lkhagva Amarsanaa was demonstrating Mongolian calligraphy. He was the most popular as he translated the names of attenders into beautiful ancient Mongolian script. The country currently uses Cyrillic.
These pieces were simple compared to some of his other works. I wasn’t able to get artist Ochirbat Enkhtaivan to stand beside his horse paintings. He was too busy helping Amarsanaa sell the calligraphy to members of the eager audience. But Bolor Sambuu of the Canada Mongolia Chamber of Commerce agreed to pose with one. The Chamber sponsored the event.
Another highlight was Prof. Jennifer Purtle’s illustrated lecture on contemporary Mongolian art and calligraphy.
I expected lots of official speeches but Prof. Purtle’s talk was enlightening and worth hearing. You never can tell what to expect.
Video of Amai’s khoomei: http://youtu.be/wYqotfjY0MM
Information about Amai: https://www.facebook.com/amaiaround/info