Artist Batka’s second exhibition ‘Reason To Be II’ displays

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        In 2019, Artist B.Batka or B.Battogtokh presented his first solo exhibition called “Reason To Be”, and now he is presenting his second exhibition “Reason To Be II”. The exhibition will be shown until the end of the month at Norphei Art Gallery in Bluemon center, and was curated by B.Michidmaa. The artist graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of the Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture with a major in “Monumental Painting”.

B.Battogtokh contemplates the intricate relationship between human values and the human condition, directing his artistic focus toward unveiling the internal contradictions within his societal milieu. Through his artworks, he endeavors to illuminate common dark phenomena and the infringement of human rights. He noted once, “The good and beautiful essence of our existence should be mirrored in this society if we are conscious beings. Unfortunately, the ignorance of humanity manifests in the flawed laws and knowledge we have constructed. Fundamentally, the challenges of our lives stem from profound disparities in morals and education. In Mongolia, existential matters of intrinsic value, free will, and identity are not solely determined by individuals but are subjected to misguided public censorship, defined by false truths and a distorted sense of good”. These concepts articulated by the artist resonate vividly in his works, notably in pieces such as “Man in Black,” and “Searching for Hope.”

In an interview, he also said, “Since I was a child, I loved to draw, so I chose and studied painting. But in hindsight, I didn’t know or understand the life of an artist very well at that time. It was as if I was full of naive passion and excitement. I was a third-year student when I understood and fell in love with art. It was at that time that I fully recognized the good and bad of art and decided to ‘live as an artist’. Since then, I have not lost my line of work and continue to improve myself. I am trying to understand myself better and bring out my essence through pictures.”

“Society is not a mere sum of individuals. It has the power to call forth new collective beings.”

- “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” by Emile Durkheim, 1912

The male figures in Battogtokh’s paintings carry a concealed metaphorical significance as the “Man in Black.” The artist underscores that these characters represent real individuals capable of immersing themselves in our lives and exerting influence in our surroundings. The impact of the “Man in Black” extends beyond personal spheres, disrupting beliefs and distorting truths, ultimately contributing to social disorientation. This concept finds vibrant and symbolic representation

in Battogtokh’s artworks, particularly evident in pieces like “Searching for Hope” and “False Saint.” Upon careful examination of the images integrated into Battogtokh’s works, diverse expressions unfold, converging ultimately to convey a singular meaning and harmonize into a unified voice. The characters’ disinterested gazes and the unpredictable, fading body
movements guide the viewer along an enigmatic and melancholic current, deliberately blurring the boundaries between reality and imagination. In this manner, his artistic approach echoes the techniques employed by French surrealist artists from the early 20th century.

The artist said that he doesn’t want to create art that is simply beautiful. Every piece of art tries to have a narrative and a point of view. He wants people to see his artworks and understand it to a certain extent and try to become a better person.

You should look at the painting with your heart and mind, not just by looking at it with your eyes. Then you can enter the essence of the painting. If you want to learn to understand paintings better, first of all, you need to get into the habit of visiting galleries. It will help you better understand the art of being a seeker. If you want to understand the meaning behind
these paintings with your heart, you should visit the gallery before it finishes at the end of the month.

Amarjargal Munkhbat

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