Mongolian felt art painting amazes the world

Local news, 28.01.2023

During an international group art exhibition in Paris, France, felt paintings made by a Mongolian artist attracted the most attention and amazed European viewers with a great appreciation of fine art.

Felt exhibition
Felt exhibition ©SDC

Painting with felt is a delicate and meticulous process that requires not only the artist's vision but also special skills.

In ancient times, the Hunnu people – who belonged to the first state of Mongol tribes – lived in felt homes and made felt and quilted works. This textile culture was proven by the discovery of a felt quilt with embroidery in 1924, found in the tomb of a Hunnu nobleman on Noyon Mountain in Mongolia’s Kharaa area. The felt quilt is considered one of the oldest textile artifacts. Part of it is kept in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the other half in the National History Museum of Mongolia. Looking at this ancient finding, it is clear the Mongolians of that time not only enjoyed felt’s versatility but also expressed their artistic senses and developed it into an art. However, in recent years, there have been major problems with preserving and promoting felt art, which is inextricably linked to Mongolian traditions, culture, lifestyle, art, and aesthetics. Only a few artists carry on this heritage and work on bringing it to a new level, training young artists, and preserving traditional methods.

Raw materials such as wool and cashmere are very abundant in Mongolia, but there is a deficiency in the proper processing of wool and cashmere for creating works of art. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has supported the work and dreams of artists with the skills to create traditional Mongolian felt paintings and artwork, including Ms. S. Saran, a felt artist and art critic. We provided great opportunities for increasing the number of young felt artists and felt artworks.

With the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, about 50 young felt artists were trained to preserve and protect the heritage of felt art, reflecting modern technology and know-how. In terms of promoting felt artwork and creative production, works and paintings were sold in the domestic and international markets. The "Tsagaan Sor" felt painting exhibition was organized, showing how paintings and artworks can be created with felt. The exhibition successfully promoted felt art.

Activities such as offering the first felt art NFT to the world market, developing a manual for felt artwork, and creating an online database were successfully implemented based on new demands and technological opportunities. Efficient outcomes are being achieved.

If Mongolians develop the felt art of their nomadic culture and traditions, it could become a new and unique art form. Ms. S.  Saran and her students will bring felt artwork to the international market by continually developing and improving the quality of felt art and painting processes, a traditional heritage of Mongolia, and passing them on to the next generation. 

For more information please visit Ujin Brand