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Blue Sun contemporary art group featured in two new exhibitions last week. Hearing of their plans to establish an artists colony an hour from the capital, and knowing of their interest in showing the work of Ana Rewakowicz, I went to Xanadu Gallery on Thursday evening to meet Dalkhaa (Yondonjunain Dalkh-Ochir).

There was an impressive array of landscape paintings from a trip of about 2500km around Bayankhongor province last August. Particularly interesting to me was the map of the journey and the process of camping as a group and practicing 'plein air' painting.

The following evening, the exhibition at the new Gallery at Khaan Bank on Seoul Street incorporated sculptures, installations and video works, curated by Uranchimeg Tsultem. One was Dalkhaa's street installations in rainy Stockholm, shown in video form. Another was a series of freshly cut slabs of tree trunk, set on sawdust on the stark polished marble floor. With an English art scholar colleague, we struggled to communicate with the artist about the concept in Mongolian and English, but I gleaned something to do with connecting with nature. This made a welcome diversion from work at the college and inspired me to travel in the Mongolian countryside, come summer.

Research and basic project management preparation continues on the energy efficient dwelling, as students and staff begin to disperse for the Mongolian New Year break, known as White Month - Tsagaan Sar. It was snowing this morning, and the environment outside fits the description well.

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