Opening Thursday Nov 22nd, 6-9pm
Continues until Dec 2nd
Versus Gallery is proud to present ‘Sky Burial’, a new exhibition of paintings and installation by Mongolian-born artist Heesco. The exhibition explores the disparity between spirituality and reality as a raw emotional visual response and reflection on experiences gathered from his annual trips back to his birthplace.
A sky burial is an ancient Buddhist funeral practice of leaving a corpse to decompose while exposed to the elements or to be eaten by scavenging animals and birds. It is believed, as the spirit transmigrates into a different form, the body now is an empty vessel, and the function of the sky burial is simply to dispose of the remains in as generous a way as possible.
“As brutal as it sounds,” says the artist, “there’s a certain dark romantic beauty in the idea of giving your body up to feed wild animals and return it back to nature. This practice is one of the perfect examples that demonstrate the balance between the spiritual philosophy and the cold hard pragmatical approach to life, and death, of my ancestors — the nomads.“
Mongolia is a land of extremes, surrounded by wild natural beauty, soaked in rich ancient cultures and traditions, but also plagued with modern day problems, rampant corruption, ever growing gap between rich and poor, and the capital Ulaanbaatar is both the coldest and the most polluted in the world. It is a place that constantly pulls me in with great amount of love and joy, but there’s always an ever present, underlying feeling of pain and sorrow too.
All artworks are produced on custom made Dodgy Paper, using mixed media. A limited edition art print will be produced as part of the exhibition, as well as a special screening of documentary Heesco - Homeland Mongolia (location to be announced shortly) with proceeds going towards supporting Lantuun Dohio (www.lantuundohio.org) - an NGO in Mongolia with a mission to eradicate human trafficking and protecting children from violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation in Mongolia and around the world.