The “108 Faces of Mongolia” exhibition opened at Zanabazar Fine Art Museum on August 13 and is on view through the end of this month.
The exhibition features selections from the private photo archive of Czechoslovakian archaeologist Lumir Jisl, and is supported by the History Institute of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and the Czech Embassy. Lumir Jisl took many historical and rare photos while he was working in Mongolia between 1957 and 1963.
Lumir Jisl was born on April 18, 1921. He studied Mongolian, Tibetan, and Japanese cultural history. Books he wrote about Mongolia have been translated to German and English. His film “Way to Tibet” was awarded at the Venice Film Festival.
A Mongolian-Czechoslovakian joint expedition led by Lumir Jisl found the fossilized head of Turkic General Kul Tigin. In addition to the research in Mongolia, Lumir Jisl took some nice shots of the Mongolian lifestyle at that time.
Only 108 of 2,000 photographs are displayed in this exhibition. Most of the photos are related to religion. Head of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism Ts.Oyungerel, representatives from the Czech Embassy in Mongolia, Ya.Vatsek PhD and scientists from Charles University of Prague attended the opening reception.
Historian and Professor from the Central Asia Institute of Charles University, Veronika Kapishovskaya was interviewed about the rare collection of photographs.
How did you come across these rare and historical photos?
Lumir Jisl wrote a few books about Mongolian culture and Buddhism. To get information about his research, I met his two daughters. We decided to exhibit his collection.
How did you choose the 108 photos on exhibit? Will the remaining photos be displayed later?
We chose the best qualified photos. His daughters would be able to display their father’s complete archive.
Lumir Jisl wrote this note after his first visit to Mongolia in 1958: “My aim is done, and it’s time to return home. But it feels like everything was a miracle. Gifts from friends, photos, the fresh smell of wormwood assures me that it’s not a miracle. Green valley, blue sky, golden sands, amiable nation… Oh, my beloved Mongolia. I’m not satisfied even though my dreams came true. How deeply I love you, Mongolia. You will be always on my mind.”
The “108 Faces of Mongolia” exhibition will open in Prague next month.
Trans. by L.NANDINTSETSEG
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