17 December 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  •    - Mongolia
  •    - Russia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 11/29/2004, 00.00

    MONGOLIA

    My art is at the service of God, convert says



    Painter and sculptor Enkhutuvshin speaks about his journey towards Christianity. He is one of Mongolia's 226 baptised Catholics.

    Ulaanbaatar (AsiaNews/UCAN) – "God is the hand that inspires and guides my works," said Enkhutuvshin, a painter and sculptor, as he narrated the journey that led him to Christianity and talked about the importance of art in his life.

    One of the 226 members of the young Mongolian Catholic Church, he was among the first 14 who were baptised on Easter Sunday 1994. The 38-year-old artist never tires from saying that art was the privileged path that led him to the Church and God.

    "In the beginning I created works of art out of an aesthetic interest; then I started seeking God through art. Now God is the hand that inspires and guides my work".

    The unusual journey that changed Enkhutuvshin started when he was 16. It was the early 80's and Mongolia was under communist rule. Freedom of thought and religion were banned. No outside influences were allowed into the country unless approved by the government.

    "I really liked the pictures of Madonna statues," he said, "but I knew nobody would appreciate it in Mongolia.

    But Enkhtuvshin was among the very few talented and lucky students who were allowed to go to Russia for higher studies.

    "While I was in Moscow, I thought, like most of my colleagues, that art was everything. We were completely absorbed in art for art's sake," he said.

    The young artist was attracted to Renaissance art but found it puzzling that all the pictures and statues were connected to Christianity, a religion banned by Mongolia's Communist regime and described as cruel by its leaders.

    "I was taught at school that Christianity was a cruel religion. But when I looked at paintings by Raphael or statues by Michelangelo, it just did not make sense. I came to the conclusion that a religion that inspired such art could not be that terrible," he said.

    In Romania, where he went to further his studies, he visited Catholic churches in Brasow and saw a living congregation in each one.

    "I used to think that Catholicism and Catholic art were of the past, just like the Renaissance. But there I was in Brasow, among my beloved paintings and statues, and there were people praying and practicing their religion in front of the very same works of art. It was by no means a museum. It was all alive," he reflected.

    Marked by the experience, he found a Catholic church on his return to Moscow, where he tried to pray. He recalled that his father died soon after his visit to Romania, and he found prayer helped in his grieving. He became a Christian not long after that.

    "There are so many things I do not know," he admitted. "I have been copying a lot; in fact, most of my pictures and some of the statues are copied or at least inspired by existing works."

    At home, he has rented a study near his parish church. Almost his entire salary as a teacher of sculpture at the Mongolian College of Fine Arts pays for it. It is worth it, he says, because the studio is close to his home and next door to the parish church where he prays before work.

    He is known in Mongolia and, now, abroad. He recently opened an exhibition that was featured on Mongolian national television and finished a door-relief in a Moscow church.

    Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, head of Ulaanbaatar prefecture, asked the artist to paint images of the Blessed Mother. Some of Enkhtuvshin's drawings have been presented to Pope John Paul II, who is to select and approve an image that will represent Mary, Queen of Mongolia.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    09/02/2005 BANGLADESH - YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
    The Eucharist is at the centre of our lives, says Bishop of Dhaka


    09/11/2004 PAKISTAN - Year of the Eucharist
    Pope's letter on the Eucharist now in Urdu


    21/10/2004 VIETNAM – YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
    The Eucharist at the centre of Huê Archdiocese's mission


    16/03/2005 INDIA – YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
    Catholics of all ages flock to adoration chapels
    Interview with Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, who was recently appointed to chair the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.

    26/10/2004 PAKISTAN – YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
    Clergy and laity are better aware of the Eucharist, Mgr Saldanha says
    In the Year of the Eucharist, the Archdiocese of Lahore starts its pastoral plan.



    Editor's choices

    MIDDLE EAST – UNITED STATES
    Mideast Christians against Trump over Jerusalem capital, a decision that destroys hope for peace



    The Chaldean patriarchate criticises a choice that complicates the situation and fuels conflicts and wars. Card al-Rahi calls the decision “destructive” and a violation of international resolutions. Coptic pope Tawadros II cancels a meeting with US Vice President Pence. Somewhat resigned, Palestinians continue their protest. For Israeli peace group, the US has abdicated its role of mediator in the region.


    CHINA
    Xi Jinping’s false promises and the expulsion of the “low-end population” from Beijing

    Willy Wo-Lap Lam

    Tens of thousands of migrants and their families have been expelled and sent away from the capital. Yet, at the recent Party Congress, President Xi had promised to provide support and help against poverty. There is no reward nor legal or charity for displaced persons. The country’s "social Darwinism" condemns the rural people to marginalisation and allows urban classes to enjoy privileges and advantages. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®