Odonchimeg Davaadorj has been working in portraiture since the beginning of her career, exploring the complexity of the human soul in her delicate drawings with their distinctive palette. While her works represent the living world, they are infused with a unique hybridity inspired by her Mongolian roots. For her series of portraits, she was inspired by a quote from Agnès Varda: “If we opened people, we would find landscapes”.
The portraits reveal inner landscapes with emotional suggestions and small-scale scenes that provide glimpses into each person’s life. Davaadorj explains: “Representing anonymous faces, trying to make them inhabited, to give them a soul, telling a story with the features of their faces and getting those faces to convey an emotion are all things I’m particularly interested in at the moment.” The artist often employs sharp, broad brushstrokes to create a tangible texture in her works.
In her practice Davaadorj incorporates the notions of ecology, environment, nature and living beings. Sometimes there seem to be no boundaries between humans, plants and animals. Everything is interconnected, symbioses take shape or give rise to new organisms that defy all manner of classification.
The medium Davaadorj uses is mainly watercolour and ink on paper, however she easily transports her figures to the medium of textile, ceramics or installation. “The main thing I try to evoke through my art is the links: links between humans, between humans and nature, between nature and animals etc. We essentially depend on each other and each living being is part of this ecosystem. However, those links are fragile, just like the threads that I use to connect different living beings in my drawings.” By pushing the boundaries of verbal communication, Davaadorj’s art invites a subjective and personal interpretation of the image.