I am a Mongolian American cross-disciplinary artist merging visual art and film, born on the vast steppes of Mongolia. I grew up in societies of parallel cultural and political/societal dysfunction having been raised in Hungary and immigrating to the United States with my family at the age of 8.
My identity as a first generation Mongolian American migrant allows a life of duality where opposing values and norms of Eastern and Western spiritual and social traditions constantly clash and fuse – creating a marginal periphery of absent power origin. My ever-revolving dual identity as a first generation Mongolian American nomadic voyeur profoundly shapes my artistic process. I am interested in expressing the embattled emotional middle space of the marginal human devoid of identity. I seek to explore the conflicting psycho-spiritual, cultural and disjointed effects of globalization on marginalized identities with attention to woman’s issues; one who perpetually lives both in war and peace within two worlds, in both of which more or less a stranger.
My work is about history and tradition, identity censorship, mythology, folklore, dreams, spirituality, death, and nature set in contemplative scenarios that transform into symbolic allegories for socio-political issues. I like to work at the intersection of social change and contemplative practice to engage systems of power and transform systems of structured oppression. Within these (psychological mind) spaces, where the fragments of memory, dreams, and the residues of formative experience intermingle with contemporary mythology – I present a space for the renegotiation of identity and the realignment of desire. By revealing the strange and curious inner workings of the human condition, I aim to examine the fluctuating operations of human identity, desire, horror, wonder and fantasy.
My artistic process derives from a balance of intuitive and concept driven method of experimental creation. In my drawings, I seek to create visual tension through automatic and intended mark making. I like to fuse binary concepts and techniques of representation, from contrasting languages of wet and dry textures, precision and chaos, into stimulatory layers as to create conceptual proximity between forces of opposition and displacement. I find it most inspirational to be uncomfortable. I draw a lot of influence from a life lived on the social and metaphysical margins of the seen and unseen worlds. I often consciously place myself between polar, extreme experiences where I store and draw an infinite amount of unique inspirations, themes and images from.
I experience my artistic production as an act of creative play between subject and object, and aim for a convulsive spontaneity in the journey of their creation. Similarly, I express my ideas and concepts through cross-disciplinary mediums of painting, writing, installation, multimedia and filmmaking.
My art is birthed out of a mix of pain and personal experiences derived from the collective human condition. Through line, I aspire to lift the viewer. My art seeks to awaken the consciousness and eradicate/transform borders – connecting people to ideas and stories where they can mirror themselves and transcend into formless dimension. I seek to present a holistic visual guide in how one can remedy the soul from that of suffering to resilience and authentic personal self empowerment. All my creative outlets act as transparent extensions of my life and my perpetual curiosity, search to identify and empower through the power of art and social practices by way of education,empathy, inspiration, advocacy and empowerment.
Eriko Tsogo is a Mongolian American cross-disciplinary artist, art management professional, civic engagement project developer, immigrant and women’s rights activist and DACA recipient born on the steppes of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She is an alumni of Denver School of the Arts, having attained her B.F.A (2012) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Tufts University. She is based in Denver and mindscape Mongolia but lives bi-coastally in the US.
Eriko has had numerous art shows, curatorial projects and art residencies throughout the United States and Mongolia. In 2018, Eriko founded the “International Yurt Art Residency Program” an artist-in-residence program focused on facilitating artist exchange between Colorado and Mongolia. She is the founder of the “Dream Yurt” and “Healing Yurt” nomadic civic engagement project series dedicated to promoting kinship across our differences while eradicating social barriers through the power of art and community.
Alongside her art practice, Eriko has worked as the Creative Director at the Mongolian Culture and Heritage Center of Colorado from 2006 - 2019. Eriko is a published author of two art books, and the founder/designer of “HiliteDreamer” and “DACAMERICALIEN” call-to-action apparel collections honoring LGBTQ and marginalized identities. Her first animated short film entitled “Tears of the Sky” premiered at the 2019 Colorado Dragon Film Festival. She is currently in process of completing her first international documentary animation film project, due to release in 2020.
In 2019, Eriko was one of twenty international Mongolian artists selected to be part of “Contemporary Mongolian Art Biennial: Innovating Tradition” at the The World Bank in Washington, DC. She collaborated with "Motus Theater" for their “UndocuAmerica Performance & Media Project” pairing her artworks as backdrop to live monologue readings by DACA recipients. Her interactive art sculpture installation “Mongovoo” was selected for permanent exhibition at the Meow Wolf Museum in Denver for fabrication in 2020. She is currently in pursuit to open the “International Women’s Art Museum” in Colorado and "Peep Show and Striptease, A Sensory Conceptual Sexart Experience" adult entertainment venue in Denver.
Upcoming 2019: Preparing for solo art show at Understudy Gallery in Denver, running from October 1 – 31, 2019.