Source: Auckland Council
Ulemj developed a fascination with people and the beauty of the natural world from a young age. She began capturing her impressions and producing hundreds of pencil drawings in kindergarten and primary school in her birthplace, Mongolia.
Her extensive travels, and time spent living in different regions of the world, enabled her to explore this fascination across cultures. During her 20s, following her formal studies, Ulemj began working with watercolour pencils and then began exploring oils. During this period, her main concern was to refine her technique by striving for perfection through the creation of elaborate realistic paintings of people.
Her travels and fascination with people have led Ulemj to learn multiple languages and to develop an understanding and appreciation of various cultures and beliefs. Ulemj arrived in New Zealand in 2006 and now lives and works in Tauranga with her young family.
In recent years, Ulemj has been exploring a range of mediums including ink, charcoal, watercolour, pastels – often using combinations of these, to portray the complexities of ‘the individual’. Her portrait paintings are observed impressions, often conveyed through messy lines and the use of mixed media. Through her art, she captures the multi-layered essence of an individual and provides a glimpse of the soul. Contrary to some cultural beliefs that human images can capture a soul, Ulemj believes her art helps to unleash it.
In the world today, falseness and separation can create barriers between people. Human diversity and individuality are given priority. Through studying the individual, Ulemj has realised that beneath the surface layers, we are all ONE. The true essence shared by all is singular. Ulemj is drawn to that true connection, of belonging and sincerity. Her profound desire is to connect with individuals through her art and for viewers to experience a union with the underlying essence.
Our inseparable connection to mother nature is explored in Ulemj’s most recent artwork through the incorporation of natural elements and is influenced by Ulemj’s recent journey into the role of motherhood.