The Kalmyk are a Mongolic group who live in Kalmykia, a member of the Russian Federation that is situated in the Volga River Basin and beside the Caspian Sea. Followers of Tibetan Buddhism, their home is the only place in Europe where Buddhism is the dominant religion. To help introduce the unique culture of the Kalmyks to a wider audience, the Ministry of Culture's Mongolian and Tibetan Gallery will be hosting "Tulips by the Caspian Sea — Kalmyk Mongolian Nature and Humanities Photography Exhibition" in Taipei from Sept. 6 through Dec. 5.
There are three Mongolic republics that are part of the Russian Federation — Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tyva. The history of the Kalmyk people is marked by massive migrations and relocations, and today Taiwanese exhibition-goers have the opportunity to see for themselves the tenacity and warmth that characterize this republic, as symbolized in their culture and dance respectively by the eagle and the tulip. The photography exhibition will cover four themes — namely society and democracy, art and culture, the natural environment, and religion — to give a full overview of the many facets of contemporary Kalmyk culture.
Located where the European and Asian steppes meet, Kalmykia has become home to a fusion of traditional Mongolian culture, Russian culture, and other distinctive steppe cultures, showing much more inclusiveness and innovation than the other two Mongolic republics. This exhibition has secured 80 wonderful photographs by renowned Kalmyk photographer Garya Lidzhiev, along with nine Kalmyk films, to showcase the beauty of this Caspian steppe culture through both moving and still images.
The Kalmyk Mongolian Nature and Humanities Film Festival will run concurrently from Sept. 20 through Nov. 30, with screenings at the Mongolian and Tibetan Gallery every Friday and Saturday. The gallery will also be running a special raffle, where by attending seven of the films, visitors will have the chance to win one of a limited number of tickets to the Taipei concert by Nepalese musician Ani Choying Drolma and U-Theatre in November.
‘Tulips by the Caspian Sea’