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Mongolia

The dark, dank structures that serve as home for Uulan Baator's people were crumbling, but there were no signs of reconstruction; space was at such a premium that families of seven or more lived in one-bedroom apartments; they had boarded up the balconies to accommodate their extended family, and sometimes a sheep as well. At the market, lines were long and shelves bare. At night you didn't go out because bands of young men roamed the street, drunk on vodka, and angry at the world.

By 1994 Mongolia was in the throes of economic disaster, a catastrophe precipitated by the demise of the Soviet Union which had heretofore regulated and subsidized her development. For city dwellers, just getting enough to eat was a challenge, and thousands - seeing their nomadic brethren faring better - joined them on the steppe. Once past the bureaucratic hurdles that accompany any movement in the country - a task that took more than a week - I too headed for the steppe, traveling north-west first by train, then jeep and finally on horseback. The work I did became an exhibition in Vancouver, at the Graham Milne Gallery, then part of the traveling exhibition, Empires Beyond the Great Walls, the Heritage of Ghengis Khan which traveled to Victoria, British Columbia, New Zealand and Australia. The Wellington Museum also commissioned me to prepare a text - cultural in content - to accompany the pictures

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