The nomads of Central Asia are closely connected with nature and know about the interdependencies between the animal life and the plant world, the landscape, the weather and the seasons. They believe that every place, every mountain and all rivers have their own protectors who are deities to be treated with respect and to be wary of. On the other hand, in many countries highly advanced technologies are being developed, ranging from artificial intelligence and electric cars to smartphones and high-performance computers and even spacecraft. However, all these technologies require resources that are non-renewable – and mankind requires increasingly more of them.
In her current work Javkhlan Ariunbold is concerned with the clash between two diametrically opposed approaches towards nature: the traditional, respectful reverence and preservation of nature by the nomadic population on the one hand, and its capitalist-driven destruction by politics and industry on the other. The artist focuses on the fundamental human belief in nature, and in her video installation "Ovoo" she explores the rituals still practiced today in her homeland Mongolia in order to communicate with nature deities and to seek forgiveness. Mongolians believe that nature deities, like Lus, the water god, observe human actions and thoughts – no one can escape the punishment or curse of an inflamed god. She accompanied a family during their annual ritual in the Gobi Desert, where large multinational corporations are currently extracting natural resources.