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EXCAVATING NARANTUUL
JANUARY 2023
Narantuul, a major open-air market and a key public space of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar, is a real melting pot.
Artisanal traditional boots and hats for Bökh wrestling sit side by side with knockoff Air Jordans and other China-sourced factory clothing.
Ornate custom yurt doors are sold next to consumer solar panels.
The shine of elaborate decorative saddles and other traditional equestrian equipment on sale is mirrored by the glimmer of tuned Japanese sports cars in the parking lot—all in the framework of cookie-cutter Communist-era architecture typical for a former Eastern Bloc country.
Carts with US-via-South-Korea corndogs are pushed down the aisles between stalls with local produce.
With this photoshoot, photographer and art director Yosef Minor sets out to propose for Mongolia a visual identity countering its mainstream aesthetic driven by sterility indebted to South Korean popular culture, unearthing the country’s real-world rough edges and eclecticism on hisquestforauthenticity.