Cristina Bertrand Ulaanbaatar, October, 2016
The origins of Mongolian beliefs are Heaven and Earth. In the beginning there were 99 Celestial Beings and 77 Earthly Beings. Ghinggis Khan went to the Burkhan Khaldun mountain frequently to gather the strength he needed from the sustaining Earthly Mountain and from the eternal Blue Sky. The unending Mongolian earth nurtures the people and their animals. Mongolian people have a strong connection with Nature, and Father Heaven and Mother Earth are their first ancestors.
Who are those 99 Celestial Beings and 77 Earthly Beings? That is the search. Each one has a story and a profound meaning for the Mongolian people. But they are difficult to find.
My mission is to discover the 99 Celestial Beings and the 77 Earthly Beings. When I find them and have an understanding of their meanings and whom they protect, I will paint them. Each one has the sky or the earth as their home, but every sky and earth landscape is different. How, then, will I paint 99 different symbolical landscapes with 99 different blue sky colors and 77 landscapes with different earth colors?
That is the challenge, one I hope I can accomplish.[:]