Work of the Week: MJ Batzorig

Posted on October 16, 2020

A child in traditional Mongolian dress stands in front of a crowd of faceless figures behind bars. In the foreground, two adult hands reach out to the child.

MJ Batzorig
The Fortunate One
Colored pencil, watercolor, and ink on paper
11 x 8 1/2 inches

I created this piece based on the account of my personal identity as a Mongolian-American and the experiences of my parents who grew up in Mongolia. While my culture is a huge part of my life growing up, I couldn’t help but feel privileged to be living in America. I would call myself Mongolian, but I didn’t experience the same events or circumstances as my parent, with generational differences aside. In my senior year [of high school], I did more research about the history of Mongolian politics, economy, and society. I channeled my guilt of being “fortunate” enough to come to America at the expense of another child’s opportunity and the sacrifices of my parents. This piece was significant to my growth in understanding my parents culture and that influence in my life. Although I’m not confident enough to create artwork based on my limited knowledge and experience of Mongolia, I hope to synthesize my role as a Mongolian-American with my faith, something that I identify with and have confidence in.