Allow me to introduce: Turburam Sandagdorj, or STuro for short. He is a Mongolian-American artist specialised in silhouette paper cut art, or Tsagasun Baru. With an experience of over 35 years in the medium, STuro has created many incredible silhouette artworks. The mesmerising images conjure scenes from nature, the spiritual world, Mongolian history and mythology.
His art is astonishing. The detail, the imagination, the striking images. All done by hand, with minute precision. Although essentially two-dimensional, he manages to draw the viewer into his fantastic worlds with an incredible amount of depth.
I am so happy to be able to help bring his visions to life.
- Adrian Landon
Sturo started a new and ambitious endeavour in 2022, when he joined my group project WILD HORSES OF THE AMERICAN WEST. He built a square, four-sided lantern with intricately drawn horses on all sides. It was the first, he told me, of a series of lanterns, ideas for which were already swirling around in his mind. The title of his project was "Universal Lanterns", of which a total of 12 are planned.
I was eager to help him accomplish this vision. I assisted him with his first build, which came out spectacularly, and was a valuable addition to the group project. We joined forces again in 2023, and he received a honorarium grant from the Burning Man organisation for his second lantern, THE SPIRIT OF THE HEALING SIREN (more info down on this page). The project was a huge success, also thanks to a large number of crowdfunding supporters. The siren showed her presence close to the temple.
We are currently working hard on the 3rd project: THE SILENCE OF TENGRI, which is well underway. Read more about it below.
These are concept drawings for Universal Lantern 3: THE SILENCE OF TENGRI.
The concept is of a kinetic metal sculpture of a winged wolf, in a howling position, elevated on a cliff-like pedestal. As one of the 12 Universal Lanterns, which include Burning Man 2023’s “The Spirit of the Healing Siren” and 2022’s “Wild Horses”, “The Silence of Tengri” is a transmitter lantern of awakening energy rooted in ancient Mongolian mythology, with the purpose to unify the people with each other and with the Universe as One. The name “Tengri” means “The Creator” or “The Sky”, and the wolf is the symbol of the messenger of “Tengri”.
This project has been invited to submit a full project proposal. If this is granted, we seek additional support to make this artwork a reality. We need your help to do that! Please send me a message if you want to stay updated, or if you have any questions.
The Spirit of the Healing Siren is an artwork by the amazing Turburam Sandagdorj, or STuro, a Mongolian artist who joined me in our group project Wild Horses in 2022. It received a honorarium from Burning Man, and was further supported by other generous contributions.
"I am honoured and humbled to announce that my metal sculpture "The Spirit of The Healing Siren" was partially funded by the Black Rock City Honorarium Grant 2023.
The concept is to take the ancient Greek mythical creature the Siren, known for luring men with their sweet voices in order to kill them, as benevolent and healing beings, as lanterns and beacons of positive healing energy, transmitted from the Universe.
Furthermore, in Mongolian ancient philosophy, and in that of many other cultures, the bird symbolises wisdom and compassion as it flies above and sees everything below. It acts as a messenger, bringing clarity, understanding, and forgiveness to the people.
I am very excited to create and build together again with talented metal sculptor Adrian Landon, project manager Rebekah Stetson, Silhouette Fine Art connaisseuse Serene N.W, professional photographer Robert Rollins, lightning engineer John Turner and my Team."
The crowdfunding campaign is live on Kickstarter now!
An overview of this year's Burning Man grantees from Reno and Carson City, featuring STuro, was published on Double Scoop on April 11th
PBS Reno on STuro in March of 2023:
"Meet Turburam Sandagdorj of Reno, Nevada. Using black paper, sharp scissors, and a lot of patience and technique, this artist creates highly-detailed silhouettes. Through his process, which he has perfected over 30 years, he celebrates his Mongolian heritage, his love for nature, and an appreciation for a simple lifestyle."
Watch a summary by clicking the thumbnail. The full length episode of ARTEFFECTS starring Turo can be watched here.