​"Inner Mongolia" is a collection of ball jointed porcelain dolls. The idea of this collection was ripening in my mind for several years, work continued throughout 2016. As a result, the collection was presented at the exhibition "Art of a Doll" in Moscow in December 2016.
Why is Mongolia Inner? Because it’s my vision of the country and its culture, my creative re-thinking. Mongolia have been inspiring me since I was a child - with its steppes covered with the dome of stars at nights, with its stories about Genghis Khan, ancient legends, with its totally fabulous jewelry and costumes, and with incredible closeness to nature, which, in fact, formed a very special worldview of ancient people with the world around. As we all know, ancient people (our ancestors) prayed not to philosophical, abstract ideas, but to 100% real, existed objects and natural phenomena. They prayed to a deer before kill him during hunting, prayed to a bird flying high into the sky, prayed an old tree growing in a sanctuary forest, they prayed to the Sun, Sky, Stars, and Darkness. That’s why three my shamans are dedicated to three ancient gods amongst the most significant and powerful – the gods personifying eternal elements and phenomena without which our world couldn’t exist.

They are:

White-Black-Red is a basic, fundamental color triad. There are three colors which appear in a culture first, and this is common for all ethnic groups around the world. Levi Strauss wrote in his research: the first thing any culture sees is "light and darkness" separation, then the third color appears, and it is always Red.

The triad "White-Black-Red" is already observed in the Paleolithic art (which was created more than 10,000 years ago). The basic art materials of that time were: Clay (White), Coal (Black), and Ocher / Blood (Red).

So, whatever Pantons, whatever dozens or hundreds of shades of gray (or any other color) we create and observe, at the initial level - the level of the ancient Mongolia and level of unity with nature, there might be only three basic colors - White, Black, and Red.​


White is the first color (or to be more exact, light) which any culture sees. White contains all the spectrum. White was a color belonging to some supreme deity since ancient times in the majority of cultures. In the past times, White was the most ambivalent. On the one hand, it's life (light, egg, milk, semen), joy, day. On the other one - death (winter, snow, ice, bones). White is also a color of a victim (white animals often were sacrificed to gods in ancient times) and innocence, purity, God. Appeared in the West Europe during Christian Medieval, this last meaning have been staying the most actual in our culture to this day.


Black color (or to be more exact, absence of the light) is the second what any culture sees. And since duality, a habit to oppose things is integral part of the human's mind while White means life and joy, than original and basic meaning of Black is death and sorrow. Black (dark) was the color of mourning already in Ancient Greece. During Christian Middle Ages Black was considered to mark all dark and evil things. Black was about demons, carriers of secret knowledge, and also it meant renunciation of all pleasures and joys of the world (Priest's cassock).

But! Secular Middle Ages (with supply of, firstly, Burgundy and then Spanish Royal Courts) gave to Black color another meaning which still true for rich deep Black - a meaning of nobility, aristocracy, and elegance. Also, Black is about peace and contemplation.


Red is the most noticeable color. It is the first what a human being sees after light and darkness. Unconsciously, we always pay our attention to the objects of the Red color firstly - unless, we force ourselves to focus on something else. In most cultures of the world, Red is a fundamental color.

Red is about life, blood, strength, energy, sex. Before the 19th century, wedding and holiday costumes were Red (it's still so in modern India). Also, Red means danger and aggression (again, blood and fire as well).The person in Red is always differentiate him / herself from others and attracts attention.

It is very little known about body painting of ancient Mongols, and information publicly available is not enough. I started studying this topic a long time ago, when I first read an article about the Pazyryk burials. Probably, some of you heard stories about The Siberian Ice Maiden, also known as the Princess of Ukok and the Altai Princess of Ochi-Bala.

She is associated with recent natural disasters in the Altai Mountains in the past 20 years. Shamans say Ochi-Bala is angry that her tomb was disturbed by archeologists. Pazyryk culture is an archaeological culture of the Iron Age (VI-III centuries BC), its main findings were made in the Altai Mountains.

​Pazyryk  culture-bearers lived in neighboring territories of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Altai (Ulagan plateau, Ukok), and Mongolia. I took the basic patterns for my shamans bodies painting from this culture adapting them to the concept of the collection.

As it is known, there are more than 70 ethnic groups in Mongolia, some of them are quit small (less than 100 people) but they could save traditions and costumes. That is amazing! I’ll start with Deel, a large overcoat, the main and the only part of Mongols clothes. There are about 400 of its types, but all of them are united by fabric (cotton for everyday wear, embroidered silk for festal dress), the absence of the male and female versions, and closed top with a stand collar. Deels of different ethnic groups vary in details design: for example, the Khalkhas nation wears Deel with a rounded collar, while the Buryats - with an angle one. Another recognizable feature of Deel, especially for women, is intentionally large shoulders having form of a roller, or sharpened form.

Speaking of the headgear, the most impressive and recognizable is the headgear of khalkha ethnos. I was inspired by that type of headgear. A basic element here is a special hairstyle resembling whether horns or wings of the mythical Hangarudi bird. The whole construction is very complex: hair braided in two braids widening at the temples into the form of wings which are fixed by silver hairpins. In the center there is a cap made of pure silver and decorated with coral, pearls, and turquoise. The lower part of braids was left in sight. However, rich women hide them under special covers decorated with silver and sometimes even gold plates interspersed with ornaments and precious stones. In special occasions and leaving the house, another, pointed silver hat - with a velvet band and red ribbon behind – worn on the top of this headgear.

There are many types of national Mongolian footwear, and, as you can imagine, the majority of footwear is firm and warm (different sorts of mukluks and high boots) - even for summer because Mongolians are nomads, they are always on horseback, so sandals would be uncomfortable. In addition, nights in steppes rather cool, even in summer. However, I did not want my shaman girls wear boots, that's why the lite version of silver flip-flops with a silk ribbon was born. These sandals have the main sign of Mongolian Shoe, a pointed and slightly raised up toe. Do you know why they started making such a toe? Because of utilitarian considerations (function of spurs) and due to symbolic meaning of respect to nature - such form of a toe does not damage the soil.


Thanks to our efforts (the jeweler of this collection is Julia Suhareva), each shaman girl has a substantial dowry, including jewelry all of which are made of silver and semi-precious stones. Each shaman owns following: Headgear | Small Cap | Jewelry-holders for hair | Light greaves | Shoes | Decorative twig. In addition, garment accessories of the costumes are also made of silver by the author's sketches.

Stones in jewelry and silver processing:

• Tenger - transparent and pale lilac zirconium, opals, pearls; white cold enamel.

• Shoniin - smoky quartz, black zirconium, black pearl; black cold enamel, full patina (darkened metal).

• Gal - pomegranates, red zirconium; red cold enamel, artistic patina (stretching from dark to light).

Not poor girls, I would say ))


You know, I do not consider dolls as a toy (never loved play with dolls), rather as an art object - such a bijou and tiny but moving sculpture. And this sculpture has a soul. The words that every doll has its own character are not just words – they are the truth. Let me tell you about the characters of 3 dolls from "Inner Mongolia" collection through the example of how they acted during a photo session.

Tenger (Sky) behaved totally in accordance with her name standing for being natural :) A dress? Which dress? Why do I need wear a dress? Almost all photographs of Tenger in costumes failed ... By contrast, she posed naked for a long time and with pleasure. Such a child of nature;)

More pictures of Tenger

As it befits Night, Shoniin is a mysterious woman. I would even say, a bit cold and closed - in terms of that she can be a storm inside (for sure), but nothing on the surface. It looks like she's saying: go away, please, and do not disturb me. Amongst all 3 girls, to photograph Shoniin was the most challenging: the majority of the photos were ultimately bad - with no reason, despite the presence of light and good equipment. Few nice photos could disappear or accidentally (and repeatedly) be erased from the laptop ... I had a feeling that she was shamanizing and did everything we do not have her pictures. Perhaps, because she has decided: okay, I already have my hostess (the doll was sold before the exhibition), so why should I show me off for others?

More pictures of Shoniin

It seems Gal is created for all pays their attention to her. Because she is a fashion-monger :) In contradiction to Shoniin, she posed gladly. Unlike Tenger, she wanted to be only dressed. Let's make photo of mine in the dress! Can I put that gorgeous velvet red coat on, please?! And hat .. And yes, give me that twig ... Such a nice girl who is joyfully wear semi precious stones and bask in spot lights)

More pictures of Gal