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LARGE: 60"x 45"(152cm x 114cm)

STANDARD: 45"x 33"(114cm x 84cm)


Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia 2016

This is my favourite portrait of Mr. Sail Jarykh. He was resting on a rock between scenes during the filming of my documentary “The Story of Aisholpan” (link in my Films section) for DJI World. He proudly showed me off his saddle, which has been in his family for generations. Our crew hiked for an hour to the top of this mountain to Mr. Jarykh's scenes, which meant that Mr. Jarykh and his horse and eagle had to hike as well. I remember the moment when I first saw him make it to the top, with one of our local fixers helping him by the arm. He was a sweet, smiling old man with a slight limp who did not have to bother with the silly adventures of a foreign film crew, but he decided to be a part of our journey anyways. The night before our shoot I drove for two hours to see Mr. Jarykh at his homestead on the steppe. We sat as guests in his kitchen/living room drinking traditional Kazakh tea and “aaruul” (Ааруул), dried hardened sour milk curds, making our introductions and discussing the purpose of our visit. He was kind and generous and excitedly showed us his large collection of Eagle-hunting trophies from over the years. His food and tea were delicious and the fire in his home was crispy on my frozen cheeks. I found out the next day that he rode on his horse for 3 hours the following morning to film with us. There is nothing I can really say to convey how this made me feel. Above all, my film is a testament to the kindness, hospitality and generosity of the Kazakh people of Western Mongolia who allowed us into their homes so that we could capture vignettes of their lives. It is my hope that this film will last into the future and serve as a loving snapshot of their incredible culture.

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