Photographer John Feely embarked on a trip to discover the otherworldly landscapes of Western Mongolia and came back with fascinating works. The emerging Australian photographer was based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for the duration of his project and his allegorical approach to photography has helped him to quickly create a name for himself as a respected photographer and one to watch in the future.
When Feely left for Mongolia, he left with the intention of capturing universal experiences that would appeal to massive audiences. He selected a range of different locations and captured Mongolian culture, the end result of which was a compilation of photographs titled The Outsider.
About ‘The Outsider’
The Outsider captures the harsh landscapes of Mongolia and the day to day life of its inhabitants. The project recorded the photographer’s journey between 2014 and 2015 where Feely managed to expertly present Mongolia as a poetic part of the globe that is characterized by mysticism and isolation.
Of course, Feely is not the first photographer to travel to the distant land to cover its spirituality. However, he managed to separate himself from the rest largely because he allowed himself to be influenced by his experiences as an outsider and as a behavioral advisor.
His photographs have a universal nature to them in that anyone from any part of the world can find them meaningful as they do not require any contextual information, an understanding of the cultural background of Mongolia or the artist’s motivation to be understood. All audiences have to do is approach the photos with a sense of openness and they will be moved.
Trying to understand Mongolia’s culture
The Outsider was shot using a digital camera. Feely used one camera and two lenses for the duration of the trip to make it as easy as possible to move around. Appropriately titled The Outsider, Feely took the series of photographs in an effort to understand the alienating and seemingly impenetrable culture of Mongolia. According to Feely, the photographs served as a representation of the relationships that he formed during his stay in the far-flung land.
Where the photos were taken
Feely spent a total of three months compiling the project and most of the pictures were taken in the Bayan and Ugli region of the Atlai Mountains. Outsider comprises a number of landscape pictures as well as portraits of the indigenous people carrying on with their rural lives.
Feely’s breathtaking collection of photographs from the Outsider has helped to draw plenty of attention from international audiences. As a result, the Outsider has been exhibited in several galleries across the world. He has also won prestigious awards as a result of the series including the title of Australia’s Top Emerging Photographer for 2016.
All images by John Feely/johnfeely.net unless otherwise noted.