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Canvas paintings are beautiful in themselves, but turning them into live films is extraordinary. Find beauty in the short film 'The Fourfold'.

Fall into the beautiful world created by the short film ‘The Fourfold’

Animation doesn’t always mean CGI or pencil drawings. Sometimes it means claymation, or rotoscoping. Other times, it means canvas paintings flowing like water in the ocean. The Fourfold is a short film that uses canvas to show some of the shamanistic traditions and animistic beliefs of Mongolia and Siberia. 

Directed by Alisi Telengut, The Fourfold captures the beauty of tradition by having canvas paintings dance across the screen. Showing off these traditions in such a beautiful medium, Telengut shows how beautiful culture can be. The works of Telengut could easily be shown on the walls of the world’s greatest art museums, but instead she chooses to destroy each piece as she films. 

Canvas paintings are beautiful in themselves, but turning them into live films is extraordinary. Find beauty in the short film 'The Fourfold'.

Self-destructive art

The Fourfold is not the first work of Telengut’s to show short-lived artwork. Using plants and other compostable materials, Telengut works to tell important stories dedicated to showcasing various cultures to help preserve their traditions for a new generation. 

Of course, art is the universal language. The Fourfold is actually narrated in Mongolian, but with subtitles in other languages. Yet you never lose sight of the message because the art tells you everything you need to know. 

Part of the reason Telengut doesn’t save her art after creating the film is to play her part in preserving our future. While her short films preserve cultures for the future, her art helps fight global warming and save the Earth for the next generation. 

Canvas paintings are beautiful in themselves, but turning them into live films is extraordinary. Find beauty in the short film 'The Fourfold'.

Art with meaning

Every piece Telengut composes for her short film The Fourfold sends a message. Whether it’s a message of humanity and love through conveying the traditions of the Mongolians, or a message of desperation and fear through showing the dangers of climate change, Telengut knows the power of art. 

Telegnut isn’t afraid to make her message clear either. She’ll combine the beautiful music of the Mongols with the devastating imagery of the icebergs melting, or plants dying out from air pollution. You can’t help but feel something when watching The Fourfold, because the art speaks to you as it moves across the screen.

Canvas paintings are beautiful in themselves, but turning them into live films is extraordinary. Find beauty in the short film 'The Fourfold'.

Keeping culture alive

From showcasing the structures where Mongols go to pray to Mother Nature, to explaining who the God Tengri is and how he helps the people of Mongolia, The Fourfold is the perfect way to preserve this culture. Mongols to this day are mostly located in China & Mongolia, with some other major populations in Russia, the U.S., and South Korea. 

Taking some aspects of Buddhism and Shamanism to make their own religion, the Mongols are strong believers in the gifts of nature. Without Mother Earth, there would be no place for us to live. To them, this is why preserving the Earth is such a crucial task.

While these lessons seem universal, you learn by watching The Fourfold how the Mongols try to honor their God differently than other religions. It’s something we often forget, and by bringing these values and traditions to life in such a unique format, Telengut has managed to create something special with her short film. 

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