Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Mongolian University of Arts and Culture
B.A., Mongolian University of Arts and Culture


Dr. Tsultem is a scholar of Mongolian art and culture whose research focuses mainly on Buddhist art and architecture and contemporary Asian art. Dr. Tsultem received her Ph.D. in East Asian and Himalayan art history from University of California, Berkeley, where she also taught and served as co-chair of the Mongolia Initiative Program at the Institute of East Asian Studies. She also taught at National University of Mongolia, Yonsei University in South Korea, and University of Iceland. She is a recipient of several prestigious fellowships, which include IU Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellowship (2022-2024), Research Fellowship from the Institute of Arts and Humanities at IUPUI (IAHI) (2020, 2022), John Kluge Fellowship from the Library of Congress (2013) and American Council of Learned Societies (2014-2016). Dr. Tsultem’s research and publications include topics on ancient stone monuments in Mongolian steppes, a thirteenth-century Chinggis Khan’s portrait at National Palace Museum in Taiwan, a nineteenth-century mobile monastery Urga (Ikh Khüree), art of 1960s in Mongolia and contemporary Asian artists’ relationship to their art traditions. Dr. Tsultem has had a long curatorial career exhibiting Mongolian art internationally since 1997. She is an active scholar with six books published in Mongolia, in addition to her monograph, A Monastery on the Move: Art and Politics in Later Buddhist Mongolia, published in December 2020 from Hawaii University Press.

Selected Publications


  • A Monastery on the Move: Art and Politics in Later Buddhist Mongolia. (Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, December 2020).
  • Primary Documents of Mongolian Art Associations. in Mongolian. (Ulaanbaatar: BCI Publishing, 2018).
  • Selected Papers On Themes of Mongolian Art History, 1993-2018. in Mongolian. (Ulaanbaatar: Admon Print, 2018).
  • Ikh Khüree and the Later Buddhist Art of Mongolia. in Mongolian. (Ulaanbaatar: BCI Publishing, 2016). 

Articles, Edited Volumes and Book Chapters

  • “The Mongolian Artist Zanabazar and the Mongol Devotion to the Future Buddha Maitreya,” ”Appliqué Artistic Tradition and the War God Begtse’s Significance in Mongolia,” "Mongolian Map of Capital Yekhe Khüriye,” in Himalayan Art in 108 Objects (New York: Rubin Museum of Art and Scala Arts Publishers, 2023).
  • “The 'Capitalist Art' and the Invention of Tradition in Twentieth-Century Mongolia” in Simon Wickhamsmith and Phillip Marzluf eds., Socialist and Post-Socialist Mongolia: Nation, Identi-ty, and Culture (Leiden: Routledge, 2021), Ch. 8, pp. 133-152.
  • “The Portrait of Chinggis Khaan: Revisiting the Ancestral Connections” in Ellen Huang, Nancy G. Lin,  Michelle McCoy and Michelle Wang eds., Water Moon Reflections: Essays in Honor of Pa-tricia Berger (Berkeley: Institute East Asian Studies, 2021), pp. 57-90.
  • Uranchimeg Tsultemin ed., Buddhist Art of Mongolia: Cross-Cultural Connections, Discoveries and Interpretations. Special Issue. Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, Special Issue. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies (online edition) and Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 2019 (print edition).
  • “Carving and Sculpture” in Haruhiko Fujita ed., Encyclopedia of Asian Design, vol. 2, “Mongolia” section. (London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2019), pp. 488-491.
  • “Mugi’s Self-Portrait and Maternal Bodies in Post-Socialist Mongolia.” Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture. Oxford, UK: Routledge, Vol. 33, issue 1, January 2019, pp. 79-104.
  • “A Case of Allegoresis: A Buddhist Painter and His Patron in Mongolia” Artibus Asiae, Zürich: Museum Rietberg, Switzerland, Vol.78, Issue 1 (2018), pp. 61-94.
  • “Mongolian Art and the Dilemma of Himalayan Affiliation” Journal of South Asian Studies, Taylor&Francis: British Association of South Asian Studies, Vol. 34, no 2, December, 2018: 137-153.
  • “Political Ecology in Baatarzorig’s Art: Mongolia Is in Business” in Hermione Spriggs and Rebecca Empson eds., Five Heads (Tavan Tolgoi): Art, Anthropology and Mongol Futurism (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2018), pp. 105-119.
  • “Tradition and Transition: Mongolian Artists at the Venice Biennale” in Orientations, vol. 46/6, September 2015, Hong Kong, pp. 97-103.
  • “Other Home” the catalog of the Mongolia Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, Italy, 2015. (Ulaanbaatar: Mongolian Contemporary Art Association).
  • “Women Artists of Mongolia” in Raiji Kuroda ed., Women Artists of Asia (Fukuoka: Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, 2012), pp. 208-215.
  • “Modernity and Tradition in Mongolian Contemporary Art” in Annu Wilenius ed., BareHouse: Pori-Rotterdam-Ulaanbaatar (Pori Art Museum, Finland, 2011), pp. 142-156.

Courses Taught

  • Art of the Past Two Decades
  • Identity and Politics in Contemporary Asian Art
  • Introduction to Arts of East Asia
  • Art and Culture of Mongolia
  • Interpreting Art and its History

Awards (selections)

  • IU Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellowship, 2022-2024
  • IAHI Summer Academy Fellowship, IUPUI, 2020
  • American Council of Learned Societies/Robert Ho Foundation Collaborative Research Award, 2014-2016
  • John W. Kluge Fellowship, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2012-2013
  • Khyentse Foundation Fellowship, San Francisco, 2012-2014 

Curated Exhibitions (selections)

  • Invited Curator, Mongol Zurag: The Art of Everyday,” SAPAR Contemporary, NYC, 2019
  • Curator, “Reincarnation,” in Personal Structures, 56th Venice Biennale, 2015
  • Invited Curator, Mongolia Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2015
  • Invited Curator, Ulaanbaatar City Pavilion, 9th Shanghai Biennale, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China, 2012
  • Invited Nominator for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong, 2010-present
  • Invited Nominator for Signature Art Prize, Singapore Art Museum, 2008-present