4 Days in Mongolia : Glimpses of life...
4 Days in Mongolia
Glimpses of life...
J.P. + Pierre Choinière, September 15, 2008
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Starting September 24, the Comptoir d'ailleurs boutique presents Mongolia in 4 Days, a series of live photographs taken during a recent trip to Mongolia by fashion photographer, Pierre Choinière. With this new exhibition and the boutique being entirely remodelled during a week, the Comptoir d’ailleurs reaffirms its mission as a “gallery” boutique. Mongolia in 4 Days will be on show through mid-December.

Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Pierre Choinière’s subject matter is anything but ordinary. Upon arrival, he begins his journey in the old capital of the Mongol Empire, Karakorum, where granite turtles greet him and the city harbours one of the most ancient Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia, Erdene Zuu. After meandering through what has now become a village, with its narrow streets and wooden houses, the photographer then goes into exile on the Mongolian steppes, encountering nomad settlements, consisting of a few simple yurts and their rudimentary decor. There he discovers a world that seems forgotten by the contemporary world. The inhabitants, with their faces eroded by the harsh climate, leave an impression of hospitality and evoke a sense of sharing. “We lived with them under the yurt. They are a very kind and natural people”, remembers Pierre Choinière.

Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


For this trip, the photographer left his digital cameras behind for his “old” Leica. This choice not only allowed him to “travel light”, but moreover, working with a chromatic film enabled him to capture a depth of field that a digital camera simply cannot deliver. And there is no shortage of depth among the arid mountain regions, where spectacular sand storms trouble the landscape from time to time. The photographs capture spontaneous portraits, glimpses of life, yurt interiors, the desert-like immensity of the steppes…

Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Nevertheless, the photographer left on his journey without any pre-conceived ideas of the pictures he wanted to take. On his first journey to Mongolia, he wanted to allow himself to be carried away by his first visual impressions. The result is an impressive portrait of a world that we believed disappeared a long time ago, but that nonetheless still exists. A world caught between troubling contradictions, where the horse remains the sole means of transportation, where villages never stay in the same place more than six months, a rustic and simple world where its inhabitants have the generosity and kindness of those who have little.

Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Comptoir d’ailleurs

In September 2006, the Comptoir d’ailleurs opened shop on St-Laurent Boulevard. It is an original “gallery” boutique that not only offers candles and photophores by the Moroccan craft company, Amira Bougies, but also exhibits artistic photographs of these products. The two owners of Comptoir d’ailleurs, fashion photographer Pierre Choinière and stylist Claudine Blanchet, immediately fell in love with the Marrakech company’s offerings, which have already received prestigious mentions in the international press (Wallpaper, Elle Déco, Marie-Claire, Côté Sud, The New York Times…). More than simple candles, Amira Bougies photophores are little works of art available in 27 natural shades and impress as much by their shapes as by their unique style (floating spheres, monumental columns, etc…).


Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Pierre Choinière’s book Paraffine, now available in bookstores and at Comptoir d’ailleurs, uncovers the universe of the Amira Bougies plant in Marrakech, as well as showcasing the most beautiful photographs from the most recent exhibition at the gallery boutique’s opening night. Awarded a Grand prix Créativité Montréal in 2007, the interior of the boutique was designed to allow the art objects, in all their beauty, to take the limelight. It is a minimalist space, finished in gray and black tones, with filter window glazing and simply dressed with dark wood furniture, a St. Marc stone basin and a few lounge chairs.

Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere


Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere
Mongolie_Comptoirs dailleurs_Pierre Choiniere