A Pink Bear in Mongolia: How Paul Robinson hit the steppes with a colourful character: Digital Pictures Evaluation


LUAP’s Pink Bear is an avatar born from joyful childhood recollections.

I’m Paul Robinson, higher generally known as LUAP, and I am a multidisciplinary artist working throughout portray, images, print and sculpture. Once I’m not portray or enhancing images in my studio, I’m exploring the world with my digicam and the costume of my major character, The Pink Bear. My creative journey has taken me to bustling cities in addition to a few of the most distant and inhospitable locations on Earth.

The work I create comes out of my ongoing journey of non-public development, particularly to enhance my psychological well being. Additionally basic to my work are international points reminiscent of environmental change and the expertise of isolation.

The Pink Bear wasn’t hiding in a nook or operating away from issues, it was proud and robust.

In 2009 I used to be working with my therapist to discover how the thought of timber – which I used to be portraying quite a bit in my work on the time – represented my sense of loneliness. I had the sense that many people really feel like remoted timber in a forest full of individuals.

Enter The Pink Bear. When inspired to search for a optimistic reminiscence, I recalled the carefree, tender emotions related to a Polaroid print of Mum, Dad, myself and my brother after we have been youngsters – with an enormous Eighties neon pink bear mascot stoically settled amongst us. The reminiscence of that {photograph} nonetheless brings a smile to my face and takes me to a spot of affection and security. Once I was uncomfortable in my very own pores and skin, I might go to the bear. The Pink Bear wasn’t hiding in a nook or operating away from issues, it was proud and robust.

Every shot I make of The Pink Bear is choreographed with an actual determine carrying a human-size character swimsuit. Capturing my photographic works stay, reasonably than faking the bear in a post-production edit, for me enhances the sense of nostalgia and romance. Nevertheless, this dedication can also be a bodily problem as I negotiate the practicalities of taking heavy gear – the costume is 20kg (44 lbs) – on creative missions which might be incessantly arduous if not flat-out harmful.

On my most up-to-date journey I travelled throughout Mongolia for 10 days on horseback, via one of many world’s most distant and uninhabited landscapes, with a purpose to create new photographic artworks of The Pink Bear. I had been planning this journey for 3 years, with the assistance of Megan Hine (whom I’m joyful to now name a good friend). Megan is a British survival skilled who has led expeditions everywhere in the world in a few of the harshest environments – a real-life motion hero. I used to be initially scheduled to exit to Mongolia in 2020, however the journey was postponed because the world locked down with COVID-19 restrictions. Disappointingly, the lockdown was nonetheless in pressure in 2021. Lastly, at the beginning of 2022, we received the inexperienced gentle, and began the preparations for departure in September 2022.

On my most up-to-date journey, I travelled throughout Mongolia for 10 days on horseback with a purpose to create new photographic artworks of The Pink Bear.

The nomadic life are slowly dying out in Mongolia, as youthful generations are drawn to fashionable facilities and wealth in the principle metropolis of Ulaanbaatar. As the traditional traditions fade away and a life lived sustainably from the land is changed by instant-gratification attitudes, it’s extra necessary than ever to shine a light-weight on the standard. A key focus of my paintings is the influence on the planet from over-consumption. The choice to make the entire journey on horseback, reasonably than in an off-road automobile, was made with a purpose to have a minimal carbon footprint and to rejoice custom.

Traversing the steppe on horseback made a difficult mission extra painful.

To organize for the journey I gave up alcohol and take-away meals for 3 months to get in high form, and I needed to start taking horse-riding classes as a result of I’d by no means ridden in my life. It was a completely new talent that was significantly difficult given a life-long worry of horses. It took me some time to get the grasp of using, particularly with my digicam gear on my again whereas trotting across the enviornment.

Regardless of how tight I had my bag connected to me it will bounce up and down. Within the using faculty this was solely a gentle inconvenience. Sadly I found it is a very completely different story when on horseback for 8 hours a day and trotting as much as 2 miles at a time in Mongolia. Sore can be an understatement – bruised and in ache is nearer to actuality.

The Pink Bear is at all times on location with LUAP; the magic occurs in actual life, reasonably than in put up.

Making the expedition much more bodily and mentally demanding have been the intense temperature adjustments every day. We skilled +25°C (77° F) sunshine, snowstorms and -15°C (5° F) nights. The surface of my sleeping bag would develop a skinny pores and skin of frost every day. Once I wanted the bathroom in the course of the night time I needed to be fast – it will take too lengthy to place all my gear on so I simply needed to courageous it. To have consuming water within the night time I needed to convey it in my sleeping bag or it will merely freeze contained in the tent. For these type of journeys the fitting gear is key or it will be inconceivable to outlive in such harsh circumstances, not to mention create the paintings.

The nomadic lifestyle is dying out in Mongolia, as youthful generations transfer to the town.

Regardless of the hardship I discovered the panorama really magical – bursting with colour regardless that it was so empty and desolate. The rocky steppes have been shades of inexperienced and orange as they leaked the copper and iron minerals which might be contained inside them, contrasting with shades of purple and blue as single clouds handed their shadows over the panorama. The bottom at first look appears barren and lifeless, however as I seemed nearer I may see networks of grass roots and tiny foliage able to burst into flower.

The entire journey felt like being on a purpose-built movie set.

The horse I used to be using would munch on the longer grass at any time when it had the possibility as we navigated the panorama, passing over mountains and hills, via valleys, and round lakes. No terrain was inconceivable for the impressively robust but small horses. I used to be advised you needed to belief your horse to decide on the trail on such troublesome floor reasonably than main them. Additional colour was offered as we travelled by the altering climate and light-weight – from white snowstorms beneath gray clouds, to superb sunsets weaving extremely saturated skies of countless hues. The entire journey felt like being on a purpose-built movie set.

The desolation of Mongolia is a stark distinction with the magical, colourful sunsets and mineral-filled steppes.

I have to admit that there have been moments once I thought it will be a lot simpler travelling in a 4×4, however the bond I developed with the horse as we travelled via the huge and empty land wound up making the journey much more magical. I needed to seize the precarious fantastic thing about Mongolia, earlier than international warming and westernization change the nation irreparably. The eagle hunters with whom I used to be working could quickly be relegated to legend, and their conventional methods of dwelling and searching in Mongolia could vanish too. I felt so fortunate to have the ability to expertise this way of life firsthand.

A purpose of the mission was capturing the ecosystem in Mongolia earlier than international warming adjustments it irreparably.

No doubt the spotlight of the journey was the day we photographed The Pink Bear on horseback with the golden eagles within the remoted panorama of the Altai area. However then the day received even higher as an impromptu occasion was thrown and we partied with the eagle hunters and locals effectively into the night time beneath the celebrities, consuming native vodka and listening to Mongolian techno. It was the proper ending to the day, and Mongolia received a everlasting place in my coronary heart.

LUAP hopes that The Pink Bear brings smiles to all, close to and much.

I’m devoted to liberating artwork from the confines of the standard gallery house and bringing it to broader audiences. The adventures I’m going on with The Pink Bear just do that, and this Mongolian journey was no completely different. The Pink Bear introduced smiles to locals and even impressed them to take their very own images of the bear exterior their gers within the distant Mongolian panorama.

LUAP shoots his photos utilizing a Nikon D850 and quite a few Nikon’s F2.8 lenses.

Who is aware of? Possibly many years from now, one of many Pink Bear pictures will unfold a way of heat and nostalgia to the Mongolians I encountered, as my cherished household photograph did for me.

Multidisciplinary British artist Paul Robinson (aka LUAP) dynamically fuses journey and artwork via his work and images. His adult-size Pink Bear swimsuit follows him up mountains, via surreal landscapes, into bustling cities and and away to distant areas, juxtaposing all of them towards his central determine The Pink Bear. Utilizing completely different mediums and strategies, his artwork tackles psychological well being, local weather and ecological emergency, and human isolation.

LUAP has exhibited alongside internationally famend artists, created bespoke artworks for unique Member Golf equipment and labored with charities to lift cash. He’s presently planning his subsequent Pink Bear quest and is in search of sponsors to assist him attain new heights with this mission.