My relationship with the Mongolian nomadic families began with my 2002-05 exploration of the Gobi Desert. I discovered the richness of their hospitality. In the evenings, arriving at a ger (portable round white tents), surrounded by their herds of goats, horses and camels, I was invited to eat and sleep. They generously shared their hand-made noodles with air-dried goat meat and fermented mare's milk. After the communal meal, the music begins, with singing and playing of horse-head adorned string instruments. In the morning, as a token of my appreciation, my gift to the family is a 4x5 Polaroid family portrait.
Elaine Ling is an exuberant adventurer, traveler, and photographer who is most at home backpacking her view camera across the great deserts of the world and sleeping under the stars. Her recent project of the Baobab tree has taken her to Mali, S. Africa and Madagascar. Ling’s photographs, widely exhibited and published, are in the permanent collections of numerous museum and private collections including the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France; Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt, Germany; Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark; Centro Portugues de Fotografia, Porto, Portugal; Scavi Scaligeri International Centre of Photography, Verona, Italy; Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium; Fototeca de Cuba, Havana; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Brooklyn Museum, New York; SE Museum of photography, Florida, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Her international publications include work in View Camera, Photo Technique International, The Polaroid Book, Italian Zoom Magazine, and Aperture. Born in Hong Kong, Elaine Ling moved to Canada at the age of nine. Since receiving her medical degree from the University of Toronto, she has practiced family medicine among various First Nations peoples in Canada’s North and Pacific Northwest as well as on the other side of the world, in Abu Dhabi and Nepal. When not traveling, Dr. Ling practices family medicine in Toronto and plays cello in a community orchestra. Elaine Ling has published her first book: Mongolia, Land of the Deer Stone, Lodima Press, PA, USA