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Myanmar: Faces and Figures
28 September @ 11:00 am - 4 November @ 7:00 pm
Celebrate local and international Myanmar trailblazers! This art exhibition focuses on some of the most influential voices in the Myanmar contemporary arts scene. As the country continues to face complex socio-political challenges, these three established artists work have been instrumental in shaping the narrative of Myanmar contemporary art into what it is today.
From the 1960s onwards, Aung Myint, Htein Lin and Min Wae Aung have all pioneered highly individualistic forms of self-expression through their art, building Myanmar’s artistic reputation on the international stage, and inspiring the next generation of young talents along the way. Important local art world leaders, this showcase of their work focuses on the faces and figures that are consistent features in their art, reflections of their signature styles.
One of the most recognisable subjects in Aung Myint’s practice is the ‘Mother and Child’ figure. Executed in a single brush stroke, referencing the swirls and arches of Burmese script, this simple figure is as much the artist’s reckoning with childhood trauma of losing his mother at a young age, as an embracing of his Burmese heritage.
Htein Lin makes local folklore the focus of his striking ‘Bedtime Stories’ (2017) series. Originally part of an installation involving upcycled beds, the four pieces focus on women celebrated for their devotion and transformational powers – some even deified into ‘Nats’, domestic spirits still worshipped by local communities today. These large scale works also demonstrate Htein Lin’s renowned monoprint technique; finger drawings in paint on flat surfaces from which a single, often textile, print is lifted.
Min Wae Aung has remained consistent in his portrayal of Buddhist subjects, mostly monks and novices, for several decades now. His internationally renowned ‘Towards Monastery’ series echoes the gentle shapes and curves of monastic processions, executed in vibrant reds, pinks and yellows against plain, often golden backgrounds. Gentler, yet equally iconic watercolour works engage with similar themes in a softer palette.
As contemporary art in Myanmar strives for progress in the face of uncertainty and adversity on the ground, Aung Myint, Htein Lin and Min Wae Aung continue to teach, lead and inspire the younger artists following in their footsteps.