International watercolour exhibition wraps up
WITH playful brushstrokes and a steady arm, Turkish-Canadian artist Atanur Dogan brings a human face to life, wowing the audience during the opening ceremony of the first annual exhibition of the International Watercolour Society of Myanmar at the New Treasure Art Gallery.
Dogan, the founder and president of IWS, is excited by the country’s first international exhibition and his first trip to the country, hoping to invigorate Myanmar’s watercolour scene.
“When I paint portraits, I mainly draw the value of the model’s image, the striking features or character,” Dogan said, struck by the simple and pastoral landscapes of Myanmar. “There are so many excellent artists in Myanmar and finally, the government is encouraging them; they can now do more in their field.”
From September 24 through today, watercolourists from 80 different countries have come together to exhibit their work. Twenty-five of them are Myanmar artists, including Min Wae Aung, Aye Min, Aung Sint, Aung Htet Lwin and Aung Phaw Oo among others who will participate in four painting demonstrations.
Artist Min Wae Aung, known for his paintings of monastic life around the world, was one of the key organisers of the exhibition.
“I am glad that the founder of IWS himself was able to come to the IWS Myanmar’s first show. His presence is very exciting because he is able to witness and give guidance to a whole class of Myanmar artists. Later, Myanmar artists will have the chance to show their art to other IWS divisions,” he said.
With water lilies and traditional Myanmar instruments as his muses, artist Aung Sint was very pleased with the turn out of the exhibit.
“All of the artists came out for this event, and we are very glad to have this opportunity,” he said.
Though IWS Myanmar has an active presence in Myanmar, watercolourist Myint Naing, known for his nude portraits and soft brushstrokes said, “I think it is a technique that is becoming more and more of the past... It’s possible that watercolour painting as a technique is difficult, but if an artist enjoys it, it doesn’t matter if it is difficult or easy. ”
With the help of IWS Myanmar, artists have the opportunity to learn from and connect with a whole network of watercolourists from around the world.
“Today we met with many young artists who do watercolour art.” he said. “Many young artists will benefit from the IWS Myanmar.”
The exhibition also corresponded with a field trip of sorts. From September 25 to 27, outdoor painting sessions were held in Kalaw, Inle Lake and Taunggyi.
Last night, the painters returned to Yangon to share their work inspired by these travels with each other.
Min Wae Aung’s “Loneliness Reflected in Gold” features a stirring look inside a monastery.
Aye Min’s “City Night” is another local watercolour work on display.
Artists Aung Sint (left) and Atanur Dogan (right) celebrate their exhibition at the New Treasure Art Gallery.
Atanur Dogan offers a demonstration of his techniques to interested onlookers.
One of Atanur Dogan’s watercolour portraits hangs on the wall at the New Treasure Art Gallery.