Art exhibit sees painters experiment with style
AMIX of the new and the familiar, the novel and the traditional, the Yangon Gallery’s Beyond Infinity exhibition can be seen today and tomorrow. It features artists Zayar Aye, Tin Htay Aung, Saw Kyaw Zaw, Ko Pan Kyi and Saw Tun Lin. Each brings something that will surprise their admirers.
“Zayar Aye created ancient royal portraits with a new and minimalist technique, and Pan Kyi departs from his usual style. Saw Htun Linn, even while harking back to the old Illustrated London News, achieves a fresh creativity, and Tin Htay Aung depicts village life under a new and powerful light. The exhibition allows art lovers to compare and contrast the offerings of these five artists,” said assistant coordinator Htet Naing Lynn.
“We discussed and created our artworks, which we are presenting in a new idiom. It requires more care,” said Zayar Aye.
The works have been in preparation for a year. In describing his approach, Zayar Aye speaks of “attachment”, the bond he feels with the old masters of a century ago. It seems to see the questions of independence through the eyes of the families, deploying symbols both from the west and from Myanmar tradition. Alongside the paintings are papiermâché toys, which reflect a kind of Myanmar-style minimalism, and some woodwork and sculptures.
“I created works that served as my father’s heirlooms and illustrate my gratitude to Sayagyi U Win Maung [Tampawaddy],”he said.
Pan Kyi’s vivid green bamboo groves are forged from what is for him a new kind of combination of brush and palette knife, which comes to heady life in the pastels and violet tones of his Bagan pagodas. “This exhibition marks a new departure for me. I apply the paint more thickly and wield the knife with precision. It gives me a freedom that is exciting. The colours are particularly vibrant.”
Kyaw Zaw and Htay Aung pursue traditional views of pagodas and monasteries, bullock carts and village life. But Saw Htun Linn, a relative newcomer, views that life through the prism of the engravings that appeared in the London newspapers of the 19th century. He lovingly recreated in paint the original pictures, then formed of wood or metal engraving during the early colonial period of the 1840s, as Burma came under British rule.
“I painted the images from the old Illustrated London News,” he said.
Alongside those of his peers, the scenes of 180 years ago have a freshness and a modernity that offer a new perspective on traditional themes that art-lover will appreciate.
Pann Kyi’s pointillist depiction of silhouetted Bagan temples is one of many works on display at the Yangon Gallery’s Beyond Infinity exhibition.