Art ex­hibit sees painters ex­per­i­ment with style

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse - LAE PHYU PYA MYO MYINT lae­phyupya@gmail.com

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.

Photo: Sup­plied

Pann Kyi’s pointil­list de­pic­tion of sil­hou­et­ted Bagan tem­ples is one of many works on dis­play at the Yan­gon Gallery’s Be­yond In­fin­ity ex­hi­bi­tion.

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