Still life un­der the sun­light

The Myanmar Times - - Metro - SAN LIN TUN

THESE days there are al­most daily art events in Yan­gon and it is a good sign for the city’s thriv­ing vis­ual arts land­scape, for art en­thu­si­asts as well as for the artists.

One of these on­go­ing ex­hi­bi­tions is at the iconic LoKanat Gal­leries at the So­faer Build­ing in Pan­so­dan Street. Called “Un­der the Sun­light” the event is solo show by Win Pe Myint, pop­u­larly known by his ini­tials, WPM.

This well-known artist was born in Minbu in 1948, and grad­u­ated from The Ran­goon Arts and Sci­ence Univer­sity in Yan­gon in 1970. His in­ter­est in draw­ing and paint­ing started in his child­hood. He learned his craft from four fa­mous lo­cal art masters: U Lun Gywe, U Thein Han, U Shwe Oung Thame, and U Paw Oo Thett. Each of these vet­eran pain­ters taught him dif­fer­ent skills that made him what he is to­day.

He had been con­duct­ing solo shows since 1977, and has held 18 solo ex­hi­bi­tions so far. WPM stand out for his sub­jects and styles, so peo­ple like to see and col­lect his art­works ex­ten­sively.

For this art show, the gen­eral theme of his works is “Our earth lies in the so­lar sys­tem.”

He said he is try­ing to em­pha­sise that life on earth falls un­der the in­flu­ence of the sun.

“Sun­light is es­sen­tial to our world. Things and ob­jects be­come more in­ter­est­ing un­der the sun­light than un­der shade and they can be­come ex­cep­tion­ally beau­ti­ful. I did the paint­ings with this in mind,” WPM said.

While the sub­jects the artist chooses to por­tray are com­mon ev­ery­day ob­jects such as fruits, glass and glazed bot­tles, pots, flow­ers, dried leaves, his skills with paint give com­mon things an amaz­ing, al­most in­can­des­cent qual­ity.

Ob­jects tran­scend them­selves once WPM puts them on can­vas and his brush­work cap­tures the essence of the sub­jects in his still-life paint­ings.

One of the ex­hi­bi­tion notes in the gallery states that the artist’s de­sire to paint “any­thing in sun­shine” be­cause of how the light brings out dark shadow tones and in­tense colours. WPM said this al­lows him to see un­ex­pected ar­range­ments of colours and lines. The mood his paint­ings gen­er­ate are likely to leave long im­pres­sions on view­ers. For this ex­hi­bi­tion, he show­cased more than 20 art­works done in wa­ter­colour, acrylic and oil paint­ings.

Among the paint­ings on show is the 36 by 48 inch piece Flow­ers, Fruits, and Pots priced at US$3000 (K4.76 mil­lion). An­other paint­ing that caught the eye of this writer is Ap­ples for You (US$3000), a piece done in oil, which al­most ex­udes a sense of calm.

Among other stand­out pieces was Trop­i­cal Light (30 by 36 inches, US$1500) which was drawn in oil and de­picts a bunch of red ba­nanas and a half peeled ba­nana un­der sun­light. The colour white is the cen­tre of in­ter­est in this paint­ing, and is in­ten­si­fied by the other colours sur­round­ing it. The spa­tial ar­range­ment of the fruits pro­vides a well­bal­anced com­po­si­tion of the paint­ing.

An­other paint­ing ti­tled Yel­low Fruits in acrylic is also strik­ing for its use of colour.

A wa­ter­colour piece ti­tled April (9 by 12 inches, US$200) de­picts the dry­ness and heat of the hot sea­son which is il­lus­trated beau­ti­fully through dry leaves.

But one of the more in­ter­est­ing art­works in this ex­hi­bi­tion was an 14 by 18 inch oil on can­vas piece ti­tled “the Art Book” which, un­for­tu­nately, was not for sale.

The art­works on dis­play are vis­ually mag­netic and trans­fix view­ers who feast their eyes on the well-pre­sented paint­ings, while pro­vid­ing them with fleet­ing mo­ments to en­joy and ap­pre­ci­ate the sim­ple plea­sures in life, the or­di­nary things we see ev­ery day in our house, in the street, in the of­fice or in the school… all un­der the sun­light. San Lin Tun is a free­lance writer of es­says, po­etry and short sto­ries.

Pho­tos: Zarni Phyo

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