Image: A work by Myint San Myint (Courtesy of the Artist and Karin Weber Gallery)
Karin Weber Gallery presents ‘Yangon Made My Heart Beat Fast” New Contemporary Art from Myanmar from 17 February to 30 March, 2017, a show which explores the blossoming of individual expression, creativity, and the emergence of new voices and viewpoints in an evolving Myanmar. As newfound freedom engulfs the Burmese capital, change occurs at a breathtaking pace.
The exhibition features work by eight of Myanmar’s most compelling experimental artists working across a range of media, including painting, performance, and photography. The artists – Htein Lin, Aung Khaing, Chan Aye, Phyu Mon, Zun Ei Phyu, Thynn Lei Nwe, Myint San Myint, and Khin Thethtar Latt (Nora) – represent multiple generations of artists who share a common interest in working on subject matter and formats outside the realist schools of art favored by the previous military governments. These artists operated on the perimeter of the traditional gallery scene where they carved out a space for themselves as modern artists amid cultural preferences for the traditional.
The new work reveals a colorful experimental art movement unique to Myanmar that is based in Theravada Buddhism and Burmese folklore and history, alongside statements on the rapidly evolving environmental, socio-economic and political landscape. Beloved local poet Aung Cheimt captures this frenetic energy and built up hope in his poetry, which includes the line “Yangon made my heart beat fast.”
In today’s Myanmar, artists are using new materials and formats to express their fears and hopes for the future. Female artists are also stepping forward with a louder voice, taking center stage in conversations on canvas or in performance spaces. Curator Melissa Carlson notes “Myanmar’s contemporary artists are exploring their identity and greater society one-year after the transition to semi-civilian rule, and the innovative stories that these artists wish to share are told in vibrant color and varied formats.” The exhibition provides another milestone in Karin Weber Gallery’s near twenty-year history of showcasing art from Myanmar.
* Workshop & Performance Event:
18 March, 2017 (Saturday), 4-7pm at Karin Weber Gallery