7000 Padauk – Support an Art Space in Burma

 

We want to invite our friends and artists we have met to literally be a part of this space, one way or another. So first we tell you Who, What, When, Where and Why we are creating this temporary space, then How you can help. There is even a low-budget video on YouTube answering a few of those questions. View it here.

Who?

Nathalie (that’s me) and Mrat (that’s him) met in 2009 at a performance art event in Yangon. He had just published Myanmar’s first book of contemporary art and I was just beginning a long research period in prep for my Masters thesis on performance art in Myanmar. We have been working together ever since and talking about one day having a free space where expression is the only free thing.

I now host a web-based platform called Myanmar Art Evolution while Mrat has participated in several international residencies and creates performance pieces here in Yangon. We both have to teach on the side in order to fund our art projects.

What?

7000 Padauk will be a creative space for action and exhibit. We will host artists, provide materials, invite the public, and share online every construction, duration, gathering and work of artists and people of Yangon.

When?

APRIL 2013. Padauk is the name of a sweet-smelling flower that only blooms in April, during the Buddhist New Year celebrations. New year. New space. One month. Why one month? The space is an old house that we have permission to use until June when it will be torn down to build an apartment block. Check it out in the video here.

Where? The map.

Yangon: the city formerly known as Rangoon in the country of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Neither Mrat nor I are from Yangon but we both moved here to learn something. I’m from Alexandria, Virginia and Mrat is from Sittwe, a city in the Rakhine State in the Western part of Myanmar, bordering Bangladesh. The old concrete and wood house is on Kanna Road, which snakes along the Yangon River the boat terminals where cargo comes in from all over the world.

Why 7000 Padauk?

The interesting artists we have met and befriended here need a free space: a place where they can practice without time limits or governmental regulation or curated spectacle. We provide material support for their proposed project.

They can live in the space or spend a few hours there. They can create performance art work, graffiti murals, live painting shows or poetry. We document every step of the way, contributing to a new kind of conversation when it comes to art. Yes, experimental space happens everywhere. But at this time, in this place, it will only happen once.

Why we need you

Because a foundation cannot work within our deadline, we have to raise the money ourselves. We think of it as including our friends from all over the world, as well as in Myanmar, to become a part of this project. We like the idea of providing “rewards” for your generosity. For every donation made, we will show our gratitude in one of several ways.

The larger the donation, the more you join the conversation, the closer we can get you to experiencing 7000 Padauk. A care package, a personalized artist’s work or even a flight to come see where we are coming from are just some of the ways we can thank you.

This is a mere introduction. If you would like to be involved, please email us at nathalie.johnston@gmail.com or mrat.lanuite@gmail.com.

We can provide you with budget, timeline and any other information you will need to verify your pledge. We would like to raise $3500 USD by April 1st in order to pay for this temporary space to occur. Even the smallest amount gets us one step closer to our dream of 7000 Padauk.

Don’t forget to the watch the Video here.

Check out our Facebook pages here.

Find Myanmart on Twitter.

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