The Yangon arts scene is in good hands. The amount of writing on contemporary arts in Myanmar has tripled over the past year, and it’s thanks to people like Aung Soe Min and Nance Cunningham of Pansodan Gallery and Khin Than Phyu – a well known critic and art writer. The Pansodan Friday Journal is a bilingual weekly that covers everything from street art to reviews to language tips. Here are some of the topics covered in the first 5 issues:
Openings and Events in Yangon (weekly)
“Portraits” by Nance Cunningham, drawing interesting visual parallels between Western modern portrait painters like Picasso to colonial portrait painters in Burma, like Sir Gerald Festus Kelly (circa 1909)
The “Once Upon a Time in Myanmar Visual Art” looks at art from the Socialist era, whether painting or movie poster, and reveals meaning and insight into a previously censored past
“The Art of Surviving in Prison” featuring work by San Zaw Htwe
“Batik Art Movement” by Zaw Htet Zaw – an art movement in the Socialist era featuring now famous painters (i.e. Ba Swe) who explored Batik patterns in their work and held exhibitions in 1987,88, and 94.
Khin Than Phyu’s Art in Myanmar journal is only it it’s 2nd issue, and covers everything from gallery reviews to famous artist interviews – and this time, all in English:
U Ngwe Gaing – a mid-20th century painter, also “known as an alchemist and clairvoyant”
Review of U Lun Gwye and Pangyi Soe Moe “demonstrating” their painting style to excited onlookers
Interviews with Ko Lwin Min (Gallery 65), Ko Sid (Myanmar Ink) and Zaw Win Pe
Essay on conceptual poetry by Poet Nyein Way
Art and Environment Festival review
Article/interview with Ko Ko Gyi
Looking forward to more from these publications. Ma Thanegi would be proud.