LIVING ON MY SKIN
A Solo Exhibition by Thadi Htar
26 May – 11 June, 2017
Thadi Htar means “caution” in Burmese. It is used on electrical boxes and warnings signs throughout Myanmar. It is also the artist’s moniker – one that simultaneously draws attention and creates distance. Thadi Htar grew up in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar and attended Sittwe University. He spends parts of the year in Mrauk U, Ngapali, and Yangon, an artist and a nomad, preferring to live in between urban and rural spaces. He has actively participated in the arts scene in Myanmar for over a decade, including exhibitions produced by creative collective theart.com – BodyReports 1&2 in 2009-2010, and Fused in 2008; multiple editions of Beyond Pressure Performance Art Festival, 7000 Padauk, and as part of the Ten Men documentary film workshop and production team. His primary medium is performance – or action – art. He uses his body to convey a story or practice and interrogate his own ego through his body. In recent years he created paintings inspired by his body art and continues to examine aspects of bodily belonging, sometimes inflicting pain on himself as part of his performance pieces.
In his first ever solo exhibition, Thadi Htar will revisit themes of his previous works, as well as introduce new material. Living on My Skin is inspired by a collaborative work between artist Aung Myint and Thadi Htar created in 2008 at the Fused exhibition. The title of their collaborative work was “Me and Myself”. Four life-size photographs of Thadi Htar’s body were coiled awkwardly in a plastic bag. It was the start of an ongoing obsession with documenting his performances and using his body as the main medium in his art. Two years later, during BodyReports 2 – an exhibition of performance and poetry – Thadi Htar sat in the middle of Lokanat Gallery and invited the audience to design a tattoo for his body. In Living on My Skin at Myanm/art he will continue this performance. For a negotiated price, any member of the audience can tattoo anything on his body, anywhere on his body. This makes his body a canvas and simultaneously performs for and with the audience members.