Myanm/art is a Yangon-based contemporary art space committed to developing the resources and exhibition space for emerging contemporary artists, art historians, researchers from Myanmar or who are interested in the Myanmar contemporary scene. We work to develop training opportunities and workshop programs, host regular exhibitions of different kinds and underground music concerts, poetry readings, artist discussions, and provide support for independent contemporary art projects with the expanding interest in current Myanmar subcultures.
HISTORY OF MYANM/ART
Since COVID and the coup began to sweep through Myanmar towards the end of 2019-2021, the country’s independent artists, art spaces and art projects went through an enormous loss. The contemporary art scene was crippled, art spaces had to shut down and some artists had to leave the country in order to keep producing artworks. The mental status of all the people were broken down into pieces and yet since then, the entire country is in survival mode. However, even before the current scenario, decades of isolationism and media censorship have left a dearth of institutions, educators or support networks. Myanm/art was also one of the emerging contemporary spaces which barely survived.
In 2016, Myanm/art was created in order to tackle this lack of support in the fields of the local contemporary art scene by providing an art space, reading library, and a curatorial approach by exchanging conversations among one another. With that, Myanm/art managed to build the trust among the young emerging creative community engaging in performance art, poetry reading, experimental music, installation, photography, filmmaking and multimedia production with the one core concept of “by letting them do whatever they want.” Myanm/art has also become the home base for other related projects such as – Myanmar Contemporary Art Online (MARCA) resulting in archiving print-out books, exhibition catalogs and local art-related books. Since inception Myanm/art has facilitated more than 40 exhibitions of Burmese and international contemporary art as well as film screenings, online exhibition (including artificial intelligence), press conferences, book launches, panel discussions, workshops and artist talks. Programming has covered topics as far-ranging as religious conflict, global climate change, political tensions, LGBTQI and women’s rights. Myanm/art remains the only dedicated contemporary art space in Myanmar and Myanm/art is the only publicly-accessible resource of international exhibitions, contemporary art journals, scholarly research articles, photography and film-related library materials in the country, including a reference library of more than 300 art books and a free-to-use equipment lending library, as a local entity.
Moving forward, the art space has identified a need to shift the educational aspect of our work to the forefront of operations with our program of exhibitions, and public events increasingly curated as support for a core educational program. Myanm/art focuses its programming in three primary areas: Curatorial Exhibitions, Research & Education and Project Support.
Sid Kaung Sett Lin
Curator & Partner of Myanm/art
Founder, 31 Curation & Services
Sid is a programme director and curator who has been based in Yangon, Myanmar, since 2016. He studied Interactive Multimedia Design & Communications at The One Academy (Malaysia), as well as Art History & Philosophy at the University College London (UCL). With a huge interest in art spaces in Yangon, Sid has worked on regional projects with the Yangon Heritage Trust, AICSY (The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation), JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), the European Union and the World Bank. In the current years, with the emphasis in his curatorial practice, Sid started to expand more on his curatorial approach in several exhibitions locally and internationally.
In 2017 Sid co-founded Pyinsa Rasa, an art collective which is dedicated to developing resources, cultural and education programmes for local art practitioners, enthusiasts and students in Myanmar. With Pyinsa Rasa, co-curated and managed the public projects such as Pyinsa Rasa Art Space at the Secretariat; a total of 8 exhibitions, partnered by the Embassy of France & the Yangon Regional Government in 2018, and Sagar Ahla Ku Htone by Facebook in 2019. Outside of Myanmar, Sid has curated and consulted exhibitions in Paris, Sydney, London, Warsaw and Bangkok. With the Myanm/art team, alongside curating exhibitions he also developed the archive project, Myanmar Contemporary Art Archive (MARCA) into an online platform with the support of Goethe-Institut through the International Aid Fund 2020.
In the context of the grant Sid’s role is management of the team itself including administration of the grant,monitoring, implementing and reporting, development of work-plans and budget, as well as development of all partnerships required to complete/expand programming across the artists, instructors and the on-ground situation.
Founder & Curator, Myanm/art
Read about Founder/Director of Myanm/art here.
Min Chit Paing
Gallery Manager, Myanm/art
Programme Manager & Communications, 31 Curation & Services
Min Chit Paing is a gallery manager and programme manager from Tanintharyi Division, living and working in Yangon. Previously a creative director at MODA magazine and a production designer for several local Yangon-based productions, he now focuses more on creative writing, novels and on-ground curatorial management. Min Chit Paing works with Myanmart, a contemporary art space in Myanmar which develops artworks and provides art space for artists of any kind in Myanmar with the definite contemporary approach, and is one of the founding members of 31 Curation & Services., Co.Ltd.
Min Chit has won a short film award as a production designer in the film, “Return to Sender”, organized by Wathann Film Festival in 2020 and co-curated exhibitions such as, Unapologetically Queer in 2021 and as an assistant curator at public exhibitions such as My Justice exhibition in 2019 and Doh Gabar Online Exhibition in 2020 , both funded by the European Union. His work has been exhibited locally and internationally, including at Bangkok International Performance Arts Meeting.
In the context of the grant Min Chit Paing’s role is communication between the instructors and practical implementation of all direct constituency engagement with all the artworks, including the on-ground exhibitional management and consultation with the participants.
Khine Thazin Aung (Jae Jae)
Gallery Assistant, Myanm/art
Research Assistant, 31 Curation & Services
Jae Jae is Gallery Assistant at Myanm/art, as well as a research assistant for 31 Curation & Services, based in Yangon. Despite being the youngest member of the team, Jae Jae worked as an operations officer, at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (School of Arts, Spring University Myanmar), the focal person among all the artists, students and lecturers coordinating with zooms, attendances and administrative works. As an exhibitional experience, she was a part of the curating team in the Rahula Retrospect Exhibition at the Secretariat Yangon, in 2022.
In the context of the grant Jae Jae’s role is management of participants/students and facilitating tasks, attendances, assistance in logistics and support in communication across all the participants, instructors and the program team.