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Beyond Burma II

This event is in the past. This is an archive page for reference.

In September 2006 the forgotten land of Burma suddenly hit world headlines as Buddhist monks spearheaded demonstrations against the country's repressive military government.

The "Saffron Revolution" didn't last long. The military crushed this rare mass expression of free speech, and any illusions that it would draw the line at reprisals against Buddhist monks were soon shattered.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest, 19 years after being elected to power.
Meanwhile, a quiet revolution continues in Burmese art, long hidebound both by tradition and, in the country itself, by official hanging committees dedicated to preserving the status quo.

Burmese artists working in the UK are free to express themselves on canvas, and examples of their paintings, drawings and mixed media works were seen a year ago in the exhibition Beyond Burma at the Menier Gallery.

Following the success of that show, a new selection of work can be seen this year.

Six artists are taking part, among them Htein Lin, who came to prominence in 2007 with his exhibition at London's Asia House of work he painted in Rangoon's notorious Insein Jail.

Htein Lin was a student leader in Burma's 1988 uprising before becoming a painter, actor and performance artist. From 1998-2004 he was a political prisoner, but managed to produce several hundred paintings in jail on cotton clothing, using unconventional materials in place of brushes to print them. The results were strong expressionist and abstract works.

Since his release, Htein Lin has continued to build on the creative techniques he developed while imprisoned. His latest canvases draw on his experiences as an activist in Burma and on recent events, including the Saffron Revolution.

Beyond Burma II also features the work of two sisters, Khin Myint and Tin Tin Sann, who have exhibited frequently in London in recent years. Pioneers of the avant-garde art movement while living in Burma (Khin Myint was the first woman to have a nude painting hung in public there, and Tin Tin Sann one of the first to show batik paintings), they take very different approaches to depicting both the natural and political worlds.

Both now live in London. Khin's work reveals a unique synthesis of Burmese ethnic art and Western abstraction. Tin Tin's current wors has moved from impressionist to abstraction, with a free flow of colour.

Patrick Maung Yay has exhibited in more than 10 group shows and five one-man shows in England, and much of his work is with private collectors around the world. His paintings are increasingly influenced by his Buddhist beliefs, though he started out as an impressionist, like his master Shwe Aung Thein.

Ba Maw has been a painter since the 1970s, but this is the first time he has shown his works with the other UK-based Burmese artists. His approach to art is uncluttered and his style simple and distinctive. He works as a producer for the Burmese Section of BBC World Service.

The five London based artists are joined this year by Aung Latt. Born to an artist father, he started painting when very young. From 1998 - 2005 he was a political prisoner.In September 2007 he was involved in the Saffron Revolution, and subsequently had to go into hiding from the authorities in Rangoon and in late 2008, he fled to Thailand. Duringthis time hehad continued to paint,influenced by the Symbolism and Surrealism movements, and this exhibition will show some of his work while in hiding.

Ten percent of proceeds from the sale of art in the Beyond Burma II show will be donated to charities operating on behalf of the Burmese people.


Menier Gallery
Menier Chocolate Factory, 51 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TE
infowhat's on @map

Mon-Sat 11am-6pm


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This event is in the past. This is an archive page for reference.
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