Thavibu Contemporary Art from Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar/Burma

Myanmar [Burmese] Artists

Burma was renamed Myanmar in 1989. The art scene is mainly concentrated in Yangon (Rangoon) and Mandalay, the two largest cities. Oil and watercolour have usually been the most popular media, and motifs have traditionally been rural village life scenes and or idyllic scenes depicting Buddhist temples and pagodas. During the last two decades there has also been quite a large number of activist artists who explore new media including video works, installations, art performances. When considering Myanmar contemporary art, one should keep in mind that the country has been more or less isolated from the rest of the world for over thirty years, and hence the art mostly reflects traditional values and ways of life on one side, while the activist art exists as a whole different entity. One characteristic feature of art education or training in Myanmar is the continued system of apprenticeship. Studying in the workshop of an old master is placed in high regard. A new publication has recently been launched describing the historically important old Burmese watercolour paintings by artists such as M T Hla, Saya Myit, Saya Saung, U Ba Thet, Yatanaboon Maung Su, U Ngwe Gaing and others. It can be read for free at Academia.