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Exhibition Calendar

"Burmese Days"

- Min Zaw, Tin Tung Hliang and Nyein Chan Su

15 October - 24 November 2002

Zee Stone Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of landscape and figure paintings by three leading contemporary Burmese artists: Min Zaw, Tin Tung Hliang and Nyein Chan Su. Despite its recent turbulent history, Burma’s artists concentrate on capturing the “Golden Earth” of Burma that lies beneath the political upheaval. Their landscapes, village scenes and images of Buddhist monks have a simple charm and increasing artistic maturity that have brought them to international attention in the past decade.

Especially in the countryside, life in Burma still centres on Buddhism and the yearly cycle of seasons and festivals. All three artists are inspired by customs and traditions that date back thousands of years but each depicts them in his own individual style. Min Zaw (b. 1972) describes the relationship between the people and their environment in Impressionistic paintings in which the figures are dwarfed by soaring spires of the great pagodas that dominate the Burmese landscape. The atmosphere is one of reverence and awe, yet also tranquillity and warmth emphasized by mainly golden tones.

Tin Tun Hlaing (b. 1969) is also concerned with depicting Burmese culture, tradition and social life, but in a photo-realistic style. There is also a poetic element in his compositions, heightened by unusual perspectives, such as the bird’s-eye view of boats on the river or a solitary novice monk studying his scriptures. Tin Tun Hlaing is a master of light and shade, whether in paintings of monks in saffron and burgundy robes beneath parasols or distant views of temples and pagodas.

The vibrancy of Burma’s landscape and customs is also captured by Nyein Chan Su (b. 1973) in semi-abstract works where colour and form are more important than realistic representation. The artist focuses on the beautiful architectural shapes of a pagoda against the sky, the ochre and red robes of monks expressed in bold, free brush strokes, or the energy of villagers performing a traditional Shan drum dance.

All three artists trained at the State School of Fine Arts in Rangoon and increasingly are being exhibited and collected around the world. They represent the finest of the new generation of Burmese artists whose horizons are expanding as the country opens up, giving them greater scope for artistic expression.