No pretentious allegories, no secretive bigger picture; this is 08:06:06 by 6 different artists, for the 3rd time, on the 8th month of the year. The six artists involved are Ang Banang, Bart Was Not Here, Myint Soe Oo, Thoe Htein, Thu Myat, and Wunna Aung alphabetically.
While these artists may vary in technique, they all showcase rather a more “academic” style of painting while some of Thu Myat’s work includes some but a very minute amount of spray paint.
One of my favorite paintings, featured in this group exhibition, is this rather very bright, very vivid, and distorted close-up image of a young sunflower. The shading, even though the acrylic paint was thick and almost jumping out at you from within, was executed pretty well. Myint Soe Oo, the artist, has also painted other paintings of Bagan landscapes, Pagodas, and etc. This reflects his almost ‘grasp’ of ‘Myanmar-ness,’ which many Myanmar artists still utilize today.
Nevertheless, Sunflowers have a psychological effect that gives an impression of perpetual happiness. May it be Van Gogh or Monet, these paintings are timeless, iconic, and overall very influential—at least to me.
While Myint Soe Oo has one of the more ‘straightforward’ pieces, there were also some works by Thoe Htein of a series of vintage vehicles almost exploding with flower blossoms. I feel nostalgic, warm and almost forlorn while I delve into the paintings, seeing what can be deduced from the simplicity of the imagery and the text. The vehicles, old as they may be, have a unique charm—I must take into account Thoe Htein has portrayed it in a very pop-art-esque kind of way, but not all the way.
The Mazda truck, for example, has a bit of history—so does the others, but this has some sort of sentimental value to me. Back in 1962 Burma, Japan and truck maker Hino agreed to set up a plant in Yangon. They started to also assemble Mazdas in the same factory, later in 1973. The prolific blue Mazda ‘taxi’ started to be used around the mid-90s until the 2010s until more imports of latest cars arrived. Now, you’ll be lucky if you see just one rolling around town.
Now for the only installation piece of the whole exhibition. Ang Banang’s take on femininity and how the things covered on his installation tries to express this obsession over TV commercials, celebrities, fashion shows and crime happenings that shape the human mind in the context of a female. It is also a symbol of beauty and admiration he has for women in Myanmar.
This is just a few of the many other artists; these are my views and deductions and it can be thought of as critique or constructive feedback. Despite the black-out that ensued before I left, everything was neatly presented and the art was good.