The Road. Where does it lead? The artists, themselves, are a small group of both renowned and upcoming talents with a large age range. With an ambiguous title and theme, this is another generic exhibition that shows the road, said artists’ latest work. Subjects in the paintings vary from abstractly realistic visuals of pedestrians to typographic AbEx representations of the Burmese alphabet.
As Lokanat is a very prestigious ‘symbol’ for many Myanmar modernists, many of their featured artists do not go for the rather more contemporary subject matters or themes. I do see proper academic values in these works; good composition, lines, colours, and texture. That is, of course, expected the artists – most of which have either graduated or currently attending The State High School of Fine Art, and The National University of Art and Culture both in Yangon and Mandalay.
Perhaps the most intriguing piece of art, for me, in this exhibition is this intricately put together ultraviolet spectacle by Nila Sann. Without a title nor explanation, Nila leaves her work to be interpreted by the viewer – and interpreted it shall be. Overlapping squares, containing overlapping circles, make a complex façade that masks the subliminal message delivered by the squiggly letters that jump around the canvas. I am both hypnotized and captivated by this.
Another interesting, almost ongoing, series of trees and calming serenity by Pann Kyi – something I find truly amazing. Amazing in the sense he can keep on painting the same pointillist leaves and figures held together by thin stems of ash, oak and ochre. The technique and style are to him what colour fields are to Rothko. Most of his work can be seen in many apartments, hotel lobbies, and banquet halls. It is sentimental but beautiful, which is more than enough for the average Myanmar art lover.
Win Zaw Oo’s series of realistic figures on an abstract background, in suspension, reminds of something similar I’ve seen in the other exhibitions I’ve gone to. While his method of mixing the old and the new is pretty common throughout the art scene, his subjects – with their umbrellas, an implication to the ongoing showers – deserves praise. Perhaps not original, but very ‘pretty.’
Overall, Lokanat has provided me with an adequate amount of visual satisfaction. With exhibition after exhibition, no doubt I will be kept busy. This is the second time this exhibition – The Road – has been held and I’ll be waiting for the third time to see what has changed – and what has stayed the same.
The show went from the 10th of September till the 13th
Lokanat Galleries – No.62, Corner of Merchant Street and Pansodan Street, Kyauktada Township, Yangon