On June 20, the Myanmar artist Than Kyaw Htay (from River Gallery), together with Ndary Lo, a sculptor from Senegal, was featured in a two-man show – Silent Walks – in Retour de Voyage Gallery in L’llse Sur La Sorgue, France.

Both artists deal with the subject of migration – people on the move – leaving their homes because they are forced out, or voluntarily, to seek a better life. Together, the artworks of the two artists present a powerful statement about the magnitude of these mass movements, as well as the impact on each individual of such an odyssey.

The hosts of the show – Marie-Claude and Frederic Dol, are committed travellers and art lovers, and became entranced with Myanmar and its art when they first visited Myanmar in 2013. They happened to attend the opening party at River Gallery for Than Kyaw Htay’s series “Silent Sweat”, and there and then decided they would like to exhibit his work in France.

They run a beautiful boutique hotel in southern France – Maison Sur La Sorgue – which houses their art gallery – Retour de Voyage. Since River Gallery started to collaborate with them, they have featured several Myanmar artists in their summer exhibitions each year, including Htein Lin, Chuu Wai Nyein, Khin Zaw Latt and Than Kyaw Htay.

With visa invitation letters from Retour de Voyage, and a place to stay in the hotel, together with some financial assistance from River Gallery, each of these artists have been able to travel to France to participate in the exhibitions – a terrific opportunity both for the artists, and for the French audience who would never normally have the chance to meet artists from Myanmar.

For River Gallery, the collaboration with Retour de Voyage – introducing its artists and their powerful artworks to the cosmopolitan population of this beautiful corner of southern France – helps with a core part of its mission: to bring our talented Myanmar artists to a wider audience.

If you are in southern France during this period, please drop by, and feel free to pass this invitation to others you think might be interested. You can see details of the exhibition on Retour de Voyage’s web-site, and please contact them if you would like more information.

The show will be there until July 20th.

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