As a distraction from these troubled times, we feature River Gallery’s stunning new series from Zaw Win Pe – one of Myanmar’s most esteemed and accomplished artist.
Zaw Win Pe is one of Myanmar’s most well- known and admired artists. Starting his career as a highly accomplished figurative painter, Zaw Win Pe first came to prominence with a distinct, new style when he won the Myanmar Contemporary Art Awards 2004 with a vivid semi-abstract landscape. Since then, these radiant works have found admirers all around the world.
With this powerful new series, Zaw Win Pe explores the Hpa-Kant area, in the northern Kachin State, famous – and infamous – for its storied jade mines. One of the few places on earth where the highly sought after imperial jade is mined, Hpa-Kant was in the news in 2020 after a series of devastating landslides which took the lives of dozens of miners. The artist visited the area before the accident with the intention of observing this famous, but little-visited place, and learning about the daily lives of the miners working there. Starting to paint upon his return, he experienced a mixture of strong emotions, evoked by the beauty of the surrounding landscape shadowed by the deadly mines in their midst. He wanted to share his own unanswered questions with viewers, and the powerful paintings convey an uneasiness, an off-center quality notably absent from the tranquil beauty of his earlier Shan State works.
Of these paintings Zaw Win Pe says, “I see the Hpa-Kant area as a graceful, lovely woman who is sacrificing herself to give people around her better lives. Despite the scars she has from several injuries, we can still find her beauty in many ways – there is a calmness and a steadiness in her majesty.”
River Gallery Covid Collector Discount until the end of the month, so now is a good time to add to your collection a work by one of Myanmar’s most famous artists.
River Gallery is open every Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10:00 am to 4 pm, but if those days don’t work for you, you can contact them directly on firstname.lastname@example.org and they will arrange to meet you at the gallery. This is also a good opportunity to support the art scene and the artists making the most of the downtime, creating new artworks from their homes.