Speaking Out 9 Myanmar Artists

Htein Lin • Ko Z • Kyi Wynn • Nge Lay
Phyu Mon • Soe Yu Nwe
Cynthia Theint Soe • Zoncy • ZZDD

Curated by Pamela Blotner and Mie Preckler
Artists Beyond Boundaries

Abrams Claghorn Gallery

April 10 – April 29, 2018
1251 Solano Avenue, Albany, Ca

Reception: Saturday, April 14, 5 to 7 PM
Artist Talks at 4:30 before the reception.
Burmese refreshments generously provided
by Royal Rangoon Restaurant.

Nine contemporary Myanmar artists explore urgent issues challenging their country today.

Gallery Route One and Artists Beyond Boundaries are pleased to give these outspoken artists a venue and a voice in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Kyi Wynn, The Lady’s Life

The Artists

Dau Dai Tumzang (b.1982), also known as ZZDD, grew up in a small village in Northern Shan State on the Myanmar/China border.  His creative work comments on social issues such as the ongoing civil conflict in Kachin and Shan State, as well as the importance of maintaining Myanmar’s diverse cultural identity. https://www.facebook.com/ZZDDgraphic/

Htein Lin (b.1966) is a painter, installation, and performance artist who spent almost seven years in prison (1998-2004) for his political activity. While imprisoned he developed his artwork using whatever mediums were available to him. In the absence of brushes and canvas he used cigarette lighters and cotton prison uniforms to make his paintings. He is one of the best known and most active political artists working today. http://www.hteinlin.com/

Z Hkawng Gyung (b.1973), also known as Ko Z, grew up in southern Shan State and attributes his ties with the natural world to his roots in the hill states of Myanmar. He now lives in Yangon and creates photographs, performances, and installations inspired by place, displacement, social injustice, and environmental exploitation. Recent works depict the harsh lives of ethnic communities forced to flee their homes for the border regions of Myanmar. https://www.facebook.com/ko.z.art.1

Kyi Wynn (b.1970) was born in Mandalay where he began his painting and silkscreen career. His vivid paintings and prints depict, and sometimes critique, Myanmar’s social and political life, often including candid depictions of his country’s problems, and images of Aung San Su Kyi. Most recently, he has created a series of portraits of world leaders and Asian Nobel Laureates.  https://www.facebook.com/Kyi-Wynn-286-Art-Studio-196366340528633/?fref=nf

Nge Lay (b.1979) is a multimedia artist with a focus on performance and photography. Many of Nge Lay’s works reflect, in her own words, her “inner perception of the prevailing societies in Myanmar,” and how her country’s historical background has informed her own life and work. She currently lives and works in Yangon. ­­

Phyu Mon (b. 1960), a pioneering feminist photographer and video artist, is the founder of Blue-Wind, an independent nonprofit association dedicated to women artists and writers. She is one of the few women artists in Myanmar who currently work with digital photography, a medium that has propelled her examination and representation of the angst that many Burmese women experience.  https://www.facebook.com/phyu.mon.5074

Soe Yu Nwe (b.1989) earned her MFA degree at Rhode Island School of Design in 2015. As a third generation Chinese immigrant in Myanmar, she draws inspiration from Buddhist and Animistic practices from her native country, in addition to Chinese cultural practices. Her experience of living cross-culturally has inspired her to reflect upon her identity and depict it as a fluid, fragile, and fragmented entity. https://www.soeyunwe.com/

Cynthia Theint Soe (b.1997), a native of Yangon, Myanmar, is studying animation at the California College of the Arts. An artist who brings the unique perspective of two vastly different worlds, she reflects upon both her memories of the past and her experiences of the present to construct animated stories. Her works comment on the evolution of society, new technologies and political issues through animations, characters, paintings and collages. https://tsoe.myportfolio.com 

Zoncy (b.1987) explores how art can be an effective and strategic tool for communities in trauma. Through photography and performance, she addresses aspects of Myanmar’s diverse cultural and political identities. She teaches creative advocacy and is Program Director at Diverze Youth Art Platform, an organization she co-founded that cultivates a “culture of peace through preserving minority arts and culture.”  https://zoncy.wordpress.com/

Artists beyond Boundaries

Our mission is to foster an international community of artists and professionals who share an interest in exchanging art, media, process, and ideas. At a time when many international boundaries are turning into barriers, we are convinced that the arts and artists share a creative language that can heal and unite.

Our inaugural exhibition and workshop project took place in June 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar. The “Artists Beyond Boundaries Yangon 2017” exhibition, held at the American Center of the US Embassy, featured artists who lived and worked under dictatorship, as well as artists who came to artistic maturity during Myanmar’s transition to democracy under Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership. The twenty-four exhibitors hailed from six different ethnic regions. ABB’s workshops and collaborative studio experimentation, held simultaneously at Pansodan Scene, worked in different ways to “gauge the temperature” of contemporary art in Yangon. Several works produced in that collaborative studio are on view at Gallery Route One.

For “Speaking Out: 9 Myanmar Artists,” the exhibiting artists created new work to bring their insights to California.

Pamela Blotner & Mie Preckler

Curators, Artists Beyond Boundaries

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