Myanmar and art
KARACHI: Not much about Myanmar is known to many of us except the political turmoil that it’s been going through for the past many decades. The political side to things eclipses, rather conceals, the art that comes out of the country by virtue of the cultural richness that it boasts of. It is in this context that an exhibition of artworks by Shirin Niazi’s collection titled ‘The Land of Golden Pagodas – Myanmar’ at the V. M. Art Gallery becomes a must-see event.
It’s befitting that the show begins with artist Saya U San Lwin’s ‘Myanmar Mythology’. The shapes and figures on the artwork indicate how much importance the people of the land attach to mythology. Saya U Zaw Win’s painting ‘Entrance to Angkor Wat’ lends credence to this observation. What’s noticeable in both exhibits is that the aesthetics of mythology is standout element. The verdant surrounding of Angkor Wat is proof of it.
This is the reason why lakes, boats and tea-pickers feature regularly in Myanmar’s art. Saya U Than oo’s ‘A Lake Scene in Kachin’ is marked by peaceful silence; and the artist’s ‘Tea-Pickers in North Shan States’ too captures the lives of the working women without losing out on the tranquility that’s often associated with countryside.
Then comes ‘The Lonely Boat’ by Ma Im Bin. As the title suggests, the artist has highlighted the pathos that sometimes is overlooked by those who are witness to such scenes on a regular basis. Again, peace and tranquility are unmistakable. Yet, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Naing Gyi beautifully draws working women, old and young, with delicate strokes.
The finesse of ‘On the Way to Rice Mills’ looks like a work of art made by a western master with a completely oriental feel to it.
The exhibition will continue till Jan 30.