PanSuriya Art Post

Aung Khaing’s Nats on Canvas

A new exhibition of U Aung Khaing’s work, စုတ်ချက်ရောင်စုံပေါ်က မြန်မာနတ်များ (Myanmar title: Myanmar nats on brushstrokes of colour) draws on the legends of the spirits of Ko Gyi Kyaw by Aung Khaingthe Irrawaddy plains, called nats in Burmese. U Aung Khaing’s allusive style suits the subject. The paintings of the 37 nats draw on the temple wall-painting style of centuries ago, with the dark outlines of their features sometimes nearly getting lost in the free washes of the backgrounds. 

Aung Khaing Min Maha GiriThe opening day included a hsaing waing as well as a great crowd. The show continues until 26 September 2014, at Pansodan Scene, open 10:00 – 18:00.

Read a lovely interview with him in the Irrawaddy.

Aung Khaing Maung Po Tu

Persian Poetry : Pansodan Scene
13 September 2014, 19:40
Filed under: music, performance | Tags: , , ,

Come and join Central Asia enthusiasts for an afternoon tea at Pansodan Scene this Sunday 3pm. Poems by Greg and Jamoluddin and songs by Mari.

Poetry readings (in Persian with English translation) will introduce you to Persian poet Rudaki (born 989) – a founder of Persian classical literature, Omar Khayyam (born in 1048) – a Persian astronomer and mathematician, and Ibn Sina (born in 980). Ibn Sina is otherwise known as Avicenna, author of many works, including a canonical medical encyclopedia that remained such in Europe and Islamic world until 17 century.

Songs are to be a surprise.

Persian Poetry

Parasol Project
10 September 2014, 02:44
Filed under: exhibit

Pathein hti, the traditional Burmese parasol, made of bamboo and waterproofed cloth, usually dyed a solid colour, often a dark red similar to monks’ robes. What a temptation for an artist. 

Nyein Chan Su parasol: Monks on gold

Nyein Chan Su parasol: Monks on gold

Artist Nay Aung Shu hand-painted one which he gave as a present to a friend in 2008. Nobody knew at the time that this friendly thought would be the grow into an exceptional artistic project coming to Yangon in September 2014. I met Nay Aung Shu and the couple who initiated the Parasol Project, Dr Sama Jalin and Robert Berg in a Yangon apartment during August to talk about this unusual event, which will be organized with the coöperation of Pansodan Gallery, at the Pansodan Scene 13 – 19 September 2014. We were surrounded by the drying htis; art was literally in the air.

Borbála Kálmán ■ Where did the idea of giving a painted parasol as a present come from?

Nay Aung Shu ■ When I met Robert, years ago, we had long talks during which his main statement was that art does not only exist on canvas, and that one could create art on and with nearly anything. Hence we had these experiences painting on [objects like] buckets, shells to make his vision come true… and then came the idea to test art on parasols. My brother, who is also an artist, and I each painted a parasol, and my joined in as well our father: if I remember well, one had lucky owls on it.

Parasol Project 5

Parasol Project auction at Pansodan Scene, 13 September 2014, Yangon, Myanmar

BK ■ It must be quite different to use a parasol as the surface of your art: does the shape of the hti influence your technique while working?

NAS ■ When I paint on the parasol, I try to keep focusing on the beauty of the parasol to retain it and to emphasize its qualities: I try to coexist with the particular entity the hti represents. I hope the result can convey to the world the ancient art of bamboo and cotton parasols, which in case of the Parasol Project are all handmade of course.

Robert Berg ■ It was very important since the beginning to keep the whole project at a grass-roots level, helping by these other communities and healthcare.

BK ■ So the moment you received the present from Nay Aung Shu in 2008, you knew what your next step had to be?

RB ■ Absolutely not! I was very happy with the parasols and cherished them, but at that time, I was working on other projects. Around 2010, my wife Jalin—who is a doctor—and I were working on raising some funds to help support the Better Burmese Healthcare organisation: the sum was meant to finance some low-cost clinics in Yangon so as to provide basic healthcare for the disadvantaged. It took a long time, but then like a flash the idea was there: we should organise a silent auction with parasols painted by Myanmar artists. This way, we could also help the artist community. It was obvious that we would ask Nay Aung Shu to coördinate the whole project.

Abstract parasol by  Artist SNA, Pansodan Scene

SNA Parasol

BK ■ The first round in 2011 counted 26 artists and 52 pieces. What has changed this year?

NAS ■ My shop at the Bogyoke Market is also a meeting place for artists, at any time. The Parasol Project`s cause was noble, so neither on the first, nor the second time did I have difficulties to gather the artists for a final list of participants. This year, 37 artists will participate to the project, we will have close to one hundred htis. Each is a unique creation, everyone was free to make use of the parasol with no limits to imagination.

BK ■ Was it challenging to coördinate the whole project?

NAS ■ Since its start in January, the project went through several stages, also, there were some moments when the parasols had to invade the whole space around me while drying. But it turned out better than fine, some artists even used other materials then acrylic [paints]: newspapers, spray-painting… Most of them remained faithful to their original visual language.

Parasol by Zaw Win (Thaton)

BK ■ Did this experience bring new ideas to you for future works?

NAS ■ Parasols were always part of my life as I saw them everywhere, so we can talk about their familiarity. But there is also a sacred aspect, as until now, in my memories parasols are usually carried by monks. Starting to paint on their surface was hence quite challenging at the beginning, but the more I practiced, the more new ideas would come alive. I have some thoughts about trying out different techniques but for the moment, not beyond canvas.

BK ■ The first project was presented in the United States, as you, Jalin and Robert, live there. Why did you decided to organise the second one in Yangon?

Sama Jalin ■ The first auction was a success and provided much help for Better Burmese Healthcare. I am orignally from Myanmar, and deeply involved in the BBH projects, so I often travel to Yangon to organise trainings for doctors, and support the work of the clinic staff. It became obvious that now Yangon was the best place give the Parasol Project a third go, and we hope that we can draw a significant attention to the purpose of the project.

Pansodan Scene
144 Pansodan Street (middle block), second floor
Kyauktada, Yangon
Contact phone for the Parasol Project: 095 13 98 23Parasol Project 6

Silent Auction for Benefit of Better Health Care
7 September 2014, 18:50
Filed under: exhibit | Tags:

About the exhibition

Better Burmese Healthcare is a community-based, doctor-directed organisation. They have sliding-scale clinics supporting healthcare for the disadvantaged in the outskirts of Yangon. Many people needing treatment cannot afford to pay at all. So they have organised a fundraising exhibition of painted parasols. The exhibition is taking place in Pansodan Scene between 13 – 19 September 2014

Parasol by Artist Thu Ra

Artist Thu Ra

Close to a hundred Pathein parasols, called pathein hti have been painted by well-known artists of Myanmar.  Thirty-seven artists collaborated on the project.

Now most of Better Burmese Healthcare’s clinics are in Yangon, but with your help, they could better offer services in other areas. The Parasol Project will also support the artist community.

How to take part in the silent auction?

Throughout the one week exhibition, every parasol is put to a silent auction: it means that during one week, whoever wants to support the project can bid on each parasol with a starting price of US$200. ‘Silent’ means there will not be any public bidding, the auction starts with the opening of the exhibition on Saturday 13 September from 11 a.m. and ends on Friday 19 September at 8:30 p.m. Pansodan Scene is open from 10:00 – 18:00 daily, and will stay open until 11:00 p.m. on 19 September.

Parasol: news by Nay Aung Shu

Nay Aung Shu

Each parasol has an independent sheet: if you would like to bid on a parasol, please first register with name and contact at the counter to get a number or name you prefer. Then, choose your parasol. Each bid above the $200 starting price increases the price by $25. Bidding continues until 8:30 p.m. on Friday, 19 September. The last bid on each sheet will be the winner. The closing event takes place on  6 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at Pansodan Scene.

For more information, please check the Better Burmese Health Care website.

Pansodan Scene
144 Pansodan Street (middle block), second floor
Kyauktada, Yangon
Contact phone: 095 13 98 23

Aung Thu Ra: U Pein’s Bridge