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TS1 GALLERY Presents:
The Fifties – Muted Consciousness
A Selection of the Pansodan Archives
OPENING: TS1 Gallery, Wednesday 21 January, 6-8 p.m.
The result of a special co-operation, TS1 Gallery at the Lanthit Jetty in Yangon will welcome a carefully curated exhibition – a rare and unusual snapshot – dedicated to the Myanmar visual scene of the 1950s. Muted Consciousness refers to a silenced slice of recent history; a decade not widely researched, yet one that played host to some of Myanmar’s most important documents, writings, and images – those which influenced the generations that followed. Though information on this time period is widely known, it remains difficult to access some adequate (public) documentation. Hence the inspiration behind this exhibition, in which TS1 Gallery partners with Pansodan Gallery and Archives to provide an exclusive glimpse into 1950s Myanmar, raising awareness toward a muted decade.
World War II and the Independence of Burma inspired a period of bold and spirited creativity in several fields throughout Myanmar. Although most artists preferred to remain faithful to a more conventional language, the first signs of modernism defined not by the British, but by the citizens of this new nation, appeared on the horizon. Several periodicals, namely Yangon based Shu Mawa Journal, along with others from Mandalay became the mediators of daring artistic approaches. The Fifties saw the rise of the cinematic industry, with over 100 films produced per year. Coloured stills displayed in the windows of cinemas inspired artists and writers alike to develop their own work through posters and illustrations. Photography studios were established in Yangon 70 years before, but the 1950s saw a renaissance in everyday photography. Cameras became more accessible and portrait and landscape photography featured heavily in art exhibitions at the time. Visual artists also began experimenting with photography, sometimes with wild and unconventional results.
THE SOURCE – PANSODAN ARCHIVES
Few people know that Pansodan Gallery, well-known in Yangon for its contemporary paintings, houses a vast archive, thanks to the meticulous collection methods of founder Aung Soe Min. From old maps to century-old newspapers, thousands of vintage photographs, posters and comics, the Pansodan Archives offers one of the most relevant places to dig into Myanmar’s visual past. TS1 Gallery aims to join a growing conversation in Yangon about Myanmar’s cultural identity and uses its large, warehouse space to bring local and international audiences together to experience the creative energy of Myanmar’s art scene. Space meets material as TS1 Gallery and Pansodan partner to display a selection reflecting the most exciting visual language of the Fifties, a period remembered by many as the ‘Golden Age’ of Modern History in Myanmar.
Muted Consciousness will display a wide range of materials, from paintings to photographs to graphic works. All selected from the Pansodan Archives, the exhibition hopes to emphasize the importance of archiving and the role of archives within contemporary society, so that future researchers may gain new perspectives and approaches to public memory and common history.
The selection for the exhibition was curated by Aung Soe Min, Nathalie Johnston and Borbála Kálmán.
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