PanSuriya Art Post


New developments

A recent article in The Guardian included Pansodan co-owner Aung Soe Min’s comments. He is in there as one of the ‘winners’ in the changing business environment.

Here’s to hopes that almost all the winners are Burmese, or at least that benefits are fairly divided among those who sincerely work hard for the success of an enterprise — and not ‘fairly’ in the sense of ‘they are poor so they get only a poor share and should be glad of it; we are rich so we are the ones who get the money’.

There has been plenty of research on quality of life that shows that it depends on the perception of having a meaning or purpose to one’s life, and a warm social life with friends and family. Yet, when it comes to development, it is all about money. There is even a new trend to look at migration as something entirely positive as a development process — people migrate to Dubai or Australia or wherever, earn vastly more (i.e., are vastly more productive in economics terms), send remittances home, and thus are creators of development. True enough in pure economics terms, but this ignores the sacrifices that the migrants are making in non-economic factors, and the loss of social capital in their home community. (I am a migrant myself, so obviously not against migration, but I do not like to see it portrayed in black-and-white terms.) We know migrants who are important artists in various fields in Burma, but as migrants work in factories or do other work entirely unrelated to their talents. Those of us remaining behind, who appreciated their art regret this change in the meaning of their lives.

Pansodan’s contribution to improve the life or artists in their own country is the Independent Myanmar Artist Alliance, mentioned in the Guardian article. It was the idea of Aung Soe Min, and is hosted by Pansodan Gallery. It is a new model of professional association — somewhat like a union, but without most of the bureaucracy and positions that, no matter how noble the initial ideas, later tend to be used for obstruction and gain, or simply to lose their dynamism.

A few new drawings of the Lokanat, spirit of peace through art, by Eikaza Cho.

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inside/outside

The Inside/Outside exihibition was at the SateFL!GHT Gallery, 2332 S. Presa, in San Antonio, Texas in November 2011. It has now concluded, but some items are still available online.

In early 2011, Callie Enlow spent months teaching in Yangon, and — who wouldn’t? — succumbed to the fascination of the possibilities of the country. Many people feel for the people, but only a few choose to do something about it. Callie is one of those people. She took a route through art. She has carefully chosen paintings from eight artists and arranged an exhibition in San Antonio.

None of this art will make anyone think “That’s realistic, isn’t it!” But then, Burma does not make you think that either.

The art is wonderful, Callie is knowledgeable, and we hope that people will gather their friends, go there, admire the art, be drawn in more deeply, and deepen their understanding of our world, whether through talking to Callie, enjoying the art, or both.

A map showing the gallery is here.

More information about it can be found at this link, and thanks to SMART too!