PanSuriya Art Post

Bagyi Aung Soe would be 90
21 March 2013, 18:08
Filed under: exhibit | Tags: , , ,

Bagyi Aung Soe has been called the country’s most wayward painter. Hanging the Bagyi Aung Soe exhibition at Pansodan

While there is ongoing competition for that title, he may still be the top. His influence is still felt strongly today. In this exhibition, we have some of his original works, portraits of him, paintings in homage to him, and others showing his legacy.

From 22-25 March 2013 at Pansodan Art Gallery, 286 Pansodan, first floor (upper block) Kyauktada, Yangon.

Highly original, fond of mixing text in his paintings, controversial in his day but recognised by later generations. A short exhibition of a long legacy.

Bagyi Aung Soe 1 Bagyi Aung Soe 2 Bagyi Aung Soe 3 Bagyi Aung Soe 4 Bagyi Aung Soe 5 Bagyi Aung Soe 6 Bagyi Aung Soe 7

Bagyi Aung Soe honoured in 144 Pansodan

Bagyi Aung Soe blew the Burmese art world’s mind open with the freedom of his mind. An exhibition honouring his work starts in the expanded Pansodan space, near Maha Bandoola. The staircase just north of Maha Bandoola on Pansodan, second floor.

Once upon a time II

Once upon a time, there were paintings. Once upon a time, those paintings moved and inspired generations, brought colour to history, and articulated in luminous strokes the beauty of our world. Revisit these 20th century works, experience, see the old as new, and allow the perspectives of decades past to inform your outlook on beauty and vision.

A (re)presentation of 20th-century Myanmar art, which, once upon a time, was the present.

Join us for a unique retrospective of the finest 20th century art.

Bagyi Aung Soe’s Legacy

Bagyi Aung Soe left this life twenty years ago, but every time we come across his illustrations for poems, his magazine cartoons, or, much more rarely, one of his paintings, he springs to life in our minds.

ဗဂျီအောင်စိုး ​ကွယ်လွန်ခြင်း နှစ်၂၀ ပြည့် အမှတ်​တရ   (The legacy of Bagyi Aung Soe, on the 20th anniversary of his death) has been put online. All articles are in Burmese, but for those who love Bagyi Aung Soe but don’t read Burmese (yet — contact me for lessons) there are quite a few good reproductions of his work in black-and-white and colour. Download it from the Bagyi Aung Soe website, under Selected Texts.

See the entry on his show at Pansodan last December for more links, information, and quotations, including a link to his book.

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OM : bagyi aung soe & others

“Do not think the small number zero unworthy, insignificant, and unimportant.”
Bagyi Aung Soe (1924-90)

Bagyi Aung Soe was a pioneer of modern art in Burma. He drew and painted in a wide variety of styles and media. His illustrations for books and magazines were familiar to a large public.

After coming back from a year at Rabindranath Tagore’s Śāntiniketan, he is credited with the first abstract painting in Burma, an illustration published in Shumawa magazine in early 1953. It was highly controversial at the time, with some people saying that Bagyi Aung Soe was mad. But he had a supreme confidence in what he was doing, and continued to explore wherever his freedom took him.

His work, which often incorporates text into drawings, continued to impress with its intelligence and originality.

You can find more of his work and thought at this excellent website:

And you can find an article on him, with 20 good-quality reproductions of his work here:

Here is his book စာမဲ့ကဗျာ (Poetry without words), an e-book which unfortunately has low-resolution images.

Best of all you will see his work in person if you can make your way to Pansodan Gallery between 7 – 13 December. Bagyi Aung Soe’s work will be accompanied by the work of 16 other modern artists:
Aung Myint, Ba Htay Kyi, Dawei Lay, Eikaza Cho, Kin Maung Yin, Ko Ko Naing, Lynn Wunna, Maung Di, Minn Zaw, Moat Thone, Myint Soe, Nay Myo Say, Nyein Chang Su, Rahula, Soe Naing, Zaw Mong