PanSuriya Art Post


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:
http://www.bagyiaungsoe.com/

And you can find an article on him, with 20 good-quality reproductions of his work here:
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs6/JBS2006-Ker.pdf

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