PanSuriya Art Post


David Richards in Yangon
21 January 2017, 18:16
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David Richards Solo Exhibition, 15-23 February 2017 at Pansodan Scene, corner of Maha Bandula and Pansodan, second floor. All are welcome to the opening on 15 February, from 18:00.

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David Richards 2016

David Richards has another watercolour exhibition coming up in February, featuring mainly paintings from the new direction he has been exploring in the past half year. He is including more abstraction in his recent paintings, though some are still colourful, some use a very restricted colour palette. Many of them still revolve around his favoured themes: the design of architecture, the beauty of women, the conviviality of cafe scenes, the landscapes of South-east Asia.

He likes to play the fluidity of watercolour off the rigidity of the lines and patterns of buildings, windows, leaves, or graphic elements he inserts. He is afraid that older buildings may be erased from Yangon, and would like to increase appreciation for them, by making portraits of them. When painting the buildings, he does not reproduce their current state, but enters into an imaginative collaboration with the architect and the city, painting them as he would like to see them, in their prime, whether somewhat battered or freshly painted, though not sterilised.

David Richards’ work is clean-lined and carefully composed. Only recently has been been trying to expand his boundaries into directions more experimental for him. This show will feature a mix of his established style and his new explorations.

Pansodan Scene is on the second floor; the entrance to the staircase is just opposite the gate to the temple. There is nothing on the ground floor, a bookshop on the first floor, and the gallery on the second floor. After the opening night, the exhibition will be open from 10:00 – 18:00.

David Richards was interviewed for this article 13 January 2017 by Lilly Seiler

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From Cambodia to Burma
11 October 2012, 17:03
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David Richards started this project painting archtectural heritage in South-east Asia several years ago in Cambodia for an exhibition which celebrated the architectural heritage of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The success of that show gave him the interest in continuing in other countries. Although the buildings of the colonial period are fast being pulled down in Yangon, there is at least some effort to save it, where in the other countries there is little interest in the well-designed, lovely, and practical old buildings. While it is not at all sure that the atmosphere of the neighbourhoods where they remain will be rescued, at least there is some hope and interest. The architecture is an integral part of the urban landscape, and it is important to save it from destruction.

“Usually it is a building’s look of having been around for a long time that attracts me at first. I hope to raise the awareness of the value of these buildings, so it will spread through the society, and help preserve them. I focus on the buildings that look like they are being neglected.” The first one that he was attracted to in April was the Secretariat, which had broken windows, loose roofing, and so many different aspects from different angles. He sought out a photograph of the building before the earthquake of 1931, and painted it with the dome and spires that had been removed because of quake damage.

Richards appreciates buildings with human touch. “Modern buildings are all sharp and angular and box-like. The old ones are more like curved shapes you find in nature.” One aspect of Yangon he particularly appreciates is the varied backgrounds of the buildings. Along with buildings designed by Burmans and British, which you would expect to find, there is Islamic architecture, Indian-style design, Chinese buildings.

I am hoping that when people look at these paintings, I think they will first notice the beauty of it. But I hope it will inspire them to get involved in keeping these buildings in use. Maybe others will be inspired to do entirely different projects, depending on what their interest is, but I hope it will lead to good results in any field.

Read more about him here.

The exhibition runs from 16-20 October, at Pansodan Gallery, open from 10-6 daily.

286 Pansodan, first floor (upper block)
Kyauktada, Yangon.

Mobile: 0951 30846