PanSuriya Art Post

Kin Maung Yinistics

We cannot get enough of Kin Maung Yin, his infectiously friendly personality, and his insistently fresh paintings. So let’s have another show. Starting 27 January 2012, at Pansodan Gallery on Pansodan Street of course.

encounter kin maung yin

13 July 2011 at the British Council Library in Yangon. (Bring photo ID)

A famous and admired artist in Myanmar will often be known as a ‘master’. The term implies that he or she has achieved much and is revered as a teacher and exemplar of the art. In English at least it also has a hierarchical air about it, a suggestion of status and rigidity, a hint of an old orthodoxy.

In the case of Kin Maung Yin nothing could be further from the truth – he is justly famous for his informality and lack of pretension. His free-thinking and generosity have endeared him to generations of students and collectors alike – he remains at heart a bohemian with little time for the trappings of wealth and fame.

His art mirrors the man. In his abstracts there is a sensual abandon to the pleasure of colour and shape, whilst his landscapes seek the essential form of the world rather than its accumulating details. In landscapes as rich and fecund as Myanmar and with a visual heritage rich in inventive and almost baroque detail Kin Maung Yin pares us back to simplicity and essence. The portraits serve not as mere photographic record, but the capturing in paint of the spirit of the sitter. It was the great founding father of 20th century sculpture, Constantin Brancussi who said that ‘Simplicity is at root complexity.’ This might stand as a useful introduction to the art of Kin Maung Yin; his works are as open and inviting as the man himself.

A little more about Kin Maung Yin from his 2010 exhibit at Pansodan here, and in a Burmese and English blog post here, and his website here.


u kin maung yin exhibit at pansodan

“Nothing I know. I do whatever I like, ha ha ha…”

A new exhibit at Pansodan starts on 1 August, featuring the beloved artist U Kin Maung Yin (1938 – 2014), who is quoted here from Pan Magazine, 6.09, n4p28.

He was influenced early on by Abstract Expressionism and by his background as a professional architect. That structured background in engineering and architecture did nothing to tame the exuberance of his mind. His art is a product of the conflicting tendencies of his natural love of experimentation and expression, and trying to go to zero.

He is well known for his lack of regard for things of this world, and total devotion to the creative process. He has no ambitions for ease and comfort, and no interest in conventions. In his home, he has been known to use paintings to patch holes. He used to clean his brushes on his front door…. and gradually turned it into a painting. The door is now in the collection of well-known artist.

Paintings are like this: you look at it this it today, and it is one way. The next day, it is another. If you look at it from here, it is one way; from over there, it’s another. That’s the kind I like. I don’t like paintings which look the same old way no matter however and whenever you see them. [U Kin Maung Yin quoted in မြန်မာခေတ်ပြိုင်အနုပညာ ၁ ဦးအောင်မြင့်၊ ဦအောင်မင်း Myanmar Contemporary Art, Volume 1, p100]

U Kin Maung Yin is still painting, and he will be at the gallery for a time. Don’t miss the chance to meet him!

Update: U Kin Maung Yin’s exhibit in Yangon was successful as well — all paintings were sold, which makes us happy and sad at the same time. May he long continue to paint more extraordinary works. I am working on a website, on which there will be many photos of that exhibition — a memorable event, with U Kin Maung Yin enjoying the opening day, and U Thein Maung playing the piano, with U Maung Nyo Win painting his portrait as he played.

See his website here.

See lots of his paintings here.

See a few more of his pagoda paintings online here.

Read about him in a rather wildly styled essay here, and a calmer one in Burmese and English here.

See plenty of photographs of the exhibit here.

Join his facebook fans page here.

An article written about him in Burmese is here.