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.


Insert Title Here : 10-15 Dec 2010

Never trapped in the moment. Continually changing and seeking. Continually challenging and redefining. Continually shifting and questioning. We all slip along time into the future, revising our conceptions and refining our perceptions.

This exhibition of contemporary art is an invition to re-interpretation. On display is a selection of paintings and multi-media works to explore — new aesthetics, emerging meanings, new generation — to bring you to diverse vantage points from which to re-evaluate your impressions.

Come to the exhibit and free your mind into the art as the artists have freed their inspiration. Some will reveal meanings, some will confound. You may choose to assign a title — but you may find yourself taking it away again, refining, questioning, seeking.

Featuring thirty artists working in a variety of media, on display from 10 – 15 December 2010, from 10 to 18:00 at Pansodan Gallery, No. 286 Pansodan Street, upper block, Yangon


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

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.