PanSuriya Art Post

An Afternoon at the “Doctor’s Office”

I had heard about Abby Robinson’s body imaging project and knew that I wanted to go check it out, both to get photographed and to see what others had chosen to photograph of themselves. I was curious to see what patterns would emerge in the choices people made about showing off their bodies, especially in such a public place.


I stopped by Pansuriya early in the afternoon and was quickly handed a clipboard to fill out by the attendant “nurse”. The form asked me basic questions, including my preferred name and email address, before asking several questions about how many times I had been photographed recently and how I felt about being photographed.

I was told that there were several people ahead of me in line, and so I ordered lunch while I waited and checked out the wall displaying the photographs taken so far. Many people had chosen parts of their faces; features that they are already used to showing to the world. A few people had chosen their hands, posing them to accentuate the fingers or wrists. Occasionally, people had photographed an interesting piercing or tattoo, choosing to display the various ways that they had modified their bodies.


I was soon called into the “office”: an area separated from the restaurant by several white sheets. I handed my clipboard to Abby, dressed in a doctor’s white coat, and we discussed what body part I wanted photographed. I chose my left shoulder, which is covered with a smattering of dark freckles, and Abby led me into another ‘room’, which was set up as a studio. She adjusted the lighting and fiddled with her camera, angling for a more high-contrast shot. The results were automatically uploaded to her computer, where she was able to skillfully edit them as I watched. The photos were then printed onto two sheets, which Abby placed into lanyards. One, I got to keep, but the other I taped onto the wall, where it is hanging amidst a growing constellation of other people’s chosen body parts.

Yangon, Old Days and New
26 November 2015, 12:28
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A photography exhibition by Catherine Griss, at Pansodan Scene from Saturday 28 November 2015 to Sunday 6 December 2015.

Griss Old RailwayCatherine Griss is a sensitive street photographer who lives and works in Paris.

After photographing the ruins of french colonial power in Cambodia (devastated villas in Kampot, Kep )and Senegal, she decided to come to Burma and mainly Yangon because of its British colonial style heritage and because of this special time of emerging democracy in a world of increasing globalisation.

After great travellers like Rudyard Kipling, Pierre Loti, Pablo Neruda, she first visited the country as a traveller in 1997. But she returned in 2011 and then again in 2012 with the intention of photographing and framing the transition. She is currently in her third photographic visit.

The theme of this exhibition is the old world’s presence in the beginning of a new world. There are three main chapters. The first is the Evolution of Yangon, the walls of old and new buildings, river banks and lifestyles.

the golden pagodas

the golden pagodas

In The Golden Pagodas (from the French Writer Pierre Loti novel), rather than the architecture, she focused on the people who visited the pagodas, taking time out to find peace in the golden halls of Shwedagon.

The Readers documents the Myanmar people’s love for reading, walking through downtown, she noticed many people catching up with news or getting lost in a book. This culture seems to be vanishing with the advent of mobile phones.

Let`s Speak Art! Sessions Around History of Art
13 October 2014, 16:23
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Let`s Speak Art! – #1 / Actors of the Art Scene
The first session on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
at 5.30 p.m. at Pansodan Scene
In association with MARCA


What is Let`s Speak Art!?

Pansodan Scene will welcome from the middle of October a new regular program. `Let`s Speak Art!` is a series of friendly gatherings around the topic of art theory and techniques. The idea, conceived by Borbála Kálmán, a Hungarian art historian and curator living in Yangon since early 2014, is to provide regular sessions where artists, art lovers, actors of the art scene can share ideas around a specific topic for each session. The so called `art history club` would like to focus on issues around the contemporary art scene but also provide some background information on earlier art tendencies not only from Asia but also from Europe. Hence, the talks would also help discover the different cultural contexts which have brought to life such movements as Surrealism, Cubism or given birth to the first conscious Abstract art works of the 20th Century.
What will happen?
Each session will have a different topic, so everyone can join anytime, however, it`s worth taking part as often as possible to encounter various aspects of the art scene. The sessions would give priority to a presentation each time on the chosen topic to afterwards open the discussion towards the public. For each occasion, an interesting visual material will be projected to illustrate the topics. The `Let`s Speak Art!` sessions will be organized in association with Myannmar Art Resource Centre and Archive (MARCA), a young project dedicated to collect and digitize documents and books from the Asian art scene with a particular focus on Myanmar. For each `Let`s Speak Art!` session, some books relating to the current topic will be chosen and brought along for the audience to discover them at Pansodan Scene. MARCA has recently joined Asia Art Archive`s Open Edit: Mobile Library Project: starting in November in Myanmar, it will enable several hundred of books on art to travel in the entire country. The LSA! sessions will be in English with handouts in Burmese – but don`t worry, friends will surely help to translate the missing words!
When is LSA! taking place?
LSA! will take place about every third week at Pansodan Scene. Depending on the number of people and the complexity of the topic, the sessions will start at about 5.30 p.m. and finish around 7.00.
From the first session on October 22, a Wishbox will await your questions and suggestions. The aim of LSA! is to talk about subjects difficult to find in books and share information and experience about unusual aspects too. It probably won`t be possible to answer all the questions and go through all the suggestions but each session would end with a selection from these `wishes` with the hope to give supplementary information about them. If you are interested in general or specific matters, like what is the edition number of a photography for or why was the word `impressionist` a pejorative designation at the beginning, come and write your question down!
What is the next topic?
The first session of LSA! will focus on the actors of the art scene: from museums to art fairs through galleries, auction houses and non-profit art spaces, the objective will be to get a closer insight about how the art scene works and how do the actors relate.
Please join the first session of `Let`s Speak Art!` on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at Pansodan Scene from 5.30 p.m. The event is free just don`t forget to bring some paper and a pen to write your questions! Pansodan Scene: 2nd floor, No. 144, Pansodan Street (Middle Block), Kyauktada Township. On the corner of Maha Bandoola and Pansodan Street, entrance in front of the Temple`s entrance! For further information please write to the following address:

International Photography

What happens when internationally known photographers spend a week with seven photographers from Bangladesh, ten from Norway, and six from Myanmar? Nobody knows yet, but you can find out on 12 February. Photojournalist Philip Blenkinsop with support from Gareth Bright, Munem Wasif, Per Anders Rosenkvist, Dr Kaung Htet and Minzeyar will work with these students to hone their reportage skills, and the pubic can see the results 7:00–9:00 pm, at Pansodan Scene. Find out more at Myanmar Deitta