PanSuriya Art Post

Scene : Shwe Thein Solo Show
16 February 2014, 18:47
Filed under: exhibit | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Shwe Thein’s solo show at Pansodan Scene is particularly accomplished.

 Pansodan Scene Shwe Thein show

He has never forgotten his Rakhine boats, and other scenes of his home. The Yangon paintings have a creamy touch and careful colours. In this exhibition he has introduced a new series, of Rakhine wrestling, as well.

Open 10–6 every day until 21 February 2014.


Malaysian filmmaker and writer Amir Muhammad

Pansodan Gallery is pleased to host Amir Muhammad for an afternoon of conversation, thanks to the Institute of Alternative Histories and Popular Culture. Amir Muhammad is a clever writer and witty independent filmmaker based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has had a had an extraordinary career, which he will discuss on Sunday afternoon. Two of his films, Apa Khabar Orang Kampung (Village People’s Radio Show) and The Last Communist have been banned in Malaysia; others were never submitted to censorship, and so have never been released publicly. They have titles like The Year of Living Vicariously and The Big Durian.

His works have featured in international film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival, and a full retrospective of his work was screened at the 2008 Pesaro Film Festival, Italy. He is a partner at Da Huang Pictures.

He was born in Kuala Lumpur and was educated in law at the University of East Anglia. He has been writing for Malaysian print media since the age of 14, notably the New Straits Times. He notes that this says more about the standard of journalism in Malaysia than about his writing skills.

He has been taking a break from filmmaking for the past five years, and started publishing non-fiction books in under his company Matahari Books. He has written several books, including Yasmin Ahmad‘s Films (2009), Rojak (ZI Publications, 2010), 120 Malay Movies (2010), Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things series (Matahari Books).

The talk will take place in the extension space, at 4 o’clock.

270 Pansodan, third floor (upper block)
Kyauktada, Yangon. Mobile: 0951 30846

Contacts: Phyo Win Latt 095172795, Aung Soe Min 095130846

New developments

A recent article in The Guardian included Pansodan co-owner Aung Soe Min’s comments. He is in there as one of the ‘winners’ in the changing business environment.

Here’s to hopes that almost all the winners are Burmese, or at least that benefits are fairly divided among those who sincerely work hard for the success of an enterprise — and not ‘fairly’ in the sense of ‘they are poor so they get only a poor share and should be glad of it; we are rich so we are the ones who get the money’.

There has been plenty of research on quality of life that shows that it depends on the perception of having a meaning or purpose to one’s life, and a warm social life with friends and family. Yet, when it comes to development, it is all about money. There is even a new trend to look at migration as something entirely positive as a development process — people migrate to Dubai or Australia or wherever, earn vastly more (i.e., are vastly more productive in economics terms), send remittances home, and thus are creators of development. True enough in pure economics terms, but this ignores the sacrifices that the migrants are making in non-economic factors, and the loss of social capital in their home community. (I am a migrant myself, so obviously not against migration, but I do not like to see it portrayed in black-and-white terms.) We know migrants who are important artists in various fields in Burma, but as migrants work in factories or do other work entirely unrelated to their talents. Those of us remaining behind, who appreciated their art regret this change in the meaning of their lives.

Pansodan’s contribution to improve the life or artists in their own country is the Independent Myanmar Artist Alliance, mentioned in the Guardian article. It was the idea of Aung Soe Min, and is hosted by Pansodan Gallery. It is a new model of professional association — somewhat like a union, but without most of the bureaucracy and positions that, no matter how noble the initial ideas, later tend to be used for obstruction and gain, or simply to lose their dynamism.

A few new drawings of the Lokanat, spirit of peace through art, by Eikaza Cho.