May 2009: Crowdscapes - Khin Zaw Latt - Solo Show
Khin Zaw Latt is one of Myanmar's most talented younger artists and the winner of the 2008 Myanmar Contemporary Art Awards. His winning painting was a figurative depiction of a crowd of people, drmatically rendered in black and white tones.
Following the Award, Khin Zaw Latt continued to explore the theme of crowds and the emotions they create in us – both as participants and observers. Speaking about this new series of paintings, Khin Zaw Latt says:
"I was very affected by the sight of crowds of local people, getting on the ferry to cross the river here in Yangon. I could feel the hardship and struggle of their everyday life, but also how they just got on with it. The more I watched, the more oppressive it was for me, until I started looking at individuals in the crowd and noticing some things that were lovely to see. That was relaxing for me, and I lost that feeling of discomfort that had been troubling me. I wanted to express in my paintings both emotions – the uncomfortable pressure of the crowd, but also the individual beauty that sparkles through the ordinary."
This series of stunning paintings has an unmistakeable contemporary ambience about them, but they also make reference to the very earliest Myanmar art. The treatment of light and shadow, and the overall "flat" appearance of the paintings is reminiscent of early paintings on the walls of pagodas and stupas, before painting styles had evolved as a result of European influence.
The exhibition runs from May 28th through to June 1st at River Gallery, Strand Hotel Annex, 92 Strand Rd.