News and Views

  • Arker Kyaw: Graffiti Artist

    posted on Friday, 22 August 2014

    Arker Kyaw, Myanmar's most famous graffiti artist, was recently at River Gallery transforming our walls with his spray cans. See him in action in the link below and read about this extraordinary young artist in the attached write up. 



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  • Modernist Pioneer Win Pe painting up a storm back in Yangon

    posted on Wednesday, 14 May 2014
    I visited Win Pe in his studio the other day to see what was keeping him busy these days, and to feast my eyes on the recent works of this prolific artist. Win Pe was one of the brightest stars of the Modernist movement back in the seventies, but after 1988 he found it increasingly difficult to pursue his cultural interests which included film making and writing,  so he emigrated to the US where he became a radio journalist, openly critical of the regime back in Myanmar.  As a result. he was not able to travel back to Myanmar until the new reform minded government came to power in 2011.  He came off the blacklist and returned to Yangon in 2013.
    Being back in his home environment has inspired an intense bout of creativity, and Win Pe has been painting steadily since he returned.  When I commented on his productivity, he replied that even though he was old (almost 80 now), he still painted like a young man.  He was right - the works have a fresh sharpness which hints at someone at the height of their creative powers, not an elderly man in his sunset years.
    He is busy with commissions these days, but he said that after these he would start painting again what most pleased him.  We both agreed that he needed to become a selfish old painter, and do what he liked. He told me that the most important part of marketing a painting was the first stage:  marketing it to himself.  If he doesn't "buy" the story of the painting, he doesn't think others will either.
    In the gallery, we're lucky to have a number of canvases in his current Zodiac series.  He told me this theme doesn't hold any special significance for him, but it is excellent as a platform for  playing with color and compositional elements.  We hope to stage an exhibition for him in River II over the next few months, and will keep you posted on dates.
  • Artist Htein Lin returns to street art

    posted on Thursday, 23 January 2014

    Htein Lin has hit the streets of Yangon, creating his signature finger and body paintings outside a new shopping center in Yangon.  He became "fond" of painting without brushes during his six year stint in prison in Myanmar. Friends and jailers managed to smuggle in paint, but no brushes were allowed, so he used whatever was at hand. 

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  • Myat Kyawt returns to River Gallery

    posted on Thursday, 12 December 2013

    Artist Myat Kyawt is never one to rest on his laurels.  Continually exploring new concepts and themes, this jovial artist is one of our most creative talents.   He won third place in our National Portrait Competition in 2011 with a whimsical painting of fellow artist Win Pe Myint and his wife, seen below.  We're delighted to report that he is now back at River Gallery with a new series of paintings featuring the trees of Myanmar, imbued with a kindly spirit, sheltering and embracing Myanmar people going about their everyday life.  To see all these works, please visit the Artists section.

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  • The article from the Nikkei Asian Review

    posted on Saturday, 23 November 2013

    Nikkei Asian Review talks to Gill Pattison about her most recent art adventure - opening River Gallery II in a converted colonial building in downtown Yangon.

    Pls view the following link;

  • Interview with Mizzima Business Weekly- Oct, 2013

    posted on Wednesday, 06 November 2013

    Gill Pattison chatted with Mizzima Magazine about grand opening of River Gallery II.



  • A New Chapter for Chindwin Chambers as River II

    posted on Wednesday, 06 November 2013
    Looking for new premises close to the original River Gallery in The Strand, we had come across the Chindwin Chambers in the road right next to the hotel, three minutes walk from the gallery.  The elegant three story colonial building caught our eye, and we noticed that one section at the north end of the building was home to an office with just a few workers.  We tracked down the owners and discovered that they were amenable to relocating these employees and renting out the space to us for a new gallery.  
    The renovation was relatively minor, just waterproofing the structure, taking out some internal partitions, fixing the wiring, making new doors and painting and plastering to give us large flat white walls. The room has beautiful proportions with 18 foot ceilings and a length of over 120 foot, which spans the whole block giving us access onto both 38th Street and 37th Street.  These are charming old lanes, where local life goes on uninterrupted. I enjoy sitting at the desk in the middle of the gallery, able to see out both ends to the streets where  people walk by, street vendors sell their wares, and the local dogs guard their territory.
    We're looking forward to hosting various events and functions at River II , so that a wide range of people can come and enjoy the re-purposed space and help give downtown Yangon a bit more of a  buzz.
  • Myanmar artists on display in Chennai- India

    posted on Monday, 30 September 2013

    Our partners in India -  the Calcutta Arts Club - have mounted "From Myanmar with Love", a show featuring five leading Myanmar artists from River Gallery:  Zaw WIn Pe, Maung Aw, K. Kyaw, Than Kyaw Htay and Aung Myint. Pls visit the following links to review the journalist's delighted reactions of the show.

  • Review- Wonder in the Land- Group Exhibition, Canada

    posted on Friday, 13 September 2013

    A lot has happened in Burma, also known as Myanmar, since the East Gallery first introduced Burmese contemporary art to Canadians in 2011. After five decades of censorship, Burmese artists are relishing a somewhat greater freedom of expression and the increased international attention being paid to the country’s vibrant art scene. "Wonder in the Land", the East Gallery’s third group show of contemporary Burmese artists, features new work by 5 leading artists, all of whom have had considerable international exposure and success. Visitors will experience a range of styles and themes from abstract to expressionistic, and from landscapes to street scenes.

    Pls View the article;

  • Investment Advisory Company investigates potential for investment in Myanmar art market.

    posted on Monday, 26 August 2013

    Thura Swiss, a business consultancy based in Yangon, has turned its attention to the Myanmar art market, describing the current situation, and outlining necessary measures for the sector to progress.  Read the report for an interesting assessment of the investment potential of Myanmar art - a nice change from electricity, oil and gas and banking.  The report concludes, "Myanmar's art business has potential to grow exponentially, not only because of its small start, but simply because of the wealth of skills and talent of its artists."  Hear hear!

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