News and Views

26 August 2013

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

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!
19 August 2013

A quick tour around Myanmar's art scene from Hong Kong's South China Morning Post.

This article addresses the impact of the Myanmar Spring on the the country's art scene and artists.
14 August 2013

Artist Yan Naing Tun depicts the changing role of monks in the New Myanmar

Last week Yan Naing Tun brought in a new series of paintings featuring lines of photo-realistic monks on a blue contemporary background. Nothing new in painting monks in Myanmar, but these works were immediately arresting as the focal point of the works were the faces of the monks, depicted with angry or determined expressions.   Yan Naing Tun explained to me that since the country opened up the Sangha (the monkhood) has become a political force, with some monks playing an activist role in the debates about the issues the country is facing. This strong series of works graphically show that tranquil contentment is not the only face of the Myanmar monk these days.

14 August 2013

Sculptures by Aung Ko

IN the depths of North Dagon, I visited the workshop Aung Ko had set up to produce his latest creations. A true pathmaker in the Myanmar art world, Aung Ko is pushing the envelope again with his life size sculptures of people frozen in poses of surprise and fear. His chosen medium is fiberglass, a first for a Myanmar artist. The process is lengthy – modeling in clay first, creating a plaster cast, and finally coating the inside of the cast with the fiberglass, before fitting the parts together and finishing the surface.

These sculptures are an accompaniment to the “We are Moving” series of large format paintings, which depict the frisson of shock and anxiety in a crowd of people when they learnt that a bomb had exploded nearby. The sculptures give an added dimension – literally – to his depiction of this scene.

They are destined for a solo show in Milan later this year, but before they head off, we will show them in River to give our local friends and artists a chance to see this pioneering new work.

06 June 2013

River Gallery hosts Young Global Leaders- June4th, 2013

With the World Economic Forum in Myanmar, the Young Global Leaders were interested in learning more about different aspects of the country's economic and cultural life.  We helped the organizers develop a program for an "Art Learning Journey" which would give this group of highly accomplished professionals a quick appreciation of Myanmar's contemporary art scene.  It was a bit like speed dating - there was a quick introduction, and then they were rushed off to the next thing.  Together with some of our artist and gallerist friends, we hosted them in River during the morning then headed off to Lokanat Gallery to see Yangon's first art gallery, before having a special tour of The Secretariat - one of Yangon's most fabulous colonial buildings, which we hope will become the site of a future art museum. There was a brief midday visit to Padauk 7000, an experimental art space, and then onto Khin Zaw Lat's gallery to meet the younger generation of conceptual artists.  It was a rewarding day for everyone;the YGL's had a glimpse of the challenges faced by artists in Myanmar, and our artists had the benefit of exchanges with successful professionals from other countries, all of whom had a keen appreciation of visual art.


The visitors bought with them and donated to the art community about 60 art books.  These will reside with Ko Aung in the Pansodan Gallery until there is an Art Library as a permanent home.