AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

SHIREEN NAZIREE

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS
SHIREEN NAZIREE

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

1

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

Published by Thavibu Gallery Co. Ltd. Silom Galleria, Suite 308 919/1 Silom Road, Bangkok, 10500, Thailand Tel. + 66 (0) 2 266 5454, Fax. +66 (0) 2 266 5455 Email. info@thavibu.com, www.thavibu.com Photography by Songgot Kondee, Richard Stowell, Tony The, Ernie Hill, Shireen Naziree, Jørn Middelborg, Aung Kyaw Htet, and the National Art Gallery of Malaysia Layout by Wanee Tipchindachaikul, Copydesk, Thailand Printed by Amarin Printing and Publishing Public Company Limited, Thailand Copyright Thavibu Gallery 2007 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. ISBN-13: 978-974-8102-93-1

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

2

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

AUNG KYAW HTET - MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

Table of Contents
Foreword by Jørn Middelborg Acknowledgements by Aung Kyaw Htet Myanmar - A Cultural Landscape Aung Kyaw Htet - A Silent Journey Rites and Rituals - The Art of Aung Kyaw Htet Plates 4 5 6 10 16 27

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

3

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

FOREWORD
Jørn Middelborg Thavibu Gallery

Aung Kyaw Htet is a talented artist from Myanmar [Burma] who has risen from a humble beginning to become one of the country’s leading artists. He was born in 1965 in Myaungmya in the Delta region where the mighty Ayeyarwaddi River flows into the Indian Ocean. It is a remote area with frequent floods and very few roads where the vast majority of the population in the area lives as rice farmers. He made his way to Yangon and enrolled as a student at the State School of Fine Arts since he had an urge to be an artist. He is a devout Buddhist and grew up in a small village — two factors which have a strong influence on his art. His paintings of religious life in Burma show monks and nuns in a realistic manner, though non-essential objects are omitted from the paintings in order to focus on the religious aspects. Aung Kyaw Htet paints the faces of monks and nuns in great detail to show their humanity. His works are now found in the permanent collections of museums such as the National Art Gallery of Malaysia and the National Museum of Myanmar.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Shireen Naziree, art historian and independent curator for writing this book and thus bringing an important part of Myanmar contemporary painting out to a wider audience. I would also like to thank the collectors who have placed their paintings at our disposal for inclusion in the book. They include, amongst others, Dung Babet, Sandeep Bhammer, Philip Cheong, Ramon Cierco, Charles Danforth, Sharon Day, Adrian Dunn, Neil McGreevy, Einat Gross, Ernie Hill, Mallika Khurana, Liang Xiaohong, Sudha Natrajan, Herve d’Oriano, Alexa and Onno Poortier, Kristin Rapan, Gary Rolfes, Manu Sabnani, Nitin Sibal, Malvinder Singh, Richard Stowell, Sujjain Talwar, Ziad Abu Zalaf, the National Museum of Myanmar, and the National Art Gallery of Malaysia. Finally, I would like to thank Dennis Kon who provided information on Buddhism and monkhood in Myanmar and to James Christian for his editing assistance and with help in finalizing the book.

4

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

4

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Aung Kyaw Htet Yangon

My career as an artist has been both modest and ambitious. Modest because I aim to offer a brief glimpse into the rich culture of Myanmar and my Buddhist heritage. Ambitious, because I have endeavored to relate these facts through my art to a broader society beyond my own cultural boundaries. For this, I wish to thank my parents, U Lun Hlaing and Daw Kyi who quietly encouraged me. My teachers, U Thukha and U Aung Moe who instilled in me the importance of discipline in art. Daw Myint Myint Tin from the Yangon Art Gallery and U Myint Soe from the Summit Art Gallery
Aung Kyaw Htet, 2007

who promoted my art. My special thanks to Jørn Middelborg whom I met on the 10 September 2000 when my daughter Aye That Khaine was born to me and my wife Kyu Kyu Khine whose love and integrity continues to be my guiding light and who blessed me with our son Khan Htet Thu in September 2004. To Shireen Naziree, the author of this book for her interest in my work, and to my friends and family for their faith and friendship.

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

5

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

5

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

MYANMAR - A CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

Nestled between two of Asia’s most important cultural nations - India and China at its northern borders, Myanmar is a vast country that languorously stretches south towards the Andaman Sea encompassing along the way a vast and diverse spectrum of geography that has been enriched by a cultural history that dates back to the prehistoric stone age. This diverse and pictorial landscape that possesses snow capped mountainous regions in the North, verdant tropical jungles on its Eastern borders with Thailand and a pristine coastline remains dominated by the central Delta region - a fertile farming land mass that is nourished by the majestic Ayeyarwaddi River which forms the main riverine artery of central Myanmar. The large scale landscape of the Delta region is also the most densely populated region of Myanmar, with many villages so remote and undeveloped that the Ayeyarwaddi remains its most important communication and transportation link with the commercial capitals of Yangon and Mandalay. Pivotal to the historical development of the cultural landscape of Myanmar has been the influences of Buddhism that has over the centuries manifested

itself into the social tapestry of the country. The importance of Myanmar’s exceptionally rich Buddhist historical landscape has been recognized from as early as 6th Century BC when Buddha Gautama, the last of the Buddhas visited Myanmar. Oral history however, suggests that earlier Buddhas might also have visited the region at least a thousand years earlier. One of the most significant events that relate to Buddha Gautama’s visits to Myanmar is the arrival of his hair relics, which were enshrined in a stupa that was ultimately developed over the centuries to become the renowned Shwedagon Pagoda, which spectacularly reigns over Yangon and has become one of Buddhism’s most iconic shrines in Southeast Asia. Another event relates to Buddha’s footprints near the town of Shwesettaw where thousands of pilgrims visit annually during Myanmar’s dry season when the footprints are most visible. Thus the evolution of the Myanmar aesthetic is testament to Buddhism’s influences and the acceptance of its tenets and philosophies through the various dynasties that have defined the country’s long and complex cultural and artistic history that

6

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

6

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

resulted from Buddhism remains one of its most important legacies. Amongst the most recognized is the tradition of novice monks and nuns entering monastic life - a practice that dates back to the Pyu Dynasty when it is said that children as young as seven would don the regulatory cotton robes and enter monastic life. This positive representation of early Buddhism in Myanmar lies in the legacy of the Sangha that refers to the body of monks who accompanied Buddha Gautama on his journeys and to whom monks in Myanmar directly trace
Shwedagon Pagoda, 2007

their spiritual ancestry. This tradition gave rise to a defining identity, which further manifested itself during the Bagan Dynasty in the 10th century. The rise of the Bagan Dynasty resulted in a renaissance that marked a golden age of prosperity both in political hegemony as well as cultural and artistic wealth that were largely achieved through the Buddhist faith. This paramount identity was propounded by the rich architecture of the unending amount of temple complexes and pagodas that were constructed: some of which survived the ravages of time and continue to dot the landscape around present day Bagan. The rich architecture of the Bagan Dynasty, which lasted until the 13th century, was embellished with the vibrant skills of the many artisans who typically expressed their artistic philosophy through depictions of the Jatakas - sagas of Buddha’s experiences on his journey towards Enlightenment. The

finally collapsed under British Colonial rule in the 19th century. In this historical sense, the Pyu Dynasty remains the most visible though earlier dynasties reigned with equal importance. The Pyu Dynasty, which primarily reigned in central Myanmar from the 2
nd

century until the 10 century had clearly

th

imported aesthetic standards that originated within Buddhism’s Indian origins: evidence of which has been emphasized in the richly embellished artifacts and architectural reliefs that have been excavated from important archeological sites as well as in the classical Pali script. Equally notable in the cultural history of Myanmar have been the influences of the coastal Rakhine and the Mon Kingdoms, which principally reigned concurrently with the Pyu Dynasty. As much as Myanmar’s cultural aesthetic evolved from Buddhism, the forces of socialization that

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

7

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

7

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

8

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

Bagan, 2007

intrinsic beauty of this flourishing culture was further elevated by other artistic forms, which included the art of lacquer painting - initially introduced by the Chinese, whose invading forces had overthrown the earlier Pyu Dynasty. Lacquer was used not only to embellish palace walls, but significantly was adapted in the manufacture of everyday utensils such as the alms bowls used by monks. The artistic practice in the making of lacquer ware often embellished with imagery of the Jatakas have become an important craft form that continues today and one that has prompted universal interest. Today some of the developed world’s most important museums have Myanmar lacquer artifacts in their permanent collections. From within this cultural background that continues to remain historically important to Myanmar’s cultural landscape, emerged the following Pinya and Inya eras when unique artistic sensibilities developed that were emphasized by a cultural reassessment of imported foreign influences China and Thailand that imbued itself on the existing Buddhist culture. The last of the Myanmar Dynasties was the Kombaung Dynasty that was established in the mid 18
th

palaces and temple complexes imprinted their power on the landscape. Though depictions of the Jatakas continued to be an important expression in traditional art forms, court painters of the period started to blend western styles with their own sensibilities often resulting in secular portraiture of the reigning nobility that was laced with surreal Edenic qualities. This modernist cultural aesthetic was particularly affirmed during the reign of Myanmar’s last monarch, King Thibaw who was eventually deposed by the British in the latter part of the 19th century. British Colonial rule affirmed itself in the economic wealth of Myanmar with little interest in the country’s cultural history. As a result Myanmar experienced an abandonment in the arts which were ravaged by the flourishing trade that characterized the British rule, the spiritual aesthetic of Buddhism survived and the close of British colonial rule in 1948 gave Myanmar every reason to be nostalgic of their undeniably significant historical past. Buddhism had transcended time and though its elusive past is seemingly visible in the Myanmar landscape, the country’s modern day artists and craftsmen have once again turned to this spiritual aesthetic for nourishment. In effect the artistic aesthetic of Myanmar had renewed itself and in turn the spirit of those who depended upon it for their well being and remains a vital thread in its artistic tapestry.

century. This was an era renowned for its progressive milieu that was symbolized with overt western influences that included painting. The Kombaung dynasty had established important cultural centers such as Amarapura and Ratanabon where ornate

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

9

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

9

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

AUNG KYAW HTET - A SILENT JOURNEY

The reverie associated with Buddhism has remained a popular narrative in Myanmar’s artistic vocabulary and its traditions have become the starting point for a new generation of artists who are using the language of contemporary art to layer their work with meaning. For Aung Kyaw Htet - his productive life as an artist has been the result of a long journey that has been sustained by his deep faith that has its realizations buried deep with in Myanmar’s Buddhist history. He was born in 1965 to U Tun Hlaing and Daw Kyi in Kan Ywa, a small village located on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddi river in the Delta region. About 150 miles from Yangon, Kan Ywa - a village with a population of about 300 people is typical of the rural communities that dot the Delta, and Aung Kyaw Htet’s early life was colored with hardship and poverty. With very little material wealth and like the majority of Myanmar’s population Aung Kyaw Htet mined the Buddhist environment around him for spiritual wealth that ultimately sustained him through hard times and would ultimately become his muse.

The meager existence that his father, U Tun Hlaing earned as a paddy farmer was hardly sufficient to feed his nine children - of whom Aung Kyaw Htet is the fifth son. As a child, Aung Kyaw Htet had little opportunity to venture further than Kan Ywa and as his parents’ lives were primarily devoted to feeding the family - painting or any form of cultural activity did not exist in his world. For many of Myanmar’s rural population, art was conceived as a luxury oasis for the privileged. Along with the other children in Kan Ywa, Aung Kyaw Htet attended the local school and left at 15 years old after completing the eighth standard. A quiet and modest personality, Aung Kyaw Htet most often had to tend to his own needs as a child. And despite the extreme poverty and hardships - the young Aung Kyaw Htet survived on the enduring spirit of his family, which he underlined by moments of quiet beauty that he seeked out from his physical environment. He enjoyed drawing and with the absence of art materials - his school slate board most often served as his canvass. He recalls that his interest in drawing started as a seven year old and like most children,

10

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

10

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

Kan Ywa Village, 2007

he would draw from memory and the subconscious. Later improvisational sketches were often images copied from magazines and book covers. However these fleeting moments of pleasure were purely playful explorations for its own sake as he had no ambition or vision of becoming an artist. For Aung Kyaw Htet, regular daily visits to the local pagoda which were eclipsed by the devotion and beliefs of Buddhism were part of life’s rituals and like all young boys, he entered the obligatory monkhood when he was ten years old. Living in the monastery, he was subjected to the same rituals and disciplines as the interant long term monks observed that included leaving the temple grounds to beg for alms, meditating and impor-

tantly studying the Dharma while obeying all monastic precepts. Though the foundations of his religious discipline had already been laid several years before he entered monkhood - the communion with his faith as an overwhelming ancient culture was reinforced through a tradition that dates back to as early as the Pyu era when boys and girls at the age of seven would become novices in monasteries and nunneries. These days the ritual of an adolescent boy entering monkhood is traditionally marked in colorful ceremony meant to symbolize Buddha’s abandonment of his life of luxury. Thus young boys are dressed in glittering finery before his hair is shaven off and he dons the monk’s robes.

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

11

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

11

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

Though Aung Kyaw Htet’s formal education ended when he left school at fifteen, he never abandoned his early interest in drawing. A life of rigorous labor defined Aung Kyaw Htet’s adolescence and ultimately his view on life. As an youth in Kan Ywa, he worked periodically at a variety of laboring jobs as primary means to earn a living and help support his family. He dug ditches, helped his family harvest in the rice fields and eventually worked on a fishing vessel that plied the Ayeyarwaddi River. Following the lead of many of Myanmar’s poor from the Delta, Aung Kyaw Htet decided to leave his village on the long and arduous silent journey in search of economic opportunity and a future. In 1983, the seventeen year old Aung Kyaw Htet left his family and followed his destiny to Yangon. With very little money and with only the blessings of his parents and an undying ambition to become an artist - Aung Kyaw Htet embarked on a one and a half day boat journey to Yangon. Knowing no one in Yangon, it is hard to imagine what courage it took for this young man to leave his family and to question the traditional values of his environment through his choice in life to chase his dream. With continuing hardship in the passing years, Aung Kyaw Htet’s life in Yangon was plagued by numerous misfortunes that witnessed him having to return to Kan Ywa on numerous occasions as work was hard to come by and unknowing of the rules of living rough on the streets of Yangon, he
12
A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

was vulnerable to its perils. As his world grew smaller and smaller, he was at times doubtful whether he would survive life in the capital or ever realize his desire to study art. Being poor, Aung Kyaw Htet could only mine the traditional values of Buddhism for spiritual wealth that continued to sustain him through his hard times. When not working at the bakery in Yangon where he finally found employment, he devoted his time to recording scenes of daily life on any scrap of paper that he could find. By 1986 Aung Kyaw Htet had saved sufficient money to finally start realizing his dream of becoming an artist when he enrolled for evening art classes at the State School of Fine Arts located in Bahan Township near the Shwedagon Pagoda. He attended classes at the school for three years during which he studied under U Kyaw Nyant and Mg Mg Taik. Despite the difficulties that he continued to endure, painting would become his quest for self awareness and which, he believed, could only be expanded through formal art training: the integration of art and his social conscience would become the key to unlocking the gate to his path in life. Studying at the academy was most often literal transcriptions of the rudiments of drawing and painting. A meticulous student, he encountered a vastly different environment to his past experiences. Devoid of any personal expressions - he was required instead to develop academic artistic skills that paid homage to earlier masters and depictions

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

12

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

from this first hand exposure to fine art although he still did not have many opportunities to pursue any artistic ambitions and despite his life of obscurity in Yangon, he was determined that his art would be a means to financial security. Notwithstanding the importance of Mandalay as the once renowned center for the arts of Myanmar, Yangon had become the artistic home for many painters by the second half of the twentieth century. Galleries that supported the arts were mushrooming and many artists formed collectives or became members of these galleries. Nearly all shared the common experience of training either at the more prestigious Yangon State School of Fine Arts where they were introduced to the formal aspects of fine art. Or, many young painters furthered their studies under the patronage of a
Padaung Girl, Charcoal on paper, 39 x 55 cm, 1993 Collection of the National Museum, Myanmar

master painter - a practice that is reflected and deeply rooted in the traditional art and crafts practices of Myanmar. In effect, these apprentice artists most often produced images absorbed from the painterly styles of their teachers rather than seeking creativity in individual expression. Aung Kyaw Htet had neither the financial means nor the interest to associate himself with any particular art collective, and a career as a full-time artist would not manifest itself for a number of years. After working in a variety of jobs that included painting number plates for cars and painting billboards, Aung Kyaw Htet secured work as a portrait

of paintings that were sculpted in artistic styles committed to traditional academic values and the mainstream notions of art. Academic training was based on copying and drawing on a tightly rendered syllabus that resulted in students becoming excellent technicians. The distinctive character of the academy’s teaching was in preparing students to pursue possible careers in industries such as traditional lacquer painting and commercial advertising. He nevertheless benefited

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

13

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

13

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

artist in a gallery in the popular Bogyoke market in downtown Yangon in 1990. Although most of the gallery’s clientele were local, he came into contact with people from diverse economic backgrounds for the first time. Over the course of the following three years, he would draw hundreds of portraits either in charcoal or pencil and though he was able to paint in his spare time, he had yet to settle on his own distinctive style. The three years that he worked as a portrait artist were years of intensive work filled with enthusiasm of hope for a better life as the young artist continued to struggle financially as well as to forge an identity. But here in Yangon - nestling under the shadows of the Shwedagon Pagoda, by far the most important Buddhist site in Myanmar - Aung Kyaw Htet remained the filial son more than ever as his devout faith gave him the strength and sustaining philosophy to overcome hardship and pursue his own creative goals without the expectation of material reward despite being pushed to the limits financially.

in Kan Ywa through his paintings. Yangon was and remains fertile ground for budding artists with the regular art shows hosted at any of the numerous galleries and international hotels. And like many aspiring artists of the day, by 1994 Aung Kyaw Htet started exhibiting his paintings in group exhibitions and started painting with oils. These shows set the professional standards and included many of Yangon’s best known painters as well as up-and-coming younger artist. Aung Kyaw Htet displayed his works in various venues that included Gallery 77, the Summit Gallery and at major Yangon hotels such as Traders Hotel and the Nikko Hotel as well as the state run Myanmar Traditional Artists and Artisans art gallery at the Bogyoke market often having to sell his works at very nominal prices mostly to foreign visitors and Yangon’s expatriate community. Nevertheless these sales sustained him as he believed that his prime motivation for painting was for the sheer joy of it rather than for financial gains. 1994 was also the year that he was able to relocate

In 1993, Aung Kyaw Htet had a breakthrough when Myanmar’s National Museum acquired one of his drawings which were shown at a group exhibition at the gallery of the Myanmar Traditional Artists and Artisans Organization in Bogyoke Market. This affirmation of his talent created a greater determination for him to succeed and he was beginning to support not only himself but also his family back

his parents from Kan Ywa to live with him in Yangon. This productive phase in Aung Kyaw Htet’s life was made even more gratifying by his marriage in 1996 to Kyu Kyu Khine whom he had met in Yangon in 1993. Working in a supermarket in Yangon, Kyu Kyu helped to augment the modest income Aung Kyaw Htet derived from the sales of his paintings. Despite the couple’s meager but

14

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

14

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

happy existence, they willingly supported both their families. At times, Kyu Kyu became the model for his paintings and though not an artist herself, she supported his art through her profound appreciation of his talent. By the end of the last millennium, Aung Kyaw Htet was coming into his own as an artist and he believes that his prayers were answered when his daughter, Aye That Khaine was born in September of 2000 and the chaos in his life was being resolved through the divine intervention. The day also importantly marked the start of his international career as an artist. Against this backdrop, Aung Kyaw Htet has emerged as one of the most accomplished painters associated with Myanmar contemporary art. By embracing the values of Buddhism and valuing the rich cultural heritage that it has bestowed on Myanmar, Aung Kyaw Htet has nurtured his artistic identity that will not deny him a place in Myanmar’s modern art history. By 2002 he participated in his first group overseas exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand and a solo show in Hong Kong in 2004. His son, Khant Htet Thu was born in that same year. Subsequent international exposure that has included exhibitions in Singapore and Taiwan. In addition to Aung Kyaw Htet’s paintings becoming part of important museum and private collections and regardless of the optimism and admiration that Aung Kyaw Htet lives in Yangon and regularly returns to the village of his birth, Kan Ywa once a year. surrounds his art and the cosmopolitan sensibility that it has imbued in his career, Aung Kyaw Htet remains dedicated to his roots and continues to create expressive paintings as testament to the dignity and strength of his beliefs.
Aung Kyaw Htet in his studio, 2007

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

15

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

15

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

RITES AND RITUALS - THE ART OF AUNG KYAW HTET

In the past decade Aung Kyaw Htet’s art has addressed the meeting of his culture and personal nature in the broadest sense. His work is a meditation on his world and the space and things around it that reflects a consciousness of the materiality of Myanmar’s deeply rooted Buddhist culture. Through his art, Aung Kyaw Htet has sought to stimulate everyday experiences from the commonplace to the exceptional through the fluid status with which he reconfigures ancient rituals across time. What is perhaps most interesting is the manner in which he positioned his work and practice to reveal the beauty in the simplicity of his world. Depicting traditional Myanmar culture in contemporary art has almost become a tradition amongst the country’s modern day painters. At a time when the traditional boundaries between Myanmar and the rest of the world are very blurred - the cultural environment that has been created is challenging in that it has become an important hallmark of social wellbeing. Though tradition is a subject that can be questioned, yet as a starting point it may be explored as part of an exercise in self - definition

given the fluid and global environment where technology has collapsed borders and physical distances. And like in many Asian societies, western secular culture and the conspicuous consumption that most often goes along with, the liberal values of western democracy are often viewed as alien and decadent and more so in the traditionally conservative Myanmar society. Despite mirroring the popular narrative of the basic rituals and values that encompass Buddhism in Myanmar, Aung Kyaw Htet has established for himself a distinct paradigm that emphasizes his very individual artistic grammar - for his is a practice that endeavors to cross cultural boundaries. In essence, his challenge has been to make art that is highly personal as well as broadly meaningful while addressing the experiences of the world he lives in. In effect - what sets Aung Kyaw Htet’s subjects apart is that his efforts are not superficial or self-conscious efforts to showcase his heritage and tradition as merely decorative art. Aung Kyaw Htet’s work has also investigated the potential to extend his subjects with an emotion

16

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

16

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

sees himself as an ordinary working man whose occupation is the expression of life through painting, which is his passion: all other media within which he has worked in the past were merely means to make a living although these experiences of rigorous labour have molded how he views his life and art. This has allowed his work to be sensitive and alive and also to develop his distinctive style of painting that has resulted in art that is richly detailed and self consciously beautiful and that could ultimately converse independently in the history of Myanmar contemporary art. At first glance, the presence of the identifiably Myanmar dimension is acutely visible in his work. However upon closer viewing, it becomes clear
Young Nun, Mandalay, 2007

that Aung Kyaw Htet’s portraits and imagery are suffused with a deeply felt understanding of Buddhist values. His finely rendered portraits of both family and strangers are monumental - not in the size of the painting but rather in the scale of the emotion of the moment. What is noticeably apparent in almost all of his figures is a stillness - as if they are at peace with the world - a condition that he associates with the spirituality of Buddhism. The meditative sense of calm that his paintings evoke becomes for Aung Kyaw Htet a visual analogue typical of his own personality and the cultural environment that he has created in his world. When Aung Kyaw Htet participated in his first

that extends beyond being merely pictorial as his practice takes on meaning in his now well - known depiction of novice monks and nuns under the relentless weight of the ritual practices of monastic life. More than simply marking a pictorial turn, his works that date back from the last decade are consistently inherent in its representation. In opposition to contemporary taste for “story-pictures” complicated, detail laden based on literary subjects, Aung Kyaw Htet has all his life been able to observe life directly and render these subjects as strong compositions. Very much an individualist, Aung Kyaw Htet still

exhibition in 1991 his early works were all rendered

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

17

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

17

4/4/12, 4:43 PM

in charcoal, simply due to his limiting financial condition at the time, nevertheless displaying his masterly rendering of the discipline. One of the earliest and most influential guideposts in his life was his father, U Tun Hlaing whose own life was devoid of material comfort but whose principles of truth and honesty became a fundamental social philosophy for his son. When in 1994, Aung Kyaw Htet actively started painting in oils - his family became willing subjects for his picture making. A later painting of his father simply titled My Father, 1998 (p.28) reveals an intimacy that is suggestive of his own emotional response to his father. This interpretation through the compositional element is exemplified through the element of light that highlights the influence of humanity through the laboring hands of his father. The painting provides a sense of understanding of Aung Kyaw Htet’s early life and place. Painted from a similar mental vantage point, but with a softer rendering is Mother, 2003 (p.50). Aung Kyaw Htet portrays his mother, Daw Kyi bathed with the same compositional element of light. In both these paintings, his subjects are humanized by the portrayal of the essence of his subjects: by capturing them in thoughtful moments, Aung Kyaw Htet has recorded intimate moments and not merely the physical beauty of the scene. Aung Kyaw Htet’s main subjects are people: for him these figures have become symbols of mankind’s presence to identify place in the physical world. He has been able to observe the smallness of man in the vastness of the all encompassing spiritual which become the foundations of his luminist portraits - a subliminal spirituality created by the use of light and compositional elements. In his youth, Aung Kyaw Htet would observe nature over and over again - at all times of day and absorb its inherent beauty. Indeed, Myanmar is a land blessed with an abundance of unspoiled beauty and although Aung Kyaw Htet does not view himself as a landscapist, land and place has been an important key to his self-definition.
Nuns, Mandalay, 2007

18

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

18

4/4/12, 4:44 PM

Aung Kyaw Htet’s Mauyaw Lakee, 1999 (p.29) is a celebration of nature in its sublime detail. He depicts creation with remarkable verism that suggests that his landscape is Edenic. He strove to capture the vast and transparent nature of the scene and in doing so speaks of a divine presence. The mood of the painting is serenely still and through the careful arrangement of light and composition, Aung Kyaw Htet has transformed the mundane daily activity of villagers fishing into a sweeping vision of dignity - spelling out the fact that he has never required any palatial settings to enhance his own dignity. However, as his figures load their catch in the foreground of the composition - underscoring the significance of the human endeavor, it calls attention to grander things. With its regular geometry and quiet amplitude as the water reflects the sky, Aung Kyaw Htet’s landscape bespeaks solemn dignity. In another landscape, Floating Market, 2001 (p.38) set on Myanmar’s famed Inlay Lake in Shan State, Aung Kyaw Htet exchanged the somber and subtle intensity of his palette for a brighter one. Though he continued to retain his love for the elemental qualities of the daily rhythms - his early experience as a poster artist is clearly evident in his careful observations among the crowd of market vendors. The small drama of activity and the act of viewing becomes the unwritten imperative of Aung Kyaw Htet’s landscape by inviting the viewer to see along with his figures.

In the tradition of Theravada Buddhism that is practiced in Myanmar, the basis and discipline of the Sangha, the body of monks, have been defined since as early as the Pyu era by their communal living in monasteries that is supported by the lay communities. The importance of the rituals such as the collecting and giving of alms are deemed significant to both the monks whose livelihoods are sustained by donations: normally food on a daily basis and gifts of robes and utensils on ceremonial occasions. But importantly the donor gains merit for offering the donation or gift - an important act in advancing towards Nirvana or Enlightenment. Despite the austerity associated with the practice and the countless rituals that have been handed down through the generations, the tradition that once encompassed a history filled with ancient art forms have now inspired a new aesthetic with a different approach - the Western practice of painting, which refers to Myanmar’s practice of contemporary modern art. Recent artistic scholarship in Myanmar has found popular subject matter in the representation of monkhood especially by the time Aung Kyaw Htet actively adapted the subject to his own artistic vocabulary by the late 1990’s when he discovered a new level of freedom in his art. Since the start of his career, he engaged his art with ordinary people going about their everyday lives. For the same reason he was drawn to painting monks as part of the elements of his own being and culture.

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

19

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

19

4/4/12, 4:44 PM

Aung Kyaw Htet had always been well aware of the sameness of subject amongst Myanmar artists whose interpretations are often defined from an academic training that did not allow for much selfexpression, resulting often in visual appealing but very literal translations. Aung Kyaw Htet has held the point of view that his art was to be rendered directly from the source and never as a fabrication of design - thus needing a direct connection with the monks and their surroundings. He often recalls his own period of monkhood when as a young boy he willingly followed the rigorous rituals. Aung Kyaw Htet savored the experience, for though he was given a glimpse of monastic living, he was most appreciative of the comfort of and warmth that was espoused by the camaraderie of the monks despite the conformity of rituals. Over time as he gained a greater emotional independent spirit, he was able to infuse his work with this same emotional content that would become the foundation of his own standing. More than ever, he painted young monks and novice nuns employed in the simplicity of ongoing daily routine with a depth and authenticity that poignantly captures the abundant joy of childhood. In these messages that are impregnated with colour and rhythm reflect the artist’s own happy reunion with his youth - reflections of his inner self with the colour and lines containing his character and message.

Aung Kyaw Htet’s world is that of the private and emotionally intimate made public by such a culturally personalized imagery that issues of sentiment are submerged. Traditionally in the oriental context, sentiment is an area of nostalgia that is often regarded as retarding towards creativity. In this respect, Aung Kyaw Htet could be considered as a traditionalist and though his art does not possess the decorative luxuriance of traditional Buddhist art - but in the same vein, he has created a movement to himself. In his work, his poverty, labor, traditions, and religion are words that can be used to grasp his world vision .

Novices, Bagan, 2007

20

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

20

4/4/12, 4:44 PM

With this objective as his motivation, his earlier paintings of monks were aptly portrayed as part of a cultural landscape through which he relives a world of apparent innocence regardless of the whirlwind of complex frictions of the present. It inspired him to create a body of work such as Offering Rice I, 2000 (p.31), and Shwe Inn Bin Monastery, 2000 (p.30) wherein the common grammar is defined by rituals and objects such as the lacquer alms bowls and umbrellas and homage is paid to the everyday rituals. By their presence, these figures that orchestrate the canvasses are most often viewed literally but do initiate a dialogue with the spectator. Red and maroon are the traditional colors of monks’ robes in Myanmar - hues that he often uses to reinforce the symbolic significance of the works. This is because, despite the originality of the plastic organization of his art, which form part of the personality and history of the Buddhist culture, their effect is universally easily accessible and their meaning readily understood. In much of his earlier paintings, Aung Kyaw Htet willingly followed the rigorous training guidelines of the academic system of realist composition a predominantly European tradition of painting introduced into Myanmar during the early twentieth century when talented artists studied abroad and introduced the academy into the Myanmar modern art tradition. At The Monastery, 2002

(p.47) is detailed with icons of Myanmar’s cultural architecture. However, his emotional spirit was starting to chafe at the academic restrictions of his art training: he started to pour out his emotions in his work as in Three Monks, 2003 (p.49) where the camaraderie amongst the young monks are vividly expressed. Novice with Puppy, 2003 (p.51) is filled with tenderness that highlights simple childhood playfulness. For Aung Kyaw Htet this period was one rich in experimentation. He discovered a new freedom in his art, especially in his ability to explore a variety of styles and approaches. Certainly his rapport with his subjects remained ever present - which he started to magnify with a glowing palette as in Shaving, 2001 (p.33). Familiar with luminosity of strong light, he would at times illuminate his canvasses with an incandescence of color that worked with direct mark making as in Offering Rice II (p.32) was still not deprived of transparency for at the same time he could capture the brutal radiance of the tropical light and the extreme softness of his subjects - a depiction of his mother, Daw Kyi offering alms to a novice monk - revealing the duality of love and hope. Parallel to this chromatic harmony were the new dimensions of his creativity. Within all his works there are undoubtedly iconographic links to his Myanmar Buddhist roots, but Aung Kyaw Htet’s work was taking on a universality and humanism that would be identifiable by most cultures. Under The Sun,

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

21

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

21

4/4/12, 4:44 PM

2002 (p.40) and The Little Helper, 2007 (p.92) are typical examples of his ability to capture and render the elements of his culture in its reality. The symbolic narrative of the young helper that would reappear in later paintings is in keeping with everyday reality of life in Myanmar’s Buddhist tradition. Aung Kyaw Htet’s more recent scholarship has focused on the robes of the monks. In ancient Indian Buddhist fables, when autumn leaves were shed from trees - their colors changing from yellow and orange to brown - the season symbolized the ending of physical existence. Thus yellow symbolized the color of renunciation and as such remains symbolic to the Sangha or monkhood, with the elder senior monks most often draped in darker maroon or ochre robes and the younger monks donned in brighter hues. A monk’s robe consists of three garments as is depicted in the painting Two Novices In Red, 2006 (p.85): an inner waistcoat, an upper robe and an outer robe that is a two by three meter length of cotton fabric stitched in a patchwork of a hundred pieces resembling the layout of a rice field. The monks robes - the history of which dates back to the lifetime of Buddha Gautama himself has nourished Aung Kyaw Htet’s creativity. The subject has inspired him to create a new body of work that has been reinforced through the narrative function of the intense use of color that despite its originality of composition remains an integral part

of his culture. The symbolic narrative that he has created through the ethereal pictorial of paintings such as in Draping The Robes, 2007 (p.89) as well as in Monk In Yellow Robes, 2006 (p.88) though it has become part of a poetic repertoire which is in keeping with a world past and present, it is in no way a flight from reality. Instead its unique translucent qualities it represents his very independence from a conformist genre of art for in this visual poetry is the manifestation of an ancient custom tinged with the mystic and divine experience - calm and assured of itself. Although it is evident that there has been definite influences in Aung Kyaw Htet’s artistic journey - he has remained independent and too elusive to be categorized. Painting is a religion, a rite of passage and a ritual to be followed everyday for Aung Kyaw Htet. Each day brings to him a new lesson and a new challenge to his palette and canvas. While many might struggle to find beauty in mundane things, he finds in them a spiritual connection because he does not allow himself to forget the hardships of his earlier years. Pursuing the life of a fine artist had been Aung Kyaw Htet’s constant dream since he was a young boy in Kan Ywa. The transition from a life of poverty in rural Myanmar to an internationally recognized artist has been a journey that was full of uncertainty. He has achieved his goal through his devotion and dedication to his beliefs and

22

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

22

4/4/12, 4:44 PM

Young Novice Draping the Robes, Bagan, 2007

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

23

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

23

4/4/12, 4:44 PM

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W 24 4/4/12, 4:44 PM

Young Monk, Pencil on paper, 28 x 33 cm, 2007

dreams and remains humble and grounded in the face of this success.

Drawing
Though drawing was his primary form of expression early in his career, the medium still holds a fascination for Aung Kyaw Htet for it allows him to view his expressions with renewed vigor that reminds him of the medium’s special relationship to the human psyche. And though the immediacy of drawing is an essential part of his creative process, he continues to find immense pleasure in its informality. Aung Kyaw Htet developed an aptitude for drawing very early on in his practice, which may account for his precise rendering of his subjects.

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

25

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

25

4/4/12, 4:44 PM

Portraiture
Aung Kyaw Htet’s portraits of ordinary people are filled with an emotional content that has become the foundation of his standing. “Unless I have some emotional connection to the subject, the painting becomes empty for me - for the purpose of picturing extends beyond the realistic rendering of the outer form.”

Landscape
“I feel a very strong connection with Myanmar’s past. And in its landscape I feel the influence of the hands of men, women and the generations of labor that identify my own presence.” From this path, Aung Kyaw Htet has been able to develop a union that he expresses through a sparkling palette where color and composition becomes the actual essence of his paintings.

Monks
“The innocence and joy of childhood is a magic spectacle that has been established in my visions. The novice monks and nuns who are ever present in my art represent indelible images of childhood they speak of life though the joy in their eyes and the quiet voices in their hearts.”

26

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

26

4/4/12, 4:44 PM

PLATES

50-08-131_001-027 new7_W

27

4/4/12, 4:44 PM

My Father, 1998, 75 x 89 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

28

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

28

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Mauyaw Lake, 1999, 60 x 90 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

29

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

29

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Shwe Inn Bin Monastery, 2000, 76 x 91 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

30

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

30

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Offering Rice I, 2000, 61 x 81 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

31

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

31

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Offering Rice II, 2001, 60 x 80 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

32

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

32

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Shaving, 2001, 60 x 80 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

33

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

33

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Monk with a Joyous Smile, 2001, 75 x 59 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

34

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

34

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Monk and Dove, 2001, 75 x 60 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

35

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

35

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Grandmother, 2001, 45 x 50 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

36

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

36

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Ethnic Minority Girls, 2001, 60 x 80 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

37

50-08-131_28-37_new7_W

37

4/4/12, 5:11 PM

Floating Market, 2001, 75 x 90 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

38

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

In the Village, 2002, 60 x 90 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

39

Under the Sun, 2002, 90 x 120 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

40

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Ascending, 2002, 60 x 80 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

41

Praying Novices, 2002, 90 x 120 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

42

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Afternoon Prayer, 2002, 90 x 120 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

43

Morning Walk, 2002, 90 x 120 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

44

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Monk with Offering Bowl, 2002, 90 x 120 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

45

Burmese Beauty, 2002, 90 x 120 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

46

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

At the Monastery, 2002, 90 x 120 cm

Oil on canvas

Private collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

47

Praying Novices, 2003, 90 x 120 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

48

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Three Monks, 2003, 85 x 115 cm

Oil on canvas

Private collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

49

Mother, 2003, 45 x 50 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

50

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Novice with Puppy, 2003, 86 x 112 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

51

Four Novices, 2003, 90 x 120 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

52

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Young Novices II, 2003, 60 x 80 cm

Oil on canvas

Private collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

53

Young Nuns Studying, 2003, 90 x 117 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

54

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Young Nuns, 2003, 91 x 121 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

55

Two Young Nuns Praying, 2003, 89 x 116 cm

Oil on canvas

Collection of the National Art Gallery, Malaysia

56

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Monks on Side Car, 2003, 86 x 114 cm

Oil on canvas

Collection of the National Art Gallery, Malaysia

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

57

Young Nun with Bowl, 2004, 58 x 73 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

58

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Young Nuns at Shwe Inn Bin Monastery, 2004, 115 x 149 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

59

Nuns under the Sun, 2004, 85 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

60

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Two Novices, 2004, 86 x 114 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

61

Monks under the Sun, 2005, 114 x 150 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

62

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Praying Nuns, 2005, 115 x 149 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

63

Five Nuns on a Morning Walk, 2005, 86 x 114 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

64

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

A Young Nun Under the Sun, 2005, 87 x 114 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

65

Young Nuns in Pink Robes, 2005, 115 x 149 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

66

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Praying Under the Sweltering Sun, 2005, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

67

Two Young Nuns, 2005, 85 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

68

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Praying Nuns, 2005, 115 x 149 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

69

Praying Monks, 2005, 115 x 149 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

70

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Early Morning, 2005, 80 x 110 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

71

Young Novices Reading, 2005, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

72

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Early Breakfast, 2005, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

73

Late Afternoon, 2005, 115 x 149 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

74

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Three Young Monks, 2006, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

75

Young Boy Hitting the Gong, 2006, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

76

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

White Robes, 2006, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

77

Monks with Fans, 2006, 115 x 149 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

78

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Hitting the Gong, 2006, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

79

Enjoying A Break, 2006, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

80

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

My Old Neighbour, 2006, 61 x 81 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

81

Three Young Nuns, 2006, 75 x 90 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

82

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Two Young Monks in Red, 2006, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

83

Novice in Red, 2006, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

84

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Two Novices in Red, 2006, 115 x 149 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

85

Monks in Yellow Robes, 2006, 115 x 149 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

86

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

A Hot Day, 2006, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

87

Monk in Yellow Robes, 2006, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

88

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Draping the Robes, 2007, 84 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

89

Yellow Series (1), 2007, 75 x 122 cm

Oil on canvas

Private Collection

90

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Yellow Series (3), 2007, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

91

The Little Helper, 2007, 86 x 113 cm

Oil on canvas

Thavibu Gallery

92

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

Monk’s Portrait, 2007, 28 x 30 cm

Charcoal on paper

Thavibu Gallery

AUNG KYAW HTET MYANMAR INSPIRATIONS

93

Monk’s Portrait, 2007, 28 x 30 cm

Charcoal on paper

Thavibu Gallery

94

A U N G K YA W H T E T M YA N M A R I N S P I R AT I O N S

www.thavibu.com
The Silom Galleria, 3rd Floor Suite 308, 919/1 Silom rd., Bangkok 10500, Thailand Tel. (662) 266 5454, Fax. (662) 266 5455 E-mail. info@thavibu.com