The Thukhuma Collection @ SOSS

Singapore Management University

September 3, 2015

On September 3, 2015, the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University launched a five-year residency of 50 contemporary Myanmar paintings by 32 artists. All are drawn from the Thukhuma Collection. The exhibit was curated by Joanna Lee.

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Prospect Myanmar: Painting a Transitional State

The University of Hong Kong

March 12 – April 2, 2015

Political reform started to sweep Myanmar in 2011, when a long-standing military junta handed power to an elected civilian government. While many big issues still need to be confronted, the country is visibly changing as people become more free. This exhibition provides one set of perspectives on Myanmar in reform by presenting paintings by about twenty artists. Together, they help generate a fuller understanding of a nation that for decades has had only limited contact with the wider world.

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Changing State: Imaging Myanmar in a Time of Transition

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

January 14 – February 6, 2015

For four years since early 2011, Myanmar has undertaken a transition away from authoritarian rule towards what its current constitution calls discipline-flourishing democracy. In the process, much has changed inside this country of more than 50 million people and, at the same time, much has remained largely untouched. This exhibition assembles paintings from the reform period – all were completed in the past four years. They touch on many different aspects of this changing state – rural and urban life, majority and minority life, mundane and spiritual life, real and imagined life. Together, the paintings present a series of vivid perspectives on Myanmar in a time of transition.

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Painting Myanmar: Ten Perspectives on a Changing Country

Hong Kong Baptist University

November 7 – December 5, 2014

Selected paintings by
Co Thiee
Eain Aye Kyaw
Min Zaw
Saw Lin Aung
Shwe Thein
Sue Htat Aung
Win Tint
Zwe Mon
Zwe Yan Naing

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Banned in Burma: Painting under Censorship

Nock Art Foundation

October 20 – November 9, 2014

Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre

November 29 – December 1, 2014

For 50 years Burmese painters labored under strict state censorship. This exhibition will feature paintings produced under military governments from 1962 to 2011 and in the aftermath of the March 2011 transition to civilian rule. Visitors will enjoy a rare glimpse into the cultural community and mindset of artists operating under the mechanics of censorship. For many painters, this will be the first international exhibition of their work.

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Workshop on Politics, Business and Human Rights in Myanmar

Murdoch University

May 29, 2014

Myanmar’s politics and economy has been military dominated for some 50 years. With that weight now somewhat reduced, the country is in a state of rapid change. What are the opportunities and challenges? What does reform mean for markets and politics? How will poverty, inequality and rights be addressed? In this Workshop, four leading experts assess these questions and Myanmar’s future.

The Workshop will be followed by a reception to acknowledge the generous gift of 20 contemporary Myanmar paintings to the Asia Research Centre and Murdoch University by Professor Ian Holliday. All participants are welcome to join the reception and view a selection of these art works.

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Myanmar Perspectives: 50 Paintings from a Changing Country

Lingnan University

February 27 – March 27, 2014

For three years since the installation of a quasi-civilian government in March 2011, Myanmar has experienced a large number of reforms. At a time when analysts are struggling to assess the political, economic and social significance of those reforms, this exhibition adopts a somewhat different perspective.

Looking through the eyes of more than a dozen contemporary artists, it presents 50 paintings from a changing country. Alongside openly political images, which until very recently would have been banned by state censors, are depictions of daily life in villages and towns during a period of transition, of religious beliefs and symbols, and of disparate ethnic groups and identities.

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A Measure of Freedom: Contemporary Paintings from Myanmar

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

November 11-24, 2013

For most of the recent past, the country known today as Myanmar and until 1989 as Burma was subject to strict authoritarian rule. In 1962, a harsh state socialist regime was instituted with overt military backing. In 1988, collapse of that system at a time of mass protest for democracy resulted only in installation of a formal military junta. Not until 2011 was the junta finally dissolved and control handed to a quasi-civilian government that soon set about implementing a series of major reforms.

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Myanmar: Faces and Places

City University of Hong Kong

September 24 – October 27, 2013

In Myanmar, a gradual removal of strict authoritarian controls over the past couple of years has enabled creative artists to give increasingly free rein to their talents. The weight of censorship was perhaps never quite as heavy for painters as it was for writers and film makers, because government officials typically had little understanding of their art, and limited concern about its political impact. Nevertheless, in the long dark night of state socialism from 1962 to 1988 and then military rule from 1988 to 2011, many subjects were taboo, many styles were frowned upon, and even some colours were banned. Today, almost all of these restrictions have been lifted, and any residual censorship is generally light-touch. At the same time, Myanmar’s rapid reopening to the outside world has triggered renewed global interest in its cultural landscape and heritage. The result is an explosion of artistry and flair inside the country.

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Painting the Transition: Contemporary Art in Myanmar

The University of Hong Kong

May 23 – June 15, 2013

Coming in from the cold after 50 years of austere dictatorship, Myanmar is currently testing the boundaries of a raft of new freedoms. Rigid controls were not dismantled overnight, but a March 2011 switch from military junta to quasi-civilian rule has slowly created space for meaningful self-expression. Finally people can breathe a little.

More than two years on, activists routinely take to the streets of major cities to protest government policy, journalists pursue breaking stories up and down the land, hawkers beguile tourists with long banned symbols of opposition, and ordinary citizens daily raise their sights just a little higher.

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