Chan Aye & Phyu Mon

Chan Aye (b. 1954) is a sculptor, installation artist, painter, and writer from Myanmar. He was self taught before going on to study traditional Myanmar painting between 1986 and 1989. He has developed a unique pictorial language that is inventive and at the same time inherits the iconography of Myanmar cave painting and mural paintings, as found in the temples at Bagan, Sitkaing, and Po Win Taung in North Myanmar, as well as his studied interest in Western art, which the artist has studied in magazine and book reproductions through the years. His art is rooted in physicalizing the various states of life’s existence and spirituality, and engages with the dualities of material and immaterial forms: color, time, and the dimensions of human emotions, of anger, love, hate, and greed, with diverse materials such as paint, wood, marble, glass, sandstone, and paper from Myanmar Shan State, silk, motor equipment, lighting, bronze, and steel. Searching for new ways to merge traditions with the contemporary condition, he continues to create art through periods of political turmoil and change, and in the aftermath of the devastating Cyclone Nargis in 2008. Chan Aye has exhibited in Singapore, Germany, Finland, France, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, China, New York, and London.

Phyu Mon (b. 1960), writer, photographer, performance artist, and painter, grew up in an environment distinguished by strong tradition and rich culture. Since her teens she has written poetry, short stories and also painted. Now, her recent work is writing articles about art in Myanmar Magazine and Journal, as well as other international publications. Her work expanded beyond writing when she was introduced to video and film production through a program at the University of Finland, and also when she accepted a Diploma of Photography from Myanmar Photography Association. She is one of the very few women artists in Myanmar who currently works with digital photography and visual art. She is also the first female performance artist in Myanmar and has participated in several local and international exhibitions and festivals. She currently runs the Blue Wind Art project in Myanmar.

In her art, she presents the contentment and peace even of a hard life, the need for progress but at the same time the need to care for the environment. She is at present witnessing the cultural changes taking place in the urban areas through globalisation but she feels confident that the rural people, the true representatives of Myanmar, will not be overly swayed by western culture. Having struggled to break out of a restrictive and traditionalistic society, she knows how strong the culture’s values are. Her hope, presumed in her art, is that the best of these values will be kept intact for the sake of future generations. Phyu Mon has exhibited her works in Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Korea, Denmark, Spain, UK, France and the US.

Chan Aye and Phyu Mon will be undergoing a two month residency at Rimbun Dahan. For more information on their work, visit Chan Aye’s website, and Blue Wind Art’s website.