An artist-in-exile's view of Myanmar

Artwork by Sawangwongse Yawnghwe. (Photo courtesy of Nova Contemporary)

A personal perspective on Myanmar one year after the coup by Sawangwongse Yawnghwe, a Myanmar artist based in the Netherlands, is presented during "The Broken White Umbrella" exhibition, at Nova Contemporary, until April 30.

On display is a modern new body of work by the internationally-exhibited artist reputed for creating work that explicitly commentates on the dynamics of transnational politics.

Yawnghwe takes eight archival images from early-mid-20th century Myanmar, and in relating them on canvas, creates new modernist compositions with bands of colour, morphing these untold and fast-fading histories into contemporary objects with new materiality.

He reluctantly addresses the continued uncertainty and pessimism around his country's future, by turning inward and ruminating on Hegel's idea of "imminent reversal".

Through these painted works, he doesn't only explore current events in parallel with his family's exile following the Myanmar military coup of 1962, but also posits himself as an unblinking witness to the repetitions of history.

In this most recent chapter of Myanmar's history, millions of people are now experiencing the fear and exile his parents faced.

His works take viewers to observe the present echoing the past. The undefined and often enigmatic figures of his paintings don't only symbolise the temporal decay of the photographs from which they are based, but also that of tradition, nation and the gains of the present generation.

Nova Contemporary is located on Ratchadamri Road (BTS Rajdamri Exit 2) and opens Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 7pm.

There is no admission fee. Call 090-910-6863.

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