Myanmar [Burmese] Artists

Myanmar is a country in which has endured isolation for the last four decades. It is also a country with deep rooted Buddhist beliefs. The contemporary art scene in the country reflects these facts, and the art is often related to Buddhism and the changing yet difficult socio-political situation. In this age of globalization, Burmese contemporary art has developed rather on its own terms.

Oil and watercolor are still the most popular media. Motifs have mostly been that of traditional rural village life scenes and or idyllic scenes depicting Buddhist temples and pagodas. Some artists are starting to explore contemporary art, and there are quite a large number of activist artists who explore all kinds of new media including video works, installations, art performances, etc. When looking at Myanmar contemporary art, one should keep in mind that the country has been more or less isolated from the rest of the world for over four decades, and hence the art mostly reflects traditional values and ways of life on one side, while the activist art exists as a whole different entity. Without proper art institutions, art education or training in Myanmar is the continued system of apprenticeship. Studying in the workshop of an old master is placed in high regard. This has produced some very talented artists who have become popular with overseas collectors.

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