Mural Painting by Min Zaw (Recent work of Min Zaw 2012)

I would say that the group of artists in Myanmar brought up after 1962 could be called as the artists belonged to the Dark Age; born and grown up in the era of darkness, learnt at the schools of Dark Age, and they drew in that darkness. On the other hand, obviously, they developed their art by their own way. Besides, I assumed that there was their unique style they belonged to. The artist Min Zaw was one of them.
Myanmar traditional line painting was an oriental way exited long before the era of Bagan kingdom. It was mostly based on the stories of Buddha. It was focused mainly on the matter of “thinking” rather than what the artist felt. That kind of painting would tell about a story. Around 1900 Myanmar line painting was mixed up with Western art style. In Colonial days, British way of painting influenced the Myanmar artists with massive impact. But some of Myanmar artists tried to keep up drawing of their works in their own traditional way. Especially the artist ‘UBa Kyi’ became the leader in development of new Myanmar traditional line painting. Also Bagyi Aung Soe, the leader of Myanmar modern art, created his own style of combined Myanmar traditional art and modern way.  Successively the artist ‘Moat Thone’ developed the Myanmar contemporary line art in later years. It was the way I found out Myanmar line painting‘s course. And I saw Min Zaw- born in 1970 was an artist in this path way.
In 2003, I and Min zaw started to know each other. In this same year, the art gallery ‘studio Square’ had begun developing. The artists of Studio Square tried to get the diversity from the original formal styles of painting before. Basically Min Zaw was fond of traditional line painting. In his “women” series he developed his own new form of Painting on the basis of original line painting. He drew the out lines and provoked the emotion of the viewer. At the same time his painting drove the viewer to think.
In the beginning of 2012, Min Zaw started drawing his series of ‘Mural paintings’. I saw him inspired with ancient Myanmar Mural paintings. Seemingly he created his “Mural paintings” in paying homage to the works of ancient time. Supposedly his works would be screened into two layers; the superficial abstract Layer like a wrecked wall and the inner ancient figures. From his paintings I felt like perceiving about the past and present, the old and new, the far and near. Meanwhile I found out what I felt subtle, generous and satisfied by a watching tour deep into ancient figures inside.
Written by Aung Min
Translated by san san oo



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