Whenever he returns from a foreign country, Khin Zaw Latt feels unwell with frustration. He feels sick, but not because of Zika or SARS, but at the drought of art in his country. Art museums and communities in countries like the United States, France, Singapore, and Indonesia where he has been make him realize what his country lacks. He is desperate for Myanmar’s art scene to develop.
“It will take at least nine years for us to catch up to Thailand, and that is only if Thailand’s scene stops developing in the meantime,” said Khin Zaw Latt.
Khin Zaw Latt, who has studied and held exhibitions in Asia and Europe since 2005, has noticed for a long time how much Myanmar has lagged behind in terms of art.
“When I say there is no art museum in our country, my foreign friends think I am joking. There is not a single art museum in the whole country, so the gap is quite huge,” he said.
“If the government buys a certain number of paintings from individual artists as the collection of the country, then future generations will be able to enjoy them. Now, we have to go to Singapore to enjoy artist Aung Soe’s works. [The government] could not keep them some 40 years ago, and it still can’t.”
Khin Zaw Latt graduated from the National University of Arts and Culture in 2012. His Blissful Buddha, Moving Forward and Street Story series were a hit outside of Myanmar. He won four art awards at home and abroad, and held art exhibitions in Thailand, Hong Kong, the United States, France, Canada and more. Born in 1980, the artist has achieved a high level of success at a young age.
Read more of Wei Yan Aung’s article on The Irrawaddy.
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