CHIANG MAI, Thailand – Works by 18 established and emerging artists from Southeast Asia offering their personal experiences of global migration, notions of identity and ongoing humanitarian crises in Myanmar are on currently on display in a group exhibition in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.
The contemporary art exhibition “Diaspora: Exit, Exile, Exodus of Southeast Asia” is open to the public at the MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in Chiang Mai from March 4 until Oct. 1. It includes works in a range of media, including paintings, paper cut-outs, other visual arts and mixed-media installations.
Artists from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan and Australia are participating.
At the opening of the exhibition on March 3, panel discussions were held in which the artists shared their experiences and thoughts. The discussion was led by exhibition curator Lorendana Pazzini-Paracciani, a writer and lecturer in contemporary Southeast Asian art.
Unrecorded moments of conflict
Artist Sawangwongse Yawnghwe — grandson of Myanmar’s first president, Sao Shwe Thaik —portrays the conflicts in Myanmar’s ethnic areas in a section of the exhibition comprising four elements:
“War Zone in Kachin State and Northern Shan State” comprises two paintings from “Missing Archives”, the artist’s ongoing series dealing with what he describes as unrecorded moments of the ongoing war in northeast Burma.
The second element, the painting “Shan State Army” (2017), depicts his imagined impression of the ethnic Army as it existed in 1964.
The third and largest painting is “Peace Industrial Complex ll” (2017). Sawangwongse Yawnghwe explained that the title refers to “the network of resource and financial flows among individuals, governments, corporations, organizations and institutions engaged in peace building within Burma.”
Read Nyein Nyein’s report on the exhibition on The Irrawady.
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