The Maw Naing (b.1971) is the one who has created art works of quiet, calm and silent things. As a Being of poet, an essayist, an installation and performance artist, a documentary film director, a graphic designer & a video artist. There have been the several topics he has done. But in his every work, the thing you would find out is quietness. Waveringly he named his video art as “Off”. He said: “I would like to present about a situation in which something has been off or whatever has been off”.
He explained simply: “The door has been closed, The TV set has been off, the switch has been off, the computer has been off, the washing machine has been of, the fan has been off.” The background sound would be a sort of sound lasting 10 mins from UPS’s alarm when the electricity all went out. As the time’s length has been more increasing, the more frequent alarms from UPS.
There would be no either a story or an absolute active movement seen in The Maw Naing’s work. He said “ I just want to create a video art without any movement or story”. Instead of watching for what would be the continuation, he has tried to show something which would be staying still: nothing happened after being off.
In his work, he has used candle light alone – This candle light has been in a quiet closed room. In his work, even the wind in the room didn’t move.
We would develop questioning on his work. What is the meaning? The reply is that it is just about the circumstance when the something has been off. What has been off! Would “off” mean death? Would “off” mean falling asleep? We have to think a lot or not. In anyway, however, the voice sounded as Te, Te, Te has come to strike the viewer’s ears. One after another, a series of silent images will be shown up.
It would make the viewer felt bored like calming down the nervousness just before sleep. There would be no hesitation needed to look at the show. It would actually slow down the viewer’s eye movement. It would make the whole feeling static to move around. It would be The Maw Naing’s “Off”.
On the other hand, there would be a question – What about the images in your own mind? For this situation, the answer would be: your own image by yourself, your own definition by yourself, and your individual perception by yourself.
Ko Aung Ko’s Flash Memory & Light
Ko Aung Ko (b. 1976) gave the titles as “Flash Memory” and “Light” for his artworks. As a being of documentary film maker, his camera shots have been appeared as documentarily. All of his shots have been about the things he focused within this recent two weeks period: the movement of dangling crossed legs, the typing man, the sparrow taking grass seeds on the front fence, the playing child. Each part of the show has been intervened by a black field and a sound. But there would be a sustained background music of a metronome’s sound. He said: “The time has been going on” It seemed to be an abstract presentation about his show of “Light”. The very subtle movement of the light has been enforced by the background music. Both of his shows are really abstract. They would not indicate an accurate meaning. His real perceptions have been snapped by a video camera and after that, he did some extend of cropping and designation upon these snapped figures and then they were transferred to the viewers. The later part is just the viewer’s part to perceive them. He said: “I have tried to get rapid shots by a harsh movement of camera” – although he has ignored about the technical part, it would be undeniable that he is an expert handler of the camera. The candle flame in his “Light” show has been swaying around according to a rhythm of an emotion, like a dancing body. In reality, the candle light has been staying still and the camera only is moving. And I start to imagine about this camera as a running brush on a canvas: An abstract painting on the canvas; the candle light brushstroke has been moving around and transformed into a visual sense with an abstract meaning. In the case of viewer’s part, apart from this specific sense, there would be more nothing meaningful to perceive. But, for the individual mind, this abstract sense could have a defined meaning. This fact might actually be realized by the viewer himself at that moment.