Myanmar had been ruled by monarchs until 1885 and by the British after that. It was devastated by the World War II. Myanmar emerged as an independent country afterwards.
Before coming into contact with the British, art in Myanmar had remained in its own Eastern style. After that, it came to be mixed with Western styles. Consequently, Myanmar art has taken on a new look and moved ahead in that style. In the years after 1988 when Myanmar has had more contact with the outside world, there have appeared many more artists with a mixed style. The artists from Studio Square are among the top of them.
Studio Square was established in 2003 by a group of artists namely Nyein Chan Su (NCS), Min Zaw, Ba Khine, Hein Thit and Tartie as an independent group. In addition to fine art, Studio Square also experimented new forms of art such as installation, performance, and video art. It could also hold seminars and discussions with artists from around the world. Moreover, the group has organized exhibitions for the younger generation artists in the studio. Within its life of ........ years, the group has managed to acquire a new unique art form of their own through learning by themselves the international art forms that they could not learn at the art schools in Myanmar.
Nyein Chan Su (NCS)
A native of Yangon, NCS joined the Yangon Art School and stayed active in the artist circle in Yangon. He is a leading force in the conception of Studio Square and has traveled a lot to a number of Eastern and Western countries. His artworks are composed of sharp, bold strokes. He is a kind of artist who uses a variety of medium to create artworks. Abstract art that has strongly influenced many Myanmar artists has not given NCS an exception. As he has a strong and emotional mentality, his artworks are simply a reflection of it. What's more, they are a mixture of surrealistic, dreamy thoughts.
He was born in Yangon and has joined the art schools in Yangon. He is not just an artist but well-known cartoonist as well. He wrote a graduation paper on the study of Bagyi Aung Soe, a famous Myanmar modern artist. He is one of the pioneers of Myanmar art after 1995. Unlike many Myanmar artists, his works are free from the influence of abstract art. His works make less use of mass, which is common in the Western art forms, and more of lines which is representative of the Eastern style.
Well-known among the figures he has drawn are those of Myanmar women. In the early days, his line-drawings used to look like sketches but he came to use more precise lines later. In terms of meaning, his works have become more specific and deeper. The eyes of the woman in his paintings are like windows to the inner layers of the artworks. The viewer will see first of all the posture of the woman in the painting, then the texture and worn colors that fill about half of the painting, After that, the eyes of the woman would bring the spectators to a deeper layer where they would experience a significant human situation. This may be called a human situation of a Myanmar woman.
He grew up in the middle part of Myanmar amidst the upcountry culture. He is a self-made artist and admires artist Paw Oo Thet, who introduced a new trend of a combination of Myanmar traditional art with the modern one. That influence is observable in his artworks. The subjects of his works are basically sceneries, landscape, people and pagodas commonly seen in upper Myanmar. Even his personality is typical of carefree, upcountry folk. It has been twenty years since he left his native place and settled in Yangon. But his soul always seems to be with the people and the characteristics of upper Myanmar. He seems to be missing his good old days there spent quite simply yet happily. That may be the reason his beautiful artworks are reminiscent of this strong attachment.
He grew up in a remote village in Pyay township in the middle of Myanmar. He moved to Yangon in 1980 during the time of the socialist government and settled in the outskirts area. Doing whatever odd jobs available there, he joined the Yangon Art School. His earlier works were abstract but he later came to focus on a series of "women" paintings, trying to express his own point of view toward women. After 2000, he tried to give the audience a whole new experience by blending Myanmar cartoon drawings and his "women". His works have been influenced by Aron Shield and well-known Myanmar artist Bagyi Aung Soe. His impersonal "women" in his early works were exclusive, lonely and quiet. But in his later works, his "women" came to be associated with human figures in the comic books giving the audience a new kind of feeling as well as a point to ponder.
He was born in Yangon, studied at the Yangon Art School and spent his time in the artist community of Yangon. A childhood friend of NCS, he gave him a helping hand in his performances. His artworks are based on the Buddha's stories. He was inspired by the images in the ancient mural paintings when he created his artworks. Later, he came to add Pali characters to his works. His paintings focus more on the visual aspect of artistic designs than on sensation or emotions. The Buddha images and characters are presented together in a pop art style.
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