ref: jQv Mar 17 2007 KINGS ROAD GALLERY Min Wae Aung - return to Galleries PR Index

Min Wae Aung
1960 Born in Danubyu, Myanmar

Calm yet purposeful, groups of monks and nuns advance in an orderly
procession across limitless undulating sand dunes.  Their bearing is erect,
graceful, their robes resplendent in the morning sunshine.  These are the
Buddhist monks and nuns of Burma's monasteries who provide the inspiration
for the vibrant works of Min Wae Aung.  Depicting the daily rounds of the
monks to collect alms and food, or young novices in the temple compound,
they are striking in their sense of colour and composition.

Dressed in vivid traditional Burmese monastic robes and often barefoot, the
figures are typically shown walking away from the viewer.  Whether in
dazzling sunlight or a tropical downpour, they protect themselves with wide
circular ribbed parasols.  Such images enable Min Wae Aung to exploit the
full spectrum of glowing colour in his chosen palette - from palest
rose-pink through coral, magenta and crimson to darker wine, ochre and
russet hues - as well as the play of light and shadow on the softly flowing
folds of fabric.

Min Wae Aung studied traditional landscape painting - a legacy of British
colonial rule - at the State School of Fine Art in Rangoon.  However,
experience working as a commercial graphic artist and a visit to the USA in
1993 led him to progress towards a more contemporary, graphic style.  His
painting "Travellers" (1994), now in the Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan, marked
this turning point.

While his present style of figure drawing is almost photographic, his
composition is intentionally contrived.  Monks and nuns are arranged in
aesthetically pleasing compositions, always with a perfect sense of balance
and symmetry.  This also has the effect of heightening the sense of movement
and energy in his works.

Much of Min Wae Aung's work is inspired by the rural life of the Shan people
which he has experienced at first hand on his travels in the Burmese
countryside.  Here ancient villages retain customs and beliefs, which date
back thousands of years.  Because the monks are depicted in a void, carrying
on age-old traditions as generations of monks have done for centuries, the
figures become iconic, epitomising the Buddhist idea of the eternal
repetition of life cycles.  These timeless images suggest a strong sense of
brotherhood and community, from which the viewer is excluded.  Exuding a
sense of simple joy in spiritual life, Min Wae Aung's paintings are like a
distillation of the fundamental basis of Burmese culture and beliefs.

Nadya Al-Khusaibi
Gallery Manager
Kings Road Gallery
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7351 1367
Fax. +44 (0) 20 7351 7007