The Irrawaddy

Artist Brings the Stone Age to Yangon

Than Htay’s 17th solo exhibition will be held at Nawady Tharlar Gallery through May 27.

Artist Than Htay has brought the Stone Age to Yangon. At the Nawaday Tharlar Gallery on Yaw Min Gyi Street, people from this prehistoric time are pictured enjoying themselves while hunting, dancing and having sex.

“I am grateful to artists and people of ancient times who contributed to this exhibition,” said Than Htay.

‘Fatal Malady’ is the 17th solo art exhibition of Than Htay, a slightly built, mustached man who seems to be immersed in his own artistic world.

Than Htay tries to present only new work at all of his exhibitions and this time is no exception.

His previous exhibitions have featured abstract art, collages, portraits and landscape paintings. His latest ‘Cave People’ series is based on cave paintings combined with texture and color splashes.

“I love [creating] new things. I sketched the figures with brushes and then colored them with a roller. The textures and colors I got from doing this are more beautiful. I like it,” said Than Htay.

“I like his modification of cave paintings using color and technique,” said veteran modernist Maung D.

The exhibition featuring 16 paintings will be held through Sunday. The paintings can be purchased for prices ranging from $1,500 to $2,500.

Paintings of the Stone Age people drinking liquor and having sex captivate many of the visitors.

“Though there were no laws or regulations in the Stone Age, I feel like their freedom was systematic. People did not wear clothes, but the naked body was not necessarily connected with sexual thoughts. They also shared their prey. And they were carefree. Now we say that we are civilized, but in fact, they were more civilized,” said curator Ko Pyae Wai.

Than Htay lived in Japan for years and has won a Fuji TV Award and the Mayor’s Award in art contests there. He also won the Best Painting of 2013 prize organized by the Tun Foundation Bank. He is a member of the Artist Friendship Association of Asia in Japan and has held exhibitions in Beijing, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States.