The Irrawaddy

Artist Paints Portraits of Longtime Heroes

Renowned dancer Liberty Ma Mya Yin.

An artist has created portraits of people he admires for his first solo exhibition. He has never met these people in person, but knows them through books and bedtime stories told by his mother.

“These are the people I have admired since I was young,” said artist Zaw Moe Thae, who was born in 1985. “I’ve wanted to draw them for a few years now.”

His art exhibition features 27 prominent figures from politics, art and literature in Myanmar including Gen Aung San, the father of Myanmar’s independence, and Thakhin Kodaw Hmine, the father of Burmese nationalist and peace movements.

“I fell in love with Thakhin Kodaw Hime from the books by Ludu Daw Amar about him,” he said.

Thakhin Kodaw Hmine.

Other figures include Ludu Daw Amar, one of the most respected journalists and writers in Myanmar; musician and composer of Mandalay Myoma Nyein; writer Dagon Taya; painter Paw Oo Thet; writer Mya Than Tint and so on. All were renowned in their fields.

The graduate of the National University of Arts and Culture in Mandalay started his career as an illustrator for novels and magazines and had participated in several group shows before he made his debut solo this week.

Writer Daw Khin Myo Chit

His art exhibition ‘Always & Often’ will be held at Ahla Thit Gallery on University Avenue Road in Bahan Township through Monday. Paintings are available for purchase for prices ranging from US$300 to US$900.

“I like to have a wide color spectrum in the background. I mean to make it look like space. I imagine what it would look like if I put these people that I admire in space,” he said.