The Irrawaddy

Artist Paints Portraits of Lost Inspiration

YANGON — Born to an editor father and writer mother, Ohn Khaing Zin’s childhood was greatly influenced by various artists.

In his youth, he was surrounded by artists who were either friends of his father Than Ohn, the editor of a renowned art and literature magazine, or his mother, writer Khin Mya Zin.

As he grew older, many artists he knew passed away one after another. To satisfy his deep longing for them, he has drawn their portraits in emotive colors.

His exhibition showcases the portraits of more than 20 celebrated but late writers, artists, composers and singers, along with his modernist paintings.

“I’ve mainly painted those who I knew in person. I love their artistry and admire their works. All of them have passed away, and I miss them and feel sad for them,” said the 30-year-old artist.

It took a year for him to create the paintings on display at “The Mirror of Dark Mishear and Misled” exhibition at Yangon’s Lokanat Galleries. The exhibition will be held through Aug. 28.

One of the paintings on display is a portrait of Inzali Maung Maung, who he depicted against a yellow background of musical notes and curved lines.

Another painting is of musician and peace activist Ko Ye Lwin, who died recently. He portrayed him in red.

“Red represents bravery. But it also represents that he had undergone dark eras. He worked hard for his country but could not finish his work,” he said.

The illustrator-turned-artist has participated in more than 90 group art exhibitions and has so far held four solo art exhibitions.