Rock Star Paints to Escape Reality

By Lwin Mar Htun 13 March 2018

“We don’t need to be intelligent all the time; what I draw is the opposite of intelligence. It’s called outelligence,” said local rock star Kyar Pauk, 35, at his solo exhibition ‘Outelligence.’

The three-day exhibition was his first solo show. It was held at A Hla Thit Gallery on Old University Avenue Road from March 9 to 11.

“I painted to escape reality, whenever anything came to mind. I placed painting tools all over my house,” said Kyar Pauk, adding that this was just another way to connect with people.

In recent years, he published a cartoon book called ‘Not Funny’ with Nga Dto Sar Pay publishing house and the publisher asked him to paint on canvas. That was just the beginning.

“At that time, I was just drawing cartoons and doodles. I hadn’t thought about using canvas. When the publisher mentioned it, I realized I could show my emotions through painting as well as music. Then, I started,” he said.

The publisher, San Mon Aung, said he urged Kyar Pauk to paint because he knew his paintings would be different.

“Kyaw Pauk didn’t have the basics down when it came to painting, and that’s why he called his show Outelligence,” San Mon Aung said, adding that the rock star didn’t go to art school but learned to paint from books and the Internet.

A painting called ‘Myo Pya 5’ from the hi-fi room. / Chan Son

“At the beginning, I was frustrated and preferred doodles. In painting, if your brushwork is wrong, your painting is ruined,” Kyar Pauk said.

So he painted without judgment, anything that came to his mind.

Thirty-one paintings were displayed at the exhibition, including one by his wife.

Canvas for visitors to draw something for Kyar Pauk. / Chan Son

The exhibition had three rooms – hi-fi, lo-fi and no-fi. The hi-fi room felt suffocating. The lo-fi room featured objects related to human existence and the no-fi room was filled with sharp color combinations, which had a relaxing effect.

“Kyar Pauk has made music for decades. Anyone can buy his songs and listen to them repeatedly. But this is different. If you own one of his paintings, there will never be another copy. That feeling and these paintings are special,” said San Mon Aung.

A visitor at the exhibition. / Chan Son

Paintings were sold for a few hundred dollars each. The painting ‘Undred 1’ was sold as an auction to donate money to a shelter. That garnered 310,000 kyats. (US$230)

Kyar Pauk, also known as Han Htue Lwin, is a record producer, as well as the lead singer and guitarist of Big Bag and Big Bag’s side project Blood Sugar Politik bands. Big Bag has released nine albums. Their latest album ‘Anger Management’ was released in last May 2017. He is also an author and songwriter.