Singaporean and Myanmar Artists Blend Photos and Poetry at ‘Tempo(rary)’

By Lwin Mar Htun 20 March 2020

Artists Marc Nair from Singapore and Maung Day from Myanmar have collaborated on a new art exhibition called “Tempo(rary)”, a series of photos and poems responding to the pace of life in Yangon and Singapore.

The exhibition is now showing at Rosewood Yangon and will run until April 1. It is part of “The Time is Yours”, a project spanning a variety of art genres and including installations, video, photography and poetry, all made by Singaporean and Myanmar artists from eco-friendly and sustainable materials.

The series was first presented at the Singapore Festival 2020, held on Feb. 1-2 at the Chin Tsong Palace.

The re-exhibition of the series at Rosewood Yangon is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and curated by Intersections Gallery in Singapore.

Photography by artist Marc Nair. / Supplied

“When I participated in the Singapore Writers Festival in 2016, I met with Marc. We are both poets and have some things in common,” said artist Maung Day. “When he sent one photograph to me, I responded with words—poetry—that related to the photo.”

Artists are echoing the feelings and expectations of citizens as they face rapid changes in their home cities. Marc captures elusive moments, while Maung Day juxtaposes images to compose visual stories. Marc presents photos of roads, rivers and people in motion, and Maung Day’s photos are connected to the materiality of the urban landscape—to its emotional and social soul.

“Time is invisible, fleeting and always in scarcity. We are always running out of time. Time is never on our hands. We need more time, we say—this commodity that can never be bought or bartered,” Marc Nair wrote over email.

The exhibition is comprised of ten pairs of fine art prints associated with ten metronomes. It was conceived as a dialogue between two artists across poetry and photographs: between Marc in Singapore and Maung Day in Yangon.

One of the works combining photography and poetry by artist Maung Day. / Supplied

Among the other works from “The Time is Yours” are three colorful and playful paper mâché sculptures, including a giant rocking horse by Wunna, an enormous cow by Thu Myat and a series of stacked dogs and cats by Thynn Lei New. The sculptures are now displayed at fine dining restaurant Shwe Sa Bwe.

Though the Singapore Festival 2020 already finished, art lovers who missed the festival will be able to catch a glimpse of some of the festival’s art at Rosewood Yangon, open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday. Entrance is free of charge.