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Burmese Artist Paints Beauty in Bathing

Kyaw Phyo Tha The Irrawaddy

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RANGOON — While other artists may go to painstaking lengths to hunt down their subjects, Win Khaing can’t be bothered to take so much trouble. He simply invites female models to the forecourt bathing place of his home and asks them to take a shower.

Known in Burma and abroad for these semi-nude paintings, the 41-year-old artist admits that he owes his fame to his “woman bathing” paintings. The provocative series depicts Burmese women in the process of bathing, with water glistening on their skin and wrapping a sarong tightly to their feminine figures.

“Other artists have their trademark subjects, so I chose ‘bathing women’ as mine, as no one had taken that,” he said.

The goal is to give viewers a sensation of “wet beauty” through his paintings, Win Khaing told The Irrawaddy. That has not prevented some people with conservative predilections from complaining that his paintings are a bit too revealing and racy, he acknowledged.

Despite the critics, he said the works have been commercially successful.

“I have local and international collectors of my paintings. The Chinese and Koreans are at the top of the list,” he explained.

“I just present women in an art form and I don’t think I have gone that far, as there are some people who paint nudes.”