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A Burmese Master of Oil Painting Tries His Hand at Watercolors

Kyaw Phyo Tha The Irrawaddy

RANGOON — Normally, Burmese artist Win Pe Myint is known for his still-life oil paintings. But since 2010, the noted painter has ventured out into new territory: watercolors.

Three years into his experiment with the new form, he has a solo exhibition named “50 Watercolors” at Myanmar Ink Art Gallery in Rangoon. As the title of the show suggests, all the paintings on display are in watercolor.

“I’m not that good at watercolor,” the 65-year-old artist said. “There are many others better than me.”

But the masterful paintings on display, mostly depicting the landscapes of upper Burma and Shan State, contrast to his modesty.

“Those paintings are the results of my trips around the country,” said the artist, who is also known as ‘”WPM” for his sign in his painting.

“I feel that working on watercolor is fun and free, so I have been attached to it since three years ago,” said he,admitting that these days he rarely put his hands on his old love: oil paints.

For him, his newly acquired medium is “mysterious,” as, like any other watercolor painter, he is not sure whether he will end up with a good painting or bad one.

“You can’t know in advance,” he said. “That’s what I like most about it.”

“50 Watercolors” is open until Saturday (9 am to 6 pm) at the Myanmar Ink Art Gallery, 32/1, Alen Pya Pagoda Street, Rangoon (Opposite the Park Royal Hotel).