Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar’s Green Future Art and Environment Festival Moves Online Amid COVID-19

By Lwin Mar Htun 22 April 2020

This year’s annual Green Future Art and Environment Festival is commemorating the 50th Earth Day on Wednesday with an online exhibition that started on April 20 and runs through the end of the month.

Every year since 2011, a group of environmentally aware artists have held the Green Future Art and Environment Festival on World Environment Day to raise awareness of environmental issues around the world through art.

“This year is the 10th anniversary of the Green Future Art and Environment Festival. We were planning to hold a big exhibition to celebrate both the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and our 10th anniversary, but the COVID-19 pandemic [disrupted the plan]. So we decided to hold an online exhibition,” said artist Khin Than Phyu, curator of the exhibition and one of the contributing artists.

She added, “Now, we are hosting the event under the name ‘Green Future Art and Environment Online Art Exhibition’ on Facebook and people can see the artwork via this event.”

The exhibition features a total of 15 paintings and art installations by six artists: Khin Than Phyu, Lun Kyaw Yee, Ohnmar, Zon Pann Pwint, Lae Phyu Pya Myo Myint and Lun Pann Che.

“Earth Day concerns environmental issues, so most of the artworks are related to the Earth and the environment. Some of my installation artworks depict the impact of plastic waste on marine life,” Khin Than Phyu said.

She added, “Other artists are also displaying works that concern the environment, while others are showing paintings with a ‘stay-at-home’ theme during this home quarantine period.”

This is the first time Khin Than Phyu has arranged an online art exhibition; she admits that it wasn’t easy for her.

“I’m not very comfortable with technology. So, I don’t know how to make an event on Facebook and other platforms, but I loved doing this exhibition, and there were people around to help me. I thought people needed to see something different besides COVID-19 news,” she said.

During the 11-day online exhibition, artists will upload their works and accompanying texts daily. Information about the Earth and environmental issues will also be uploaded throughout the exhibition.

“I’m not happy this virus outbreak occurred, and a lot of people are facing hard times, but the Earth is getting some time to rest. The roads are clean and air pollution has decreased because there are fewer cars on the road,” she said.

“After the virus outbreak, we will make the Earth a better place to live.”

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