This guy is a real cut-up. The Myanmar Times published this report about a local artist that, like some of his counterparts in the
West, cuts up banknotes to make collages. -Editor
It’s money he’s after. But the old banknotes the artist is hunting will hardly buy a cup of tea, even if they were legal tender.
Zwe Yan Naing’s third solo exhibition, Portraits of Revolutionary, is to go on display at Yangon’s 7th Joint Bar, from October 31 to
November 6, and will showcase seven of his latest works.
One of the country’s leading artists, Zwe Yan Naing has held many exhibitions abroad as well as the two he has staged here. He depicts
well-known political figures using 20th-century banknotes and postage stamps.
“To our ancestors K1 was to be treasured. But now, it’s just a joke. If we don’t make an effort to preserve them, these old banknotes
will disappear, along with our memories of older generations. I’m trying to preserve history in the form of art because I believe art never
dies, and neither does history,” he said.
Since 2010, Zwe Yan Naing has been portraying revolutionary heroes on canvas using the K25 (1972), K35 (1986), K75 (1987) and K90 (1987)
notes he has painstakingly collected, all now worth nothing because of demonetising in the past.
Pre-eminent among those images is that of General Aung San. His other works include luminaries like U Thant, Aung San Suu Kyi,
songwriter and singer Htoo Aein Thinn and many others.
“Old banknotes are not easy to find,” said the artist in a recent interview. “I get them mostly from antique dealers in Bogyoke Aung San
Market and sometimes from collectors. They charge me about K50,000 per 100 notes, sometimes more. Old stamps are even harder to find.”
Before 2008 Zwe Yan Naing was banned from exhibiting his work as his creations depicted political figures such as Aung San Suu Kyi,
which were not allowed at the time. But even now that censorship has ended, the artist continues to feel anxiety over his work. “I want to
continue to create unrestricted art. But I worry that with this banknote art I’m making a high-risk investment – I could be censored at any
To read the complete article, see:
Revolutionary artist gets a
run for his money (www.mmtimes.com/index.php/lifestyle/17275-revolutionary-artist-gets-a-run-for-his-money.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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