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Artists Discussion - Voices of Transition: Contemporary Art From Myanmar

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The Sackler Research Forum, the Courtauld Institute of Art

The Strand

Somerset House

London

WC2R 0RN

United Kingdom

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On 23rd November 2017, the Sackler Research Forum will be the venue for an artists’ discussion with the performance artists Ma Ei and Zoncy.

Contemporary art from Myanmar draws from rich traditions of Theravada Buddhism and regional cultures in order to confront the oppression of state censorship. Performance art has been a crucial medium of social-political participation, protest and solidarity in the struggle for a democratic Myanmar. While paintings can be symbolic, performance art is a direct action of defiance, as the artists-in-residence Ma Ei and Zoncy continually prove.

The performance artists programme is an integral element of the broader ‘Voices of Tradition: Contemporary Art from Myanmar’ exhibition in Whitechapel (46 Ashfield Street). The exhibition is directed and curated by Maximilian Lunn and Davide Sgarbossa who are currently BA3 undergraduate students at The Courtauld Institute of Art. As well as the artist talk, Lunn and Sgarbossa will introduce the central frameworks of their curatorial approach in creating this project and will give a concise overview of the extensive catalogue accompanying this exhibition project.

This event will be the launch of the exhibition catalogue: an ambitious series of articles, essays and interviews from internationally renowned academics and artists concerning the Myanmar art scene. Contributors include Dr Matthew Walton, Aung San Suu Kyi Fellow at Oxford University; Dr Wenny Teo, Manuela and Iwan Wirth Lecturer at The Courtauld Institute of Art; Professor Catherine Raymond, Director of Center for Burma Studies; and artist/art theorist Jay Koh.

The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.

Artist profiles

Zoncy was born in 1987 in the Tanintharyi Region, a region located in the most Southern part of Myanmar. Zoncy – who has a Karen Buddhist father and a Muslim mother – is acutely aware of the ethnic and religious problems that continue to plague her country. Gender issues and social bias, therefore, are two themes that have become central to her practice.

Zoncy studied painting between 2003-2007 under Daw Nwe Nwe Yi, one of Myanmar first generation women artists. She was trained in modern painting and postmodern practices at New Zero Art Space.

Ma Ei (b.1978) practices in painting, installations, photo art and performance art.

Ma Ei has participated in several performance art events, including the Hong Kong & Myanmar Performance art exchange. 12th Asiatopia International performance art event, 2010 and 3rd PAN Asia 2016 performance art event. She is also has participated in an Artist in Residency program in Tokyo Wonder Site in 2010.

The interactive installation ‘Period’ by Ma Ei (1978) in 2017 spanned three days with the artist confined in a bright red room articulating her work through performance, writing and drawing. Ma Ei has long challenged male prejudices towards women and gender-related taboo subject matters.

Discussion leader

Dr Pamela Nguyen Corey – is an historian of modern and contemporary art, with an area expertise in Southeast Asia. She lectures at SOAS University. She has co-organized international conferences at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Vietnamese Ceramics: Objects at the Crossroads, 2015) and The MoMA (Contemporary Art in Cambodia: A Historical Inquiry, 2013). Her writings appear in Art Journal; Journal of Asian Studies; and Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art.

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The Sackler Research Forum, the Courtauld Institute of Art

The Strand

Somerset House

London

WC2R 0RN

United Kingdom

View Map

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