Re-Connect: Contemporary Photography from Myanmar


Quoting myself: “If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I often refer to The List, as in ‘It’s on The List’ or ‘I’m adding it to The List.’ The List refers to a physical checklist of stuff to do, places to go, and things to see here.” One of the items on The List reads, “Learn More About Asian Art.”

Well, this hasn’t been too difficult to do in Singapore. The city-state hosts many contemporary Asian artists in its institutional and commercial art spaces and I try to suss out as many exhibitions of Asian art as possible. I’ve had the opportunity to see so many Asian artists here who are rarely, if ever, exhibited in the States.

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I stumbled upon Re-Connect: Contemporary Photography from Myanmar, an intimate show at Jendela, the Esplanade’s under-appreciated visual arts’ gallery. The exhibition brings together several generations of Myanmar artists who approach the medium of photography in diverse ways.

Independent curator Zhuang Wubin says, “I have [selected] artists who do not offer cliche or nihilistic responses to what they’ve experienced as citizens of Myanmar and as practitioners in the contemporary art world.”

I was particularly drawn to the work of Nge Lay. In The Imagination Sphere (2008-2009, above), Lay, a performance artist and photographer based in Yangon, uses digital photography to document glass plate negatives found in her husband’s family house to haunting effect. I also appreciated Kuang Htet’s Birth of a Nation (2010-2013) and Aung Pyae’s The Transition of Myanmar (2011-2012), two photojournalistic series that provide a context with which to approach this exhibition.

Re-Connect closes on June 30, 2013.