Gajah Gallery Singapore launches the book Bagyi Aung Soe (1923 – 1990), published with the support of Pierre & Bolor Lorinet and the Centre Pompidou. In 2021, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, held the first major solo exhibition of the late Bagyi Aung Soe. The comprehensive book now marks another major milestone in the legacy of the artist, hailed as Myanmar’s pioneer of modern art.
The book launch will be held at Gajah Gallery Singapore on 13 May 2023, accompanied by a talk by Yin Ker. The solo exhibition runs from 13 May to 4 June 2023.
Aung Soe lived through radical transformations in Burma’s socio-political atmosphere—from World War II, the Japanese Occupation, to the military coup in 1962, launching a 26-year long authoritarian rule that silenced dissenting voices. In that period, critical art, nudity, and the use of certain colours, such as red, and black and white together, were banned in art. Yet, Aung Soe remained liberated in his practice. His paintings were eventually called ‘psychotic’ for veering away from naturalistic forms. He defied the no-nudity rule and embraced sexual and political themes in the Burmese context. Moreover, he seeked to create art not for an elite art market, but the larger public–-disseminating his work through mass publications like journals and newspapers.
Amid his country’s tense socio-political context, Aung Soe carved a rich, expansive and independent modernism in his art. In merging originality, tradition and a dedication to his
community, his works continue to influence a younger generation of artists, who are currently working within another turbulent period in Myanmar’s history.
Venue: Gajah Gallery Singapore, 39 Keppel Road, Singapore
When: 13 May - 4 Jun 2023,
By: Gajah Gallery