Asian Art Gallery Brings First Contemporary Art Show from Myanmar to Boston: Burma Rising

Santhana Krishnan with artist Min Wae Aung

CHELMSFORD, MA –Asian Art Gallery is bringing the first contemporary art show from Myanmar to Boston—Burma Rising—from April 30 to May 14, 2017. The show will be held at the Asian Art Gallery facility in Chelmsford, MA.

Burma Rising showcases 20 artists including famous Myanmar artists Min Wae Aung, U Marlar and U Sein Myint.  Burma Rising has abstraction, reality, religion, tranquility, nature, silent tombs, rising pagodas, town life, farm life, daily humdrum, monks, the song of the lone bird, endearing stone sculptures that remind of an era gone by, temple and other places of worship, dancers, musicians and deities in stone, images of modern Myanmar and so much more, according to organizers.

There are also lingering imageries of palaces, river banks, river boats shoring off and setting sail, commerce and people that transport us to a time and place most of us can remember as distant shots from Hollywood productions.

“With every show, we choose a social cause to support in the region” said Santhana Krishnan, Founder of Asian Art Gallery.  “The Burma Rising show will support the Arts Mandalay Foundation and exchange of ideas through workshops between South East Asian artists”.

The Arts Mandalay Foundation supports authentic arts performances in the diverse traditions of Myanmar, and the passing of skills from master to apprentice in the next generation of artists. Arts Mandalay was founded by a former MIT professor and serial entrepreneur, Dan Ehrlich who has been visiting Myanmar for the last 22 years.

Gallery Manager Annie Fastina

“Burma Rising is a show about contemporary artists of Myanmar finding their voice in the international art scene.” said Annie Fastina, gallery manager.  “An entire clan of very talented artists who were kept away from their rightful place in the global art scene bring us the beauty of their country and their people, elements that represent Myanmar coupled with their own techniques, thoughts and expressions on various media.”

The opening reception for the show is being held on April 29th 2017 at 5:00 pm.  If interested, you can register to attend at

Santhana Krishnan with artist Min Wae Aung

“The works are distinctively Burmese, untouched by the changes in the world outside of the region.” said Mark Rathinaraj, who co-curated the show along with Aung Soe Min, a popular art curator in Yangon, Myanmar. “This singular quality rhymes in each of the work showcased in Burma Rising and makes for a breath-taking view into the heart of Myanmar and its centuries of cultural history”.

There is plenty of drama in the visuals despite the restrained and laid back approach of the artists with respect to color and themes. It is necessary to remember and appreciate at this point, the spirit and love these artists have for their techniques. The challenging art censorship of the regime and restriction to the topics one can work upon has not deterred these amazing artists, who have risen like phoenixes for the world to see.

Curators Mark Rathinaraj and Aung Soe Min

Some of the works are extremely modern in thought and approach, challenging the society’s perception of idealized beauty. In a way, the collection in Burma Rising may be considered as tracing the evolution of Myanmar through the ages culturally and historically minus the political scenario of the country.

Just as a journey through Myanmar is not just of what interesting things you bring home, but more of the tales you will have to tell up on your return, this congregation of works of Burmese artists deliver on the same lines. These works represent the heart and soul of a country, and its people braving across its borders. It is our time to take a piece of this movement home.

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