Myanmar Consolidated Media

Tun Foundation seeks venue for art gallery

By Nyein Ei Ei Htwe
October 17 - 23, 2011

THE Tun Foundation is planning to open an art gallery in Myanmar to showcase the winners of the annual painting contests it has sponsored since 2006, an official with the foundation said last week.

“The Tun Foundation committee has contributed to strengthening religion, health and education in Myanmar, as well as to improving the standards of artists in the country,” said U Thein Tun, chairman of Myanma Golden Star Company, which is part of the Tun Foundation Business Group.

“We have held a painting contest every year since 2006 and now we are searching for a suitable venue to establish an art gallery to showcase those paintings that have won prizes,” he said, adding: “We want a great venue for the gallery, so we will open it only after we find a suitable place.”

He said the first contest in 2005 attracted more than 400 submissions from throughout the country, but only half that number were entered the following year.

“The artists quickly understood that the level of competition was very high, so they started focusing on quality rather than quantity,” U Thein Tun said.

He added that the prize given to the winner — K3 million — was the biggest of any art contest in Myanmar, but the amount might be different this year depending on the exchange rate.

Funding for the annual contest, as well as for the new gallery, comes from Tun Foundation Bank.

The judging committee for the contest is organised by the Myanmar Traditional Artists and Artisans Association and has included judges from other countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, India and China. This year a judge from Indonesia will be on the panel, U Thein Tun said.

The selection period for this year’s contest will start in November, with the awards ceremony expected to occur mid-December.

“Using international judges means the winners will be up to international standard. The competitors have improved their skills year by year and they are more aware of contemporary currents, so this makes us happy because this is our main focus,” he said.