Saturday, July 22, 2017

Artist shares glimpses of 15-year career

Khin Zaw Latt has shown his art all over the world, but this week marks just his second ever solo Myanmar exhibition.

Khin Zaw Latt poses in front of his art ahead of the “A 15-Year Story” exhibition to be held in Yangon Gallery starting January 20. Photos: SuppliedKhin Zaw Latt poses in front of his art ahead of the “A 15-Year Story” exhibition to be held in Yangon Gallery starting January 20. Photos: Supplied

Running from January 20 to January 22, the native of Laputta township in Ayeyarwady division will exhibit A 15-Year Story, which he intends as a celebration of his art career thus far.

Khin Zaw Latt will show 20 paintings and one sculpture at Yangon Gallery, as well as offer a 50 percent discount on his book Seeing into Portraits, available on sight.

“This exhibition is my 15th anniversary in  life as an artist,” he said. “I did A 10-Year Story in 2012, but this one is a bit different. I am showing only select paintings from throughout my career.”

It’s been a widely varied one that began in 2002, after he graduated from the University of Culture with a major in Painting. He’s won first prize at the Myanmar Portrait Awards (2011) as well as the Myanmar Contemporary Art Awards (2008) and the Soverign Art Awards (2009). He’s also been quite the globetrotter, with solo shows in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Shanghai and features in group ensembles at Singapore, Belgium, New York, Kuaala Lumpur and Los Angeles.

Buddha forms a major motif in his paintings.Buddha forms a major motif in his paintings.

Painting on large 5 foot by 5 foot or 7 foot by a 9 foot canvases, the artists will reveal a series of Buddha images at this weekend’s show. Gray and gold acrylics depict a close-up view of the Buddha’s face, which is then adorned with stamps he carved himself.

Most of his pieces use minimal amounts of colour, which the artist says is a conscious decision to focus on the subject.

“When I create, I don’t like using too many colours,” he told The Myanmar Times. “I normally just choose one or two colours to match my subject. I really enjoy painting different subjects with different techniques.”

Next up Khin Zaw Latt plans to show in France’s Retour de Voyage Art Gallery from July 7 to August 7. It’s been a long journey, he says, from the first few years as a struggling artist just out of university to the life of a world-travelling artist.

“It was hard, for the first two or three years,” he said. “But after that my career has been steady. I have not had too many difficulties.”

The lack of difficulties has enabled Khin Zaw Latt to explore new media. A 15-Year Story will feature a clay conceptual sculpture he created after seeing sculptures abroad during the last five years. He said he was attracted to sculpting because it seemed so challenging.

“Sculpting is really interesting,” he said, “because it is so different than painting. But artists must create in any medium.”