Blending Traditional Myanmar Landscapes with Geometric Patterns – A Solo Exhibition by Thett Naing Win: ‘Emerald’

Thett Naing Win

Gallery 65

Jan 12 - Jan 15, 2019

Written by Yuki Kitazumi, Translated by AURA Art

From 12th to 15th January 2019, the solo exhibition 'Emerald' by painter Mr. Thett Naing Win, who is based in the central resort town of Pyin Oo Lwin, was held in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar. His painting style is that of deforming traditional Myanmar motifs such as temples and rural landscapes with bold straight lines and curves and paint them into impressive colors. Thirty oil paintings were introduced at this exhibition.

Dynamic Interpretation Expresses Tradition

Fifty-five-year-old Thett Naing Win's work is characterized by the use of typical Myanmar art motifs, but with a novel interpretation which is full of originality. Taking Shwedagon Pagoda, regarded a symbol of Myanmar, as an example, he depicted a bold curved shape on the pagoda as if it is someone's kimono sleeves tucked up, and the rear view of a Buddha was added to the upper right corner. Many elements are painted, such as incorporating the liveliness that spreads along the approach to the pagoda, but by composing different colors in right places on the painting, the overall sense of unity was created.

Pyin Oo Lwin in central Myanmar used to be a resort town adored by British people during the period of British colonial rule. There are still elegant westerns building in the town, where the scent of art can be felt. Mr. Thett Naing Win also works as an engineer in civil engineering and architecture in Pyin Oo Lwin. Perhaps because of that, there are many works focusing on buildings. Flowing curves, grid patterns, and crossing straight lines which are often used to make us imagine the engineer's blueprints.

Expressing Myanmar with Cubism

Thett Naing Win explains his work as "incorporating elements of 'cubism' to express Myanmar's tradition". He also boldly expresses religious objects such as a sleeping Buddha, which is common in Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar, and Buddhist monks wearing a dark red-colored kesa (Buddhist stole). There are also some abstract works which look like something faintly appears in the space.

In addition, he has developed an innovative image that symbolizes Myanmar, such as the Intha people who sail ships on Inle Lake, and the father of independence, General Aung San.

Many works are depicted regarding traditional Myanmar landscapes and Theravada Buddhism. Among them, Thett Naing Win's work is characterized by his unique world view which is the geometric pattern of bold straight and parabolic lines. One of the art scenes in Myanmar is that these local artists continue to create their own works of art.

Artist profile

Thett Naing Win

A painter, born in 1963 who ives in Pyin Oo Lwin. He expresses the traditional image of Myanmar with a new interpretation. This is the second solo exhibition. He also works as an engineer.

Gallery information

Gallery 65

A rental gallery located on Yaw Min Gyi Street, a busy street in Yangon. An old traditional house which was being renovated to become a gallery. It mainly deals with contemporary art by artists from Myanmar and abroad.



12th - 15th January 2019
会 場
Gallery 65
No.65, Yaw Ming Gyi Road, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar Telephone: 01246317
電 話

Editor: Yuki Kitazumi