Martyrs’ Mausoleum, 2015, Acrylic on canvas 36″ x 60″
All images courtesy of the artist
Curated, Edited, Translated and Design by SOCA (School of Contemporary Art Project) in collaboration with AURA Contemporary Art Foundation Aung Myat Htay, Yuto Yabumoto (AURA).
Hello. My name is Zun Brang Li—a Kachin name. My artist name is Brang Li. I graduated from Yangon University of Arts and Culture in 2004 with a major in painting. I would like to talk more about one of my installations, Kachin Boat. The work is a representation of the culture and tradition of the Kachin people. The boat contains concepts of beauty and royalty of the Kachin people, cultural heritage and morale, the desire to fight injustice, origin stories and history—a boat that has carried the history of the Kachin people from our forefathers. Another thing is that, I used salt in this work. Salt carries a lot of meanings. One of its main purposes is to ward off evil. In our Kachin culture, salt is used in rituals. If a family member passes away, we believe he went to trade for salt. Hence, Kachin households always make sure they’re never out of salt since salt can get rid of evil. This work is also created in order to spotlight the unending civil wars in Myanmar and the plight of refugees affected by the violence. This boat is also not in water but suspended in the air. This is in reference to the common phrase from Kachin traditional folk tales and songs, “let’s dance to the moon!” The boat will also remind you of Noah’s Ark from the Bible.
Brang Li was born in Myitkyina, Kachin State in 1981. He studied for a Bachelor degree in Painting in Yangon, graduating in 2004. He has participated in many group shows in Yangon, and had a solo show at Pansodan Gallery in 2011. He explored the new mediums for his current canvas works about the civil conflict and people from IDP camps portrayed background of smoke effect. In this program feature of installation work, “Kachin boate” which is like a float in the air.