Lwin Oo Maung / Artist Interview – Abstraction of Breathing

Lwin Oo Maung

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).

Lwin Oo Maung (Performance Artist)

After high school during college days, I started to become more interested in art, especially painting. I began self-studying painting and reading books on it. Then, I became friends with other like-minded artists and kept on learning with them. From there, in 2007 at a Bangkok exhibition, “On/Off”, I started having an interest in performance art. I understood performance as a form of art and began looking into it. In 2010, I began doing performance art. Most of my work was about my own life. In a recent work, I named two people “Maung” and “Mal”[trans: Burmese pair nicknames for two lovers]. The nature of human is that when alone, one’s only self-dependent but with two people together, there are other problems. Like differences in religion. Like [in Burmese astrology] Tuesday and Wednesday borns can’t be matched together. Monday for the tiger, Tuesday for the lion, Wednesday for the elephant, Thursday for the rat, Friday for the guinea pig, Saturday for the dragon, Sunday for the garuda bird and so forth; each days of the week is represented by an animal. The problem there is that some animals don’t get along with each other. In Mrauk-U (Rakhine State), there are sculptures of spirits in many pagodas. When I used to go there every morning, one day I noticed that the spirit sculpture was painted up with modern paint. It completely changed visually. Then, I got an idea to experiment with concepts relating with spirits. During the experiment, I realized it’s the same in real-life. I think a new belief can be reinforced over an original belief.

  • Lwin Oo Maung

As a former enlisted solider in the armed forces (Tatmadaw), Lwin Oo Maung accepts this part of his life as an aspect of change, one that no longer defines him but helped him to determine his future as an artist. After 10 Years is an exploration of an artist’s interests. His own body and identification as an artist; the spirits and historical figures worshipped by his countrymen; and a fun and energetic vision of what it means to reimagine yourself, your future, and the spirits.


Editor: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation