“Mysterious” painter – Muu Muu

Muu Muu

Written by Yuki Kitazumi / Translated by AURA ARTS

At the end of November 2019, at the Lokanat Gallery, a long-established art gallery in Yangon, it was painter Muu Muu who was at the center of a table where veteran artists and others held art discussions with each other with a light meal in one hand. He held a solo exhibition called "Mysterious Muu Muu.". Usually he creates his works at an atelier in Pyn Woo Lwin, a city in central Myanmar.

A Message hidden in everyday life

Muu Muu's work themes are wide. In Muu Muu's works, there are a number of things that make audiences feel doubtful, such as those that depict human shadows, postures of parents and children drawn by burning orange color, and those that have an ghost-like face come up. People are not necessarily pictured attractively, and they seem to depict their respective suffering. In the other hand, he draw men and women who are falling in love with a light touch and cut out each scene of life.

  • Muu Muu's drawing is diverse

While a wide range of expressions can be seen for each piece of work, looking at the his 2019 work portfolio reveals the common theme as "living." "Most of what I draw is about everyday life," he explains, but he seems to extract special moments of life instead of an idyllic life.

Born in 1955, Muu Muu is from Monywa, in the Sagain District in northern Myanmar. He still stands apart from other urban painters living in Yangon, where the art market is large, for example, by performing creative activities in Pyn Woo Lwin, a summer resort in Myanmar. He was internationally recognized in the 2000s, and participated in various exhibitions in the United States, France, Singapore, and other countries. In August 2019, his work was also displayed at the Art Exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden.

  • "Materials and Mental,"
    acrylic painting,
    30cm × 30cm

  • Mu Mu doesn't always draw people beautifully

An impulse even indefinable to himself moves his brush

A symbol that suddenly appears in his work is a horse. "I liked horses," Muu Muu explains. "It reminds me the scenery of my youth. I don't know why, but it comes up in my head and makes me want to draw it." Also, a frog is one of such images. He says he doesn't know why he wants to draw it. Such “un-known chance” can be a strange fate.

  • "Mystery" is a work based on his own experience

It is symbolically expressed in the work titled "Mystery". Among this piece is a painting artist with a completely naked who imagines Muu Muu himself. At one time, when he was trying to draw Western paintings on request, he had somewhat drawn a horse. However, it was rather appreciated and raised the reputation of his works. In later years, a collector who purchased the horse's work sometimes offered to present it to him, saying, “I think you should have this.” Muu Muu said he declined it politely, but it seemed to have been such a work that the creator's feelings were felt.

In addition, a motif of horse also appear in acrylic paintings based on white and black titled “Obsession.” A man who sits in Zen meditation holds a horse as if holding a baby. "The man is trying to attain nirvana, but his obsession with all this world is coming down to him, like what he wants to eat, what he wants to do, and so on. For me, this horse represents such obsessions," Muu Muu explains. Though this idea may not be understood by the viewer who only saw the work, it is sublimated to the work including such unknown mysteries.

  • "Attachment"
    acrylic painting
    71cm x 71cm

His emphasis on mystery and wonder is probably that there were mysteries in the world that Muu Muu himself would admire, and that he himself was fascinated by his hidden abyss. Instead of theoretically exploring and elucidating the mystery, he expresses the beauty of the mystery with his work. That seems to be Muu Muu's true culmination.

  • Muu Muu, who is also active overseas

Editor: Yuki Kitazumi