Wah Nu was born in 1977 in Yangon, and Tun Win Aung was born in 1975, in Ywalut, Myanmar.
Both artists graduated from the University of Culture, Yangon, in 1998, Wah Nu with a BA in music, Tun Win Aung with a BA in sculpture. After completing her studies, Wah Nu turned her interest in painting and video, while Tun Win Aung extended his practice to performance, multimedia work, and painting. He has also created several site-specific outdoor installations, often involving Myanmar’s landscape. In addition to working individually, this husband and wife also collaborate with one another, addressing elements of historical and contemporary culture, established custom and innovative practice. They approach the natural and built environments of their native country with an ecological sensitivity motivated by animistic Buddhist beliefs. A sensuous exploration of color and light, pursued across different mediums, lends much of their work a dreamlike atmosphere.
Wah Nu and Tun Win Aung’s series of large color photographs Blurring the Boundaries (2007–09) portrays models of proposed exhibitions. Built in the artists’ studio using props, maquettes, and miniature artworks, these constructions playfully confuse original and copy, reality and fiction, event and document, representing a spirited response to a local scarcity of resources and popular suspicion of contemporary art. Exploiting the illusionist stagecraft of the scale modeler, the images are at once fully realized and propositional. In 2009, Wah Nu and Tun Win Aung initiated the project 1000 Pieces (of White), gathering and producing objects and images to assemble a portrait of their shared life as partners and collaborators. Interweaving public and private, personal anecdote and pop cultural appropriation, this unique archive attests to the poetry of the everyday. In addition to found and original materials, the artists have occasionally incorporated drawings and sketches by artist friends, and even by their own daughter, into the ongoing work. They selectively whitewash the surfaces to visually link the series’ disparate elements. The gesture isolates or obscures certain details, evoking the passage of time and the fading of memory. Some components address history and politics; others appear more whimsical and intimate. Ultimately, 1000 Pieces (of White) captures the intersection of shared and individual histories, the transformation of public information into private knowledge.