Triennale de Paris

exhibition in Paris, Bastille Design Center

In the middle of Paris around the Bastille area, Chuu exhibited some of her artwork alongside notable French artists at the “Bastille Design Center”, a historic building built in the middle of the 19th century which has hosted activities for more than 150 years.


In the last week of October, “Triennale de Paris” gave its visitors a new adventure, allowing them to encounter abundance and diversity, and also to see the work of a Myanmar artist and their artwork for the first time. Chuu’s work represented Myanmar’s artistic culture and also introduced Parisians to the issue of feminist resistance within Myanmar society.


By using brightly coloured traditional Myanmar fabric as the background for her painted images of captivate and mysterious images of women, her fresh approach captured the attention of the Parisian audiences.

Her paintings are not only about using beautiful patterns and techniques on the surface, but also have a depth that critically examines ideas of tradition. 

Within this theme of tradition, Chuu explores various sub-themes. In Myanmar, tradition maintains that a man’s ‘hpone’ (their masculine essence) can be lost if he passes under female clothing such as the longyi, a traditional long skirt ubiquitous in Myanmar. This belief is so common that it is unquestioned by almost all Burmese people. It is a part of everyday life, for instance, women will not hang their clothes higher than male clothes or will even hide them while drying for fear of ‘contaminating’ the male’s ‘hpone’.

Because of these beliefs, feminist resistance within Myanmar society has sometimes been able to use their clothing as a weapon and a flag of rebellion. During the recent skirmishes following the Coup of 2021, streets in Yangon and other urban centers were draped in women’s longyis, goading the military soldiers who, trapped by superstition, refused to walk under the garments. This movement became known as the Sarong Revolution. Her works at the exhibition were inspired partly by this.

At the same time, by using the ethnic fabric patterns, especially from Kachin,  the paintings told the stories of what has happened in ethnic areas such as Kachin state in which recently a civilian crowd at a festival was bombed by the military.


At the exhibition’s closing evening, Chuu was selected as the second most popular artist according to the votes of the visitors, which will result in her  bringing more of her artwork to showcase at next year’s “Triennale de Paris” exhibition in 2023.

Chuu Wai Nyein

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