Chew you up or spit you out

120 x 90cm (36×48 inches)

Acrylic and Collage on Myanmar hand-woven Fabric

(This painting is being exhibited in London at Atrium Gallery with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The collection is only accepted for reservation now, with availability for collection starting in February 2024. For reservations, please contact via email)

(From interview and article of LSE, UK by Sara Wong)

Textiles are another important thread which runs through the pieces in this show. In some paintings, the artist makes use of fabric as a canvas, in others it is interwoven with other collaged and painted elements (Image 2). The use of fabric appropriates a cultural stigma which sees women’s skirts (htamain) as unlucky, dirty and a thing to be avoided by men. This very stigma acted as inspiration for protestors in Myanmar immediately after the 2021 coup, who used the widespread idea that htamain should not be walked under, and hung them across the city. in order to barricade military and police personnel. Although the artist’s use of fabric preceded this strategic use in the protest movement, the artworks also commemorate this approach and, in doing so, record this creative protest practice in the wider historical archive. Representing the conflict in this way was important to the artist:

I wanted to do a bit of reflection on war and conflict without saying it directly, because a lot of artists who were displaced from Myanmar, when they arrived in Europe, many galleries and people expected more violent work, for us to describe killings and conflicts. I wanted to approach it in a different way.

Chuu Wai Nyein

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