Voices of Transition: Contemporary Art from Myanmar


Htein Lin with a plaster cast of a forearm from ‘Show of Hands’ (2013-ongoing)

As both the first Papal visit to Myanmar and the debut show of the Lunn + Sgarbossa collaboration, ‘Voices of Transition: Contemporary Art from Myanmar’, draw to a close this weekend, political unrest continues to ripple through the country and as viewers we are left feeling unresolved and ineffectual. The works displayed in what was a showcase of contemporary art from Myanmar on a scale previously unseen in Europe, confronted the tendency towards vague categorisation of Asian art, all too commonly exercised within the art world. Instead ‘Voices of Transition’ wrestled with the position of the individual native in a country amidst unrelenting societal transition, Myanmar’s road to democracy potted and incomplete since the dissolution of the military junta in November 2010. At Gallery 46 the breadth of the work on view was eclectic to say the least. Set over three floors and ten rooms the contributing artists tackled a huge array of subject matter via a multiplicity of media; including the traditional art forms, performance art and calligraphy. In Whitechapel Myanmaris artists were celebrated whilst in their country of origin contention was mounting over whether Pope Francis would even acknowled