Seven Decades is a group exhibition in Myanmar featuring 19 artists. They are Htein Lin, San Minn, Dr. Sun Myint, Win Pe, Chaw Ei Thein, Sonny Nyein, Maung Di, Phyu Mon, San Oo, Chan Aye, Wah Nu, Pe Maung Same, Soe Naing, Aung Myint, Sandar Khine, MPP Ye Myint - Ma Thanegi, Aye Ko and Ngu Eain Htet Myet.
The exhibition is curated by artist Htein Lin and the show will take place in the historic Secretariat building. Also known as the Ministers' Building, this was the place where British Crown Colony premier General Aung San (father of current Myanmar de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi) was assassinated in 1947 together with six other government officials).
“If you examine how we consider history, you can see how our society is changing. Once we viewed history in terms of centuries: which century this pagoda dates back to, what century was that battle? Now as the pace of events quickens, our reference point is decades," states Htein Lin in a press release.
''Our country gained independence in 1948. The 70 years which passed since then have been filled with many momentous events, and much mundanity. That is why I asked artists who have lived through those post-independence years to reflect on those decades and present them through art. Most of the artists I have invited are developed in the Myanmar modern period, but they have survived many storms and made it through to the era of contemporary art.
'During these seven decades
They experience many wars
They lived through different eras
They suffered repeated failures and
They enjoyed much success.
"I asked the artists to look back on those decades and use art to reimagine what they remember of them. I asked each of them to look back and recall what they could taste. Which memories were strongest? Was it the small dim oil lamp? The quotas at the cooperative shop? The marketplace? The songs of cowbell? I’m interested in knowing what they remember.
"This exhibition isn’t about looking at old art from past years. It’s about creating new art to recall past decades. These decades and the artists’ experiences of them are not just stories. This is their artistic conceptualization of the keys to their and our survival of those times.”
The opening reception is on July 7 at 2pm and will include a speech by the curator.
Note that entry is free from July 7-8 and the exhibition will be closed from July 14-21 in consideration of Martyr’s Day.