Welcome to 'Building Bridges - Yangon', the international young artists new media exhibition organized and curated by Sai Thin Linn Thet and Ushmita Sahu,
in collaboration with Emergent Art Space.
The exhibition took place in the newly restored wing of the Old Tourist Burma Building, in Yangon, Myanmar, from July 17th through July 30th, 2019. It was visited by hundreds of people, from all walks of life.
23 artists, including 10 from Myanmar, reflected on the theme 'Building Bridges' and entered into dialogue with one another (often, alas, only virtual) and with the many visitors who were welcomed to the show.
Every day the exhibition was made possible by the work of 13 young volunteers who not only took care of the electronic equipment, projectors, headphones, etc., but helped the visitors, ready to answer their questions and needs. Every day their smiles would brighten the halls!
Building Bridges Yangon Exhibition in Myanmar, July 2019: A Fulcrum of Solidarity
by Hnin Eint Chel and Shwe Phyu Sin Moe
What is a "bridge"? A bridge is a connection between two boundaries, a fulcrum of unity and collaboration. Moreover, it is also an intercourse that can cease limits. Let's build bridges together between us. As the world becomes more competitive, we place an emphasis solely on physical developments, advancements and the latest technological trends. We start to forget to share our love of our community, to sympathize with and be compassionate.
In this multifaceted international exhibition, many worthy themes were brought forward:
Economic Inequality - affluent and powerful people use various ways to oppress, threaten, and discriminate against impoverished people. The rights and opportunities of poor people are diminishing day by day. Moreover, they had fallen under the threat of some privileged people.
This art exhibition has revealed the actual lifestyle of impoverished people, their struggles for living and the adversity they encounter every day. Hence, it is reminding us to address income inequality, finding solutions and constructing a fair, free, peaceful and prosperous society.
Diversity - diverse traditions, cultures and histories of different ethnic groups in Myanmar can be visible by observing their handicrafts, costumes and artworks. Through creative visual works, you can estimate the artists' political and religious beliefs, opinions and perspectives. Mutual respect prevails, perceiving diverse cultures deeply and appreciating them.
Peace - Myanmar artists endeavor, through their creative works, to include the crucial role in trying to cease civil wars and moral conflicts in Myanmar. Art is soft power that is able to achieve goals that can't be attained through arms and the latest weapons. Moreover, art can enter into and depict the deepest layer of heart that isn't usually visible.
Environmental Awareness - Photography in the exhibition interprets nature and engages living organisms as subjects.
Your point of view on this art exhibition can vary according to where you were born, the community you were raised in and the struggles you have encountered. Beyond the visual, music and sonic environments, the exhibition offers additional layers of meaning to contemplate. We are certain that the visitors, no matter their background, returned back home full of ideas, satisfaction and enjoyment.
The "Building Bridges Yangon" art exhibition is a lantern that illuminated different lifestyles, gaps between poor and rich around the world, negative impacts of urbanization and the side effects of development, to communicate a diversity of perspectives that can lead to deeper communication and understanding.
Swe Phyu Sin Moe is a 17 year-old engineering student at West Yangon Technological University specializing in electronic communication. Given her desire to preserve natural environments and reduce negative impacts caused by technological and physical advancements, her mission is to be an environmental engineer. She also has a strong interest in art, literature and content writing. The 'Building Bridges Yangon' exhibition offered her a more lucid focus and provided valuable knowledge, power and energy to carry on her future plans.
Htin Eint Chel is an energetic business management student who is immersed in human resource, event and marketing management. She successfully organized in the 5th Career Fair and Open College at her school, the National Management Degree College (NMDC). Additionally, she works with Myanmar Youth Empowerment Opportunities (MYEO), serves as the NMDC Campus Chapter Director and organizes sponsorships and logistics for the Initiative for Peace (IFP) Myanmar.