After the political events of 1988 in Burma, despite the raising hopes by the action of Aung San Su Kyi, the female figure in the non-violent opposition who fought for democracy, and yet after general Min Aung Hlaing's putsch on February 1, 2021, Myanmar is still today immersed in a context of civil war. Faced with the escalation of physical and moral violence; confronting with uncertain future, the husband-and-wife contemporary artists Aung Ko and Nge Lay fled the country in August 2021 with their daughter, giving upon everything behind.
After being gagged and sequestered under the yoke of the military junta like thousands of others, the couple went out on the streets on 6th February 2021 facing military power, the wind of freedom blowing.
Surrounded by students and intellectuals, they raised their hands and hoist high the symbol of revolutionary protest (the thumb glued to the little finger and the other three fingers straight).
Throughout the month of February 2021, Aung Ko and Nge Lay continued to take part in the Burmese revolution. They recorded their morning outings through documentary photography and engraved signs and messages of protest against the military power on the street. As night falls, Aung Ko wrote down his daily experiences and visions in his diary at home. Unfortunately, living in the shadows and not to leave traces that could put the family in danger, the diary has to be destroyed by his own hands. It is on this intimate basis that Aung Ko presents Diary, an installation exhibiting his drawings, paintings, texts and various objects that document his revolt experience and the journey of fighting for freedom.
Engaging in dialogue, Nge Lay presents Printemps 21, a project unveiling an installation of white fabrics, which printed according to the colours of Myanmar (red, green, yellow and white) political photographs taken by the artist during the revolution. The choice of colours also resonates with the feathers of the rose-ringed parakeets that the artist discovered upon her arrival in Paris. By learning that the bird has its origins in Asia and Africa and it has acclimated to Western Europe, Nge Lay sees in this living being seeking to survive like them, a symbol of freedom, peace and integration.
Bearing witness to the horror of rapes, murders, fires, blasphemies... Trying to shed light on the truth about the current context of the war; Honouring the countless innocent victims; Raising awareness among current and future generations on issues of Memory, Culture, Life and Death. These have been the missions awaited in France in recent months by Aung Ko and Nge Lay, two committed artists seeking to rebuild their lives there.
Press release courtesy A2Z Art Gallery.