b. 1951, Myanmar

San Minn Biography

San Minn was born in 1951 in Yangon where he studied painting under some of Myanmar's most noted art academics including U Nyunt Tin, U Ba Lon Lay, U Lun Gwye, U Thu Kha and U Nann Waii. Although a number of Myanmar artists have lately been exploring the relationship between artistic practice and political observation, San Minn has quietly produced paintings and more recently installations centred on corrupt authoritarian practices as well as social vices. A consistent presence in modern art practice for more than three decades, San Minn has stressed that his practice has been motivated by his liberal manifold curiosity – about the organisation of his social environment. As a painter, he has yielded to an unprecedented narrative that reflected examples of the harsh realities of life after colonialism. San Minn is best known for his involvement with the Gangaw Village Group, which he helped establish in 1979. Given the recent resurge of interest in socio-political commentary, it is especially important to see how an artist of an earlier generation negotiates both individual and collective struggles and current aesthetic interests. Through his large-scale works, the symbolic language of the Gun series and the myriad effects of its vocabulary cover a broad range of issues that address a continuingly oppressive environment.

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Through various paintings, San Minn styles guns from money, tropical fruits and one as if carved through a brick wall, to explore the psychological terrain in which Myanmar's new political agency may produce meaningful solutions that would include expanded opportunities for all. A founding member of the Gangaw Village Group and the Inya Gallery of Art, San Minn is one of Myanmar's most important painters to emerge in the 1970s. He has been actively involved in nurturing art and literature since the late 1960s. San Minn has participated in numerous exhibitions in Myanmar and abroad. His artwork is included in the permanent collection of the Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan.

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