Nay Myo Say
Born in 1967, Nay Myo Say studied medicine at Rangoon University but never practiced, instead finding his way to art school where he took up painting, studying under renowned master U Lun Gywe. He prefers to paint the human figure above all else, and it is Nay Myo Say’s choice to focus on non-political themes thereby promoting a less-explored side of Burmese contemporary art.
With influences rooted in the stark contradiction of political suppression dominating the arts and media and the country’s image of “opening up” the economy after decades of isolationism, Nay Myo Say and his contemporaries, referred to as the “third wave” of young Burmese painters, are purposefully “not an angry rebellion but a celebration of opportunity; their art is full of joyful, colourful outbursts” according to Andrew Rendard (Burmese Painting – A linear and lateral history, 2009)
Nay Myo Say absorbed many western influences through an exchange programme with the Goethe Institute in Germany in 2003; reflections of Matisse can be seen in the use of patterned backgrounds and exuberant colours, but the subjects are wholly Burmese with the inclusion of traditional longyis and the thanaka on the ladies’ faces.
As Nay Myo Say explains “There is no message in my paintings; I want to convey serenity and peace, something of the feeling I experience when I enter the old temples and pagodas in Pagan”.
Nay Myo Say
in his studio