Myanmar review: a subtle, sculptural nirvana

Discussion on Burmese history and culture.
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Poi
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:20 am

Myanmar review: a subtle, sculptural nirvana

Post by Poi » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:02 am

Opening up of Burma has resulted in a beautiful and fascinating exhibition of paintings, weavings and manuscripts – but it’s the sculpture that really shines.

“Beauty is meaningless until it is shared,” wrote George Orwell in Burmese Days – his coruscating first novel of life in south-east Asia during the last days of the Raj. It was truer than Orwell could have realized. For five decades after 1962, when a military dictatorship took power in Burma, the country’s rich cultural legacy was essentially put on ice. (After the widespread protests in 1988 and the emergence of Aung San Suu Kyi, the junta changed the country’s name to Myanmar – a decision that still grates. The Guardian prefers to call the country Burma.)

Museums languished, starved of modern conservation science or even electricity. Looting, already a problem in the colonial era, continued under the kleptocratic military regime. International loans were unthinkable. Tourism was essentially nonexistent. Censorship was standard.

Full story: The Guardian

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