S. Moe Z. (Burma)
“I appreciate the value of light. Because of light, we can feel and see all objects. In my paintings, I always paint darkness in order to appreciate the light. Without light, everything is impossible. The dark in the paintings represents suffocation in this country where most people are trying to survive. There is only a very little hope, which is like a dim flickering light”.
“The main feature of my composition is this contrast between dark and light. The subject of my work - monks and nuns or Pa-O people - is almost incidental; I have featured them because the color of their robes or turbans goes well with black”.
“I underpaint the canvas black, and then I draw the figures directly. I take pleasure in omitting the shadows and just painting the light against the deep black background. How long I take to finish the paintings depends on my emotions. Sometimes, it takes about two weeks, sometimes about one month”.
Many Myanmar artists paint monks and nuns, one of the chief icons of Buddhism, seen everywhere in the country, but few create works with such ambience as S Moe Z. The image of the humble monk, a small point of light in the enveloping darkness resonates strongly. Lately he has started painting the tribal people of Shan State, attracted by the contrast between their black robes and their brightly colored turbans. Click here to view the artist's biography