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TUN WIN AUNG & WAH NU

Tun Win Aung: b. 1975, Ywalut, Myanmar
Wah Nu: b. 1977, Yangon, Myanmar
Live and work in Yangon, Myanmar

Singapore Biennale 2016 Artists TUN WIN AUNG & WAH NU

The Name, 2008–ongoing

Video projection, books and musical score
Dimensions variable
Collection of the Artists

The Name revisits established accounts of Myanmar’s past by intervening in its ideologically-driven gaps. The husband-and-wife artist duo have resurrected figures from the nineteenth-century Anglo-Burmese Wars and beyond, recuperating an autochthonous historical voice against what they perceive as a colonial narrative. The three Anglo-Burmese Wars left the Burmese empire depleted; with each defeat, the Konbaung kings of Burma surrendered more territory to the British, until the final conflict concluded with the annexation of the country. In this work, portraits adorned with ornate, arabesque patterns emerge as uncanny apparitions, deliberately aestheticised and re-presented as majestic, almost monumental tributes. The series includes photographic images of figures such as King Thibaw, U Wisara (a Buddhist monk who died after a six-month hunger strike against British rule in 1929, becoming an icon of the nascent independence movement) and Saya San (the leader of the so-called Saya San Rebellion in 1930–1932, a key event of the anti-colonialist crusade).