Solo Exhibition: Hybridized Beings
Feb 28 - Mar 15, 2020
Myanmar is a religious country. I am fascinated in the religious, spiritual and supernatural imagery and the role they play in shaping an individual’s identity or that of a society as a whole. In my work, I weave together these thoughts and fascination in my visual vocabulary as I began to define myself and depict my place in the world. Due to my interest in the supernatural, local animistic beliefs, and folklores, mythology is a source of inspiration. I am particularly interested in the female figures in Buddhist mythologies.
Featured prominently in this exhibition, is the the image of Naga Mae Daw (Burmese Dragon Queen). My interest in Naga Mae Daw developed after visiting Botataung Pagoda in my neighborhood. I was inspired by a Burmese Nat who was enshrined there called Mya Nan Nwe. She was a devoted Buddhist and believed by some to be the reincarnation of Naga (Burmese dragon). In this new body of work, I reconfigured a Naga Mae Daw’s head into various configuration, narrating and exploring notions of interiority, fertility, spirituality and the sense of confinement felt by being female in a conservative society such as Myanmar.
A name is a set of words in which a person is known and therefore a crucial part of one’s identity. How belief (thought system) and culture infiltrates into this signifier of oneself is fascinating to me. The imagery I used in my work reference my name and myself. My Chinese nick name is Tree(樹) Flower(花). Before deciding on “Tree Flower”, the oracle my family used to name me initially agreed on “Dragon Flower (龍花)”. My family deemed this name “too masculine” and declined the name. I am fascinated with this change and imagery from my name comprises the narratives of my work- Sculptures depicting my foot bound with that of my mother’s, imagery of Naga women and my hands transforming into the botanics reminiscent of Greek goddess Daphne. As I reconfigured these symbols and icons, I reflect upon my otherness through making- conceiving the self as a fluid, fragile and fragmented entity. Through transfiguration of my emotional landscape by poetically depicting nature and body in parts, I ponder the complexities of individual identity in globalized society.
Exhibition view of the artwork displayed during the show
Urban Asia Center, G 42
48th Street, Yangon, Myanmar