In my work, I explore different ways of expressing my experience of alienation, confusion and pain as a cultural outsider by creating narrative spaces that explore the lines between insides and outsides.

 

Playing on the idea of the body being the house that shelter the spirit, I create work that is symbolic of the self. I instil the metaphorical sculptural self with a sense of organicity and intricacy by gesturing the bodily- the viscera and skeletal, morphing into the botanical to express the vitality, delicacy, and injury of the spirit inhabiting and animating the forms. 

 

As a third generation Chinese immigrant in Myanmar, I seek inspirations from cultural practices of ethnic Chinese and the local Burmese. Local animistic beliefs, folklores and mythologies inspire the imagery in my work. I am particularly interested in the female figures in Buddhist mythologies. In my most recent body of work, I explored creating hybrid bodies using imagery of Naga Maedaw, a dragon queen in Buddha’s birth stories, Jataka Tales.

 

Art making, to me, is an ontological quest. I explore the nature of being by attempting to depict the ephemerality of the human condition. Condensation and displacement of violent desires, tender affections, spiritual hopes, sexual instincts and maternal conflicts are intimated with metaphors and symbols of nature's cyclical growth, decay and death. 

 

Through exploring the otherness within the self, I hope to create enigmatic bodies, comprised of poetic spaces dwelled by the liminal self, fragmented and dislocated, in search and in transition, captured in a moment of growth and transformation.

© 2019 by Soe Yu Nwe