Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu

When 10 Nov 2011 - 23 Dec 2011
Where Meulensteen
511 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011
United States

Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu, Blurring the Boundaries, 2007-2009. Courtesy of the artists and Meulensteen

November 10 – December 23 2011

Opening Reception: November 10, 6-8pm

Press Release:

Meulensteen is proud to present the American debut of artist couple Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu. Based in Yangon, Myanmar, they create projects in a range of media, including painting, installation, performance and video. Through their practices, they respond to each other’s work and often collaborate on joint projects.

Tun Win Aung’s multimedia installations and performances are often produced specifically for outdoor sites, responding to local histories and environments. In addition to his artistic practice, he has curated several exhibitions of contemporary Burmese art and has worked to expand the
contemporary art audience within Myanmar. Wah Nu’s paintings and video works use color and symbolism to create dreamlike, wistful impressions of her surroundings. Both artists create elaborate exhibition models to imagine the installation of their works, which often remain
unrealized. They recently presented a series of photographs of these models at the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.

For the video installation Kekeke! Kebalaba!, the aritsts manipulate archival footage from film director Maung Wunna, Wah Nu’s father. The film’s bucolic scenes of Burmese youths in the 1970s participating in promenades, boat trips, and other kinds of merrymaking are sped up,

slowed down, and played in reverse. The installation includes a second video in which an elderly woman repeats the words “Kekeke! Kebalaba!” (It’s all right! Please come!) in an eerie chant. Together, the videos in the installation speak to the irretrievability of time and meditate on impermanence and suffering, central concepts in Buddhist thought. Their nuanced and somewhat unsettling tone might also point viewers to consider the role of censorship within Burmese daily life.

In his two-channel video Train, Tun Win Aung uses stop-motion editing to animate a makeshift model train made of white bricks as it moves through spaces that are important to the artist: his grammar school, his favorite restaurant, his home city, and the countries and venues in which the couple has exhibited their work. This footage is juxtaposed with scenes of train interiors from the different locations. The videos focus on moments of almost-stillness while flashes of action on the periphery simulate the disjointed sense of time and space experienced by travellers.

Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu both graduated from the University of Culture, Yangon, Myanmar in 1998, Wah Nu with a BA in music and Tun Win Aung with a BA in sculpture. Their collaborations have traveled to the 4th Guangzhou Triennial, China; Videozone V at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv; the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; the 11th Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka, Bangladesh; and the 2nd and 3rd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennales, Japan. They have also participated in group shows at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; The Almaz Collective, Hanoi, Vietnam; Asienhaus, Essen, Germany; Gallery CON.form Architects, Berlin, Germany; Kunstverein Bad Aibling, Germany; National Museum, Yangon, Myanmar; Osage Singapore; University of Passau, Germany; Singapore Art Museum; and Shimbashi Station, Tokyo, Japan.

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