Missing Asia Observing Europe
Htein Lin’s work shows us a before and an after, displayed in no chronological order or any conventional historicity. The passage of time is sequenced by means of personal experiences such as his exile, imprisonment, political activism and his own artistic practice, understood now to be a vital process which is constantly being reformulated. These intense biographical moments outline, simply, the general tone of his paintings.
This continuous invention of himself follows many paths: his Buddhist faith, his interpretation of touristic sights, the reconstruction of the cities, the romantic figure of travel and his new status as an immigrant in Europe. Thus, the mixed use of symbols, icons and colours restructure the intimate and social space in his work. It offers us a metaphor on living together and the panoramic image of an idealised, continuous environment.
Htein Lin not only surprises and observes: he travels with his story; he takes it apart, processes it, integrates it and reconstructs it, like an open story in permanent dialogue with his own everyday life.
In his work, he substitutes the desire to highlight differences for an alliance, in his search he proposes a communion between spaces, conflict, incompatibilities and inequalities. He explores his perspective of Europe and Asia creating analogies and proximities between them, perceiving them as plural, hybrid, cross-cultural spaces, where he has his own place which can be recognised.