Eighty year old U Lun Gywe is regarded as Burma's most prominent master painter. A new exhibition at Thavibu Gallery in Bangkok, starting on the 17th, and a limited edition coffee table book celebrate his talent.
With sweeping brushstokes and a vibrant palette, U Lun Gywe has been celebtrating the female form with an impressionistic style that effortlessly blends colors. “Feasting the Female Form” presents some of his more recent works.
Born in Yangon, Myanmar in 1930, U Lun Gywe developed a strong interest in art at a very young age. He graduated in 1954 from the Art Institute of Specialist Teachers' Training in Yangon, having studied under some of Myanmar's most noted pioneer artists such as U Thet Win, U San Win, U Ngwe Gaing and U Chit Maung.
In art school U Lun Gywe learnt to paint by copying and mastering correct form that was taught in the conservative colonial academic atmosphere of the time. He in turn started to work as an educator.
In 1964 U Lun Gywe went to Beijing on a year long cultural exchange programme at the Institute of Fine Art in Beijing. His residency was a pivotal experience as he immersed himself in the study of the Chinese aesthetic and started to relate to the Chinese philosophy of tapping on the subconscious 'inner images.'
While his genre paintings of the 1960s reflected the influence of the traditional style of painting that was typically taught in art school, he shifted toward Impressionism in the 70s. I once witness the prolific artist quickly working on a painting of a dancer that seem to emerge from his imagination. He works surprinsingly quickly and pointed he could only do so because of years of experience at mastering the technique..
Today U Lun Gywe's signature impressionist style paintings with their distinct Asian overtones are not all equal, but are sought after by collectors.