Life and Art of Than Win Tun

With his characteristic long white beard and a tulip hut, Than Win Tun enjoys traveling to sketch scenic beauty of Myanmar with his fellow artists with a light heart. The senior painter, who used to be a dedicated sculptor too, creates bold oil painting as well as delicate watercolor. Than Win Tun belongs to Loanat Gallery and is the long-term respected GV guest artist since the establishment of the gallery.   

Than Win Tun 002 ps

 "Night at Town”
 Oil, 2013

Art Training and Education

Than Win Tun was born in 1948 in Bago Division as a son of the farmer parents. He had basic art training in the art class in the Bago State School. From 1970 to 1974, he attended the State School of Fine Art in Yangon. His teachers in the school were the art master U Thein Han, U M T Aye (watercolor), U Kyi, U Lun Gywe and U Mya Gyo (sculpture), who is the current GV Artist Moh Moh Win’s grandfather. The late sculptor U Zeyar, the son U Mya Gyo and father of Moh Moh Win’s was a classmate of Than Win Tun in the sculpture class. The State School of Fine Art used to have a number of students at that time.  The reconstituted State High School of Fine Art in Yangon has recently faced a fewer attendees. At of 2013, less than 30 students study in the whole school.


Sculptures for Pagodas

After the graduation, Than Win Tun started his career as a commercial painter and sculptor. At first he painted signboards, Buddha images or original watercolor paintings. Slowly he started getting more commission works from monasteries, which ordered him to sculpt high-ranked monks’ breast or full body images. Than Win Tun traveled wherever he had commission work. In the end he visited more than 50 monasteries mainly in Mandalay, Bago, Ayawaddy and Delta regions. “If you visit any monastery in those places, you may see my early works”, he mentioned jokingly. Still, he had to struggle time to time from financial situation. He said, “I can stand any hardship but cannot stand hunger!” 


Meanwhile, he also carved fine art sculptures. He remembers his favorite artwork was the image of a lady sitting under the dow-tree. He could sculpt hard and long time when he was younger, but gradually, he shifted to paint oil and watercolor more. Since 2000, he has genuinely concentrated in painting.      


As the GV Guest Artist

Than Win Tun was the one who introduced and guided the young painter, Peter Tayzar Lin, to several art shows in Yangon, like Myelattha Art Show. They presented their art works together before Peter started his art gallery, GV. Now Than Win Tun regularly presents his painting in Loanat Gallery in Yangon, while he has been always invited as the guest painter of GV since its beginning.


Than Win Tun loves the art of Picaso from foreign art masters, U Ban Nyan, U Nwe Gain and U San Win from Myanmar masters. He loves to travel especially with his artist friends and to paint outdoor. He lives with his wife and his two children work in Singapore. He simply wishes to work happily as long as possible.  



(Interviewed by Pirica Art Centre on 19 May 2013)


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