Life and Art of Moh Moh Win

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Moh Moh Win’s vibrant color schemes and bold brush strokes illuminate her landscape paintings of city life in Yangon and rural Myanmar. Moh Moh Win’s works are attracting more foreign art buyers to Yangon even as she continues to make her mark as a representative female painter in the gallery. Her signature cityscape paintings constantly explore the play of light and shadows in her interpretations of colour and mood in urban life. Her bold explorations of shadows and darkness in her city series gives her works a distinct modern feel. There is also an emotional resonance in her best works, which taps universal feelings of longing, regret and melancholia in their depictions of everyday Yangon life - either journeying home from a hard day’s work or relaxing by the waters along Yangon River at dusk.

     

Moh Moh Win 002 ps

"Jetty at Yangon River"
Acrylic, 33cm x 44cm

 

Exploring light and Darkness

Despite personal trauma and heartbreak, Moh Moh Win remains an upbeat and cheerful mother of two.      

She seems not afraid to try, error and explore further. She paints avariciously everything she wants. Whether she realized by herself or not, yellow or the light would be the one which she tries to capture as often shown in her signature motif, the cityscape in nights.

 

She said her own favorite painting was the night market scene selling oranges along Strand Road in Yangon. She loves to paint cityscape especially after rain. “One day I suddenly realized the reflection of the bulb lights on the wet ground was so colorful and beautiful”, she recalled. In addition to the frequent motifs of these local markets, pagodas, Yangon river port, Moh Moh Win often paints the heritage buildings in Yangon like Central Post Office, City Hall, Department of Immigration and Registration and so on, mostly built in early 1900’s. Some of the heritage buildings will be restored but others will be demolished in the near future.

 

The depiction of yellowish dim light in the shadow would make one feel melancholic and somehow lonely. As time passed (within a year), her paintings start showing more colorful, energetic and jovial aspects. She paints many with Acrylic but also does with watercolor. With both mediums, her fascination for the light and the colors are powerfully expressed.    



The Painter from Sculptors’ Family 

Moh Moh Win was born in Yangon in 1972. Her father, U Zeyar, was the famous sculptor and his art works can be found in Karaway Hotel in Yangon. He had passed away few years ago. Her mother, Daw Win Win Thain, used to be a model for the sculpture trainees of the State School of Fine Art in Yangon, where her father studied and met her mother. She had one elder brother but he also passed away years ago.

 

She started painting since she was very young like five years old, naturally influenced by her sculptor father and grandfather, U Myat Kyaw, who was the head master of the State School of Fine Art in Yangon. A number of GV painters including Peter Tayzar Linn, Than Win Tun, Khin Maung, Khin Ming Aung, were studied under her grandfather’s administration.

 

From 1988 to 1992, Moh Moh Win was admitted in the Department of Painting of the State School of Fine Art in Yangon where her grandfather and father used to study and teach. She studied under the art teachers including U Tuka, U Thin Lwin Soe, U Mya Aye, U Kyaw Lai and U Say Yoe.

 

Her respected Myanmar artists are U Lun Gywe, U Hlaing Bwa and U Mya Thaung. She also named Monnet and Van Gogh as her most favorite foreign master artists.

 

 

The Way to be an Artist - Overcoming Heartbreaking

It was 1991 when she got to know GV and Peter Tayzar Linn. At that time GV had supported the students from the State School of Fine Art in Yangon with supplying art materials, food and other miscellaneous by organizing several private donors. GV allowed the students to hang some paintings including Moh Moh Win’s.  Soon after, the gallery sold her painting, which was of Maha Nya Munida, the pagoda in Mandaray. 

 

After the graduation from the State School of Fine Art in 1992, she started working as a designer and designed jewelry and textile patterns. Even though she liked to design the things, she gradually felt more passionate about painting. She was joined the GV Night Art Show in 1996 that was recalled as the most memorable event by many of other GV painters including Moh Moh Win. She hanged six paintings in the event and sold all six.

 

Since 2007 Moh Moh Win became a full time painter after the heartbreaking event in her family. GV welcomed her as a guest painter then later a member painter to support her by promoting her paintings. Now she is living with her younger son in his middle school and her mother in her sixties. Despite the drastic change in her life, she looks cheerfully energetic and positive about what she is doing. She said she used to be heavily stressed financially and mentally by being main bread earner in her family. Now she can concentrate on painting more in relaxed and stable environment, which brings her confidence to support her current family members with her paintings. Moh Moh Win is happily proud that her first son graduated from the university and obtained the degree in mathematics.

 

Moh Moh Win wishes to be a famous painter and shears her art with many people. She is well-motivated and hard-working enough to dream about it. “I have to try and make effort no matter what happen to my life”.

 

 

(Interviewed by Pirica Art Centre on 7th March 2013)

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