Why an exhibition about holding hope? We use the concept of “holding hope” to signify the creation of a safe space where artists share their stories and ask the audience to use the artwork to find solace and help the communal healing process. Art becomes the safe place for the audience to feel, build strength and resilience through these difficult times. Although art and dialogue alone cannot tackle injustice and structural inequalities, it can empower and inspire those who are working towards a solution to the crises. Looking back at history, during times of repression, youth, activists and artists managed to make their presence felt in the public space despite the challenges they faced — their voices raised as they contested the principles of war, destruction and authoritarianism. This exhibition aims to encourage people to contribute to their civic space with their opinions, and to think critically about themselves, their communities and the what is possible to achieve at a time of adversity. The exhibition shows that despite the multiple injustices, the fraying of trust and humanity resulting from the ongoing violence and insecurity, Myanmar people continue working towards a better future.
Looking back at history, youth, activists and artists managed to make their presence felt despite the challenges they faced. Hope drove their involvement in these important discussions. Today, hope continues to be the crucial element that inspires and energises movements that long for social transformation.
This exhibition shows that despite the multiple injustices, people in Myanmar continue hoping and working towards a better future. The artists in this exhibition share with us the different views on what is possible to achieve at a time of adversity. Each artist understands hope in a different way. Despite differences, they all show how art and culture are a safer haven against all the injustices around us by allowing us to question and think freely.
Inspired by the complex emotions experienced in their escape from Yangon across the Thai border with the help of human traffickers, this live performance explores the tension between the two forces influencing the artist’s journey — Dhamma, cosmic law and order, and Adhamma, cosmic injustice and disorder.
As our conclusive piece, we invite the viewer to take a few moments to participate in this piece: to listen, to meditate and to ponder.