Holding Hope

No Metta For Adhamma

The artwork presented here is a video of a live performance where I am meditating while Mandala-like visuals are projected into me. In the video, the audience can see that as part of my meditation, I am making slow arm movements accompanied with different hand gestures. In Buddhism, these movements are called “Mudras”. Mudras are hand positions that evoke a particular state of mind when one is meditating. One of the Mudras showed in the video is called Dhyani: Where the back of the right-hand rests on the upturned palm, while the other hand remains elevated with the tips of the thumbs lightly touching. The top hand symbolises enlightenment; the bottom hand, the world of appearances. This Mudra evoques the supremacy of the enlightened mind. The Mudra is also very similar to the three-finger salute used during the peaceful protests of 2021, and which has come to symbolise Myanmar people’s hope for justice and peace following the on-going injustices carried out across the country.  

The video also shows a black triangle where the eye of my mind is located. According to Science, the triangle is the strongest shape in nature. Since 2018, I have been using the triangle-shaped mirrors and objects as a symbol of strong feminine energy. At the centre of the black triangle, the audience can observe the symbol of the three-finger salute, which is the strongest defiance in the face of tyranny.  

Throughout my performance the audience will hear the soundtrack of the protests from the streets of Yangon in February 2021. These sounds were recorded by another artist. He and I collaborated on this artwork to reflect on the energy of the peaceful protesters. My meditating hand-movements interact with the audio’s experimental improvisation.

In Buddhism, Dhamma means "cosmic law and order”. In other words, nature of things or nature of the universe. Adhamma is the opposite of it. This piece was inspired by these two forces: Dhamma is for cosmic law and order and Adhamma is for cosmic injustice and disorder. They also represent my 2021 journey: I was forced to flee after my home in Yangon was raided in May. I had to cross the border to Thailand with the help of human traffickers. My body has embodied complex emotions, such as grief, fear, anger and frustration. All of these emotions oscillate in this piece. Like many others who lost their homes and the loved ones because of Adhamma arrests, tortures and killings, I manifest there will be “No Metta For Adhamma Army” for eternity.  

Dhamma will win in the end, I hope.

I miss my parents so much. I want to meet them but it’s impossible for me at the moment.
It'd be nice to have you here with me
Positioned in a solemn arrangement, clay-crafted dove toys symbolizing peace and innocence invite reflection upon countless souls lost in war, each embodying an individual story of shared sorrow and the resilience of the human spirit.
Within intricate layers of enamel paint, a profound narrative emerges, depicting civilians' resilience amid junta airstrikes, evoking the perspective of a child forever impacted by the violent realities of conflict.
A commonly seen phrase in rural Burmese households, "The flesh of a child is bitter. The flesh of a dog is sweet," explores Burmese folklore and resonates with junta attacks in those regions, where civilians refer to junta soldiers as "dogs".
Upon luminous pedestals, traditional paper mache toys create an ethereal tableau, honouring the innocent souls of conflict-affected children, as their soft glow invites viewers into a realm of introspection.
A spherical lamp's soft glow reveals a captivating metamorphosis of a sandy playground into a liminal landscape, where interplay of light and shadows blurs the lines between reality and imagination.
The neon sign, portraying a child's crude drawing, casts a red glow on crumpled metal roofs, symbolizing the deep bond between children and their homes, yet also hauntingly reminding of homes destroyed by junta airstrikes.
A geometric glass vase, filled with delicate white flowers, rests on a rotating pedestal, bathed in gentle illumination from below, evoking a sense of tribute and mourning.
Saw Kyaw Ra Mine misses his parents, who live in a village in Myanmar. He wants to meet them but is unable to. He wakes up early and spends free time playing games. He dreams of becoming an artist and saving money to support his parents.
His family was broken up due to a father's immature and party-oriented lifestyle, which led to a separation. He feels small, insecure, ashamed, and depressed. He meets a friend who invites them to a youth conference program, where they are warmly welcomed and taken care of as family members. The people they meet are active, smiling, and inspiring, providing help and encouragement to reconstruct themselves.

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People are staying together and making community who have same basic value of humanity and moral to form a stable and secure society. Each and every one is contributing for this community with their skills and capacities for the sustainability of it. People respects to each other, understand the diversity without judgement or discrimination and always think of inclusiveness. Such community can only be the good united community or the united community with diversity. I believe the art is the best platform or medium that can bridge among people for sharing and expressing of thoughts, feelings and opinions without words or languages. The opinions and voices of every participants is important and only the collective voices can represent and reflect the community. I want to search the collective answer of “What is union?” for our community through this experimental process. This exhibition is not only to watch my art creations but also a process or collective works that audience can participate. You can reflect how you grow up, what happening to you now and what you hope for your future. Then express it by participating in this exhibition. Please check the steps by steps instruction and feel free to participate!

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