Holding Hope

Stuck in the Train

This artwork is a  stop-motion animation showing a woman getting on the train and off again. My reading of the poem is the soundtrack of the animation. The artwork is based on a poem I wrote entitled “Reincarnation as a Human”.  

I decided to use animation to illustrate the main point in the poem: How Karma does not help improve your next life if you are born in Myanmar. In this piece, I use the circular train as a metaphor for hope: We have hope, the train is moving. Except for the fact, that the train is circular and keeps going to the same place whenever you travel. The train keeps going to the same place whether it is the past or the present. We don’t have future; we cannot say ‘one day’. We only have today to enjoy the moment.  

We, people born in Myanmar, never have a chance to live like a human being. We try our whole life to get freedom, to get human rights, to feel safe, etc. Although our wish is not fulfilled, we never give up. We keep trying, trying, trying until we die.  

Excerpt of the poem:

“Even though they keep being reincarnated in human form on the trains.

Have you ever seen hopes brighter than mid-summer?  

Hopes are a stinging pain that pricks, and forces shut the eyes.  

Mascara is sad but does not cry.  

Blood stops flowing back to the heart.  

Some people get swapped midway.  

A large volume of sweat pumps out from the laceration.  

And floods the whole train.  

Sweat pumps out when people greet each other.  

It does when they wave goodbye.  

At the dinner table, someone’s sweat splatters onto someone else’s plate.  

It pumps out when they gossip.

It pumps from the mouths when they kiss.  

The pumping doesn’t stop even during sex. It only pauses for a minute when they see the badly-made-up face.  

Of the news anchor on the state-owned TV.  

They would laugh a bit.  

And then start pumping sweat again.  

It would go on until they reincarnate again as humans.”

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
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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