Tag Archives: Program – Mobile Library

Mobile Library: Jefferson Center

We are thrilled to be hosted by our final location in Mandalay – the Jefferson Center. The center is a US-funded educational and cultural library located in the heart of Mandalay, facing the palace of the last King of Burma. We chose this location based on its outreach to young people from all over the region. Not only does it provide books, but also language training, debates, scholarship information, test-taking courses, and debates on politics, human rights and democracy.

We opened on Saturday, March 14 where we were greeted by over 50 students, professionals, artists and our volunteers. The director of the center, Saw Kyin Sein, welcomed us and asked everyone to join in sharing and discussing the books in the coming weeks.

Michelle Wong from Asia Art Archive will be joining us next week in our two-day programme with the theme Art and Politics. Michelle will discuss her own research and work at AAA on the Hong Kong Art History project, and artist Htein Lin will join us in Mandalay to present on his own experiences as an artist and the ways in which he values political messages, in both his life and his art.

Our invitation will be released shortly. Hope you all can join us there!

Art Education Workshop with Cho Cho Aung

Cho Cho Aung, art teacher and artist at Panthu Sandar Art Centre, joined us today at Alin Dagar for the first of a 2 day workshop on art education, where she shared not only her experiences in teaching art, but also her students’ experiences – through a display of their art work.

Cho Cho Aung began teaching in 1978. She mentioned that for 10 years, her method was to teach basic drawing, line, and 2D design. She later realized the limitations of these methods, encouraged by the fact that her own father, U Aung Khin – a prominent artist in Mandalay – told her that her own teaching influences children in such a way that they are merely imitating, not learning to create something new and all their own.

From then on, she opened up her methods, teaching free drawing and being careful not to focus on color theory, value or perspective but rather allow the students to reveal their own methods of approaching these basic structures of drawing and painting. By and large, she found that children develop their own sense of these methods on their own and the results have been very powerful.

When she saw the Emotional Learning Cards – part of the Mobile Library Collection – she felt she had again learned something new about teaching. Despite 60 years as an artist and 45 years of art teaching, she still seeks new ways to approach art education and method.

One workshop participant, Sayar Sam Kat, teaches at a monastery that works with disabled children and young people from conflict zones and IDP camps in the country. He mentioned that much of his students artwork conveys obviously deep emotional trauma or questions, but he does not know how to approach the children or help them to explain their drawings. Cho Cho Aung’s suggested documenting the work and/or hosting an exhibition to better understand what the children are experiencing through expression.

Tomorrow, Cho Cho Aung will return for a second day of teacher workshops.

Mobile Library is sponsored by Foundation for the Arts Initiative and Mr. and Mrs. Serge Pun.

Mobile Library: New Zero

When we first began to discuss the Mobile Library Project at MARCA, there was no doubt in our minds that New Zero Art Space was an organization we would like to partner with – because they are the original archive and library in Yangon. They support arts and education, exhibitions, residency programs and international exchange all in one space. The founder Aye Ko and the innumerable volunteers and collaborators that have made their work possible inspire all over Myanmar and the world. They are the heart and soul of what art education can and should be in Myanmar.

We wanted the books of the Mobile Library to speak to New Zero’s own library, and curator Haymann Oo and Aye Ko, along with Ko Latt and Yadanar, were very happy to help us make that possible. They interpreted the Mobile Library with fresh perspective, and instead of focusing on the archival aspects of it, or the contemporaneity of the subject, they brought the focus back to the words, the books themselves, and the tradition of literature, poetry and reading in Myanmar.

See Interviews and Opening on Kamayut Media Channel (Burmese Only)

Famous Myanmar poets have used the space to create live poetry performances, talks on the importance of books and knowledge, and how artists can use that knowledge to grow creatively. Poetry is an indelible part of the creative landscape of Myanmar and New Zero brought that fact to light while hosting the ML in their space.

Mobile Library is sponsored by Foundation for the Arts Initiative and Mr. and Mrs. Serge Pun.

Poetry Reading at NEW ZERO:

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Mobile Library: Goethe Institut

Mobile Library: Goethe Institut

The future Goethe Institut – housed in the former State School of Fine Arts (As well as General Aung San’s former headquarters) – generously supported the Mobile Library Initiative from December 1 – 15, 2014. The books and installation were installed and available for public use daily from 10-4 pm.

Mobile Library is sponsored by Foundation for the Arts Initiative and Mr. and Mrs. Serge Pun.

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Highlights of the project included an artist talk by Po Po, the creator of the Mobile Library installation and an esteemed contemporary artist in the community. MARCA invited new students from the University of Art and Culture – Yangon to listen to Po Po speak about aesthetics, what contemporary art means, and his own fascinating practice based largely around installation and photography. It was a rare opportunity for the Myanmar students to see one of their own artists speak at length. Even our co-director, Zoncy, mentioned that in her 5 years as an artist, she has never seen Po Po speak and was happy to have the chance.

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Mobile Library: Education Workshop

Mobile Library: Education Workshop

We were very fortunate to host multiple visitors on the week of 24-29 November. A hugely successful week of educational workshops, a panel discussion, digital archiving workshop, and visitors from Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Poland and India. Will recount each activity. Videos posted soon.

Thamotharampillai Shanaathanan (Sana) flew in from Sri Lanka. As the former host of the Mobile Library at the University of Jaffna, he was instrumental in our programming. He’s a lecturer himself, and has witnessed firsthand the interaction between the books and the students.

Day 1 of the Educational Workshop was for the Students. Originally asked to bring drawing material, the students and Sana ended up sharing opinions and observations about the books. Sana asked the students questions about the books, stating the importance of visual learning and absorbing the material as much as possible.

He then chose keywords and asked the students to spend one our in the afternoon forming groups and choosing books based on those keywords. A few worth mentioning: line, nudes, and painting.

We were also lucky to host Aung Myat Htay as a guest lecturer. Aung Myat Htay is a former student AND teacher at the NUAC and just returned from a 6 month residency in New York City. It was invaluable perspective for the students, who often commented that there are no artists in Myanmar like the ones in the Mobile Library books. Far from true, but it is so that the interaction between contemporary artists and the schools is limited. Hence the importance of Aung Myat Htay, who often works in installation, present his work and ideas.

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Sana writing keywords at the lecture hall at NUAC

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Students collecting our newly printed booklists

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Aung Myat Htay presenting on his own journey as an artist and writer

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One of our lovely volunteer translators helping match the Burmese texts with ML books

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Some of the recently translated books

Day 2 was targeted toward the NUAC teachers. Sana presented on his own time as host of the Mobile Library and his own artistic practice. The teachers were extremely interested in how to use the books and shared on their experience “relaxing” in the library, finding out new modes of expression through painting. One particularly important question came from the teachers in general: how do we change our curriculum?

We very much hope these workshops helped the students and teachers at the NUAC to have high expectations for their own art educational experiences, and that the Mobile Library has inspired them to push the boundaries of learning.

Mobile Library is sponsored by Foundation for the Arts Initiative and Mr. and Mrs. Serge Pun.

Mobile Library Launches

At the University of Art and Culture – Yangon. We were fortunate enough to have as our hosts U Myat Tun Aung, Director of Painting Department, U Thit Lun Soe, Director of Sculpture Department, and U Kyaw Oo, the Rector of the entire University.  We were so honored to have an audience of so many teachers and students from all different departments. Even the Headmaster of the State School of Fine Arts brought a group of students for the morning speeches and reception.

Here’s how it went down:

– Ribbon Cutting with Nathalie Johnston (MARCA) and U Kyaw Oo (Rector – NUAC)

– Flood of students enter hall where U Kyaw Oo speaks about knowledge and skill and how one completes the other; Nathalie introduces the project and how it came to be, David (MARCA Librarian) speaks on street art and culture, and Khin Zaw Latt goes over how MARCA came into being and why the students should use the books for inspiration.

– Students and teachers enjoy food, drinks and the books! See album for an overview in images. More to come!

Mobile Library is sponsored by Foundation for the Arts Initiative and Mr. and Mrs. Serge Pun.