Tag Archives: Subject – News Blog

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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Panel Discussion on Archive

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The Panel Discussion on Archive was meant to bring attention not only to archives, but also the panelists experiences working with archive through research, exhibition, and writing/publishing.

Sana started off the discussion by examining his own work and use of archive. Through his personal practice, he looks at war and memory. Memory is the archive of the Civil War in Sri Lanka and Sana isolated experiences through objects, displaying these objects in an exhibition as well as publishing a book – The Incomplete Thombu. His practice involved speaking to people, reliving and sometimes rebuilding their memories.

Hammad followed with some of the archival research and projects of Asia Art Archive, where he is Head of Research. Hammad was asking important questions: what gets written? Who are the voices? What is recognized and what is not? He described 4 separate archives including Salon Natasha, the performance art video archive of Ray Langenbach, the China Interviews of artists in the 1980s, and the India Bibliography.

Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma spoke toward the end of the day and shared about some very interesting projects focused on the archives of exiled Myanmar artists. Htein Lin and the prison painting series, Sitt Nyein Aye and his Myanmar archive in India, and Sawangwongse Yawnghwe, a little known exile from Shan State who grew up in a border camp, and remembers Myanmar through his family’s memories and his own recreation of events with historic proportions.

A discussion ensued addressing the issues of archiving such as focus, digitization, personal affiliations and exhibiting archive not through library or catalogue but through curated exhibitions – a way to examine the archive through history and image.

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

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: End of Week 1

We have had one incredible week of visitors, conversations, inspiring exchanges and a few good meals. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Educational Workshop at the National University of Art and Culture, the Panel Discussion on Archiving, and the Digital Archiving Workshop. We will be posting photos, video and more information soon. Stay tuned!

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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.

Mobile Library Project

AAA (Hong Kong) and MARCA (Myanmar) have teamed up to bring Myanmar the third edition of the Open Edit: Mobile Library project, generously funded by the Foundation for the Arts Initiative (FfAI).

MARCA has received over 500 books, which we are furiously cataloging and translating short summaries, in order to create a program based around these books from Yangon to Mandalay and beyond. The program will run from November to March and so far, include the following collaborative partners:

University of Arts and Culture – Yangon

New Zero Art Space

Goethe Institute – Myanmar

Deitta Documentary Arts Space

Dreamland – Alin Dagar Art School

More details to come!

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