Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu
White Piece #0126

They initiated the series 1000 Pieces (of White) in 2009, as a way to produce objects and images as a portrait of their shared life as partners and collaborators. Interweaving public and private, personal anecdote and pop cultural appropriation, their work attests to the poetry of the everyday. In addition to found and original materials, the artists have occasionally incorporated drawings and sketches by artist friends, and even by their own daughter into the ongoing work. They selectively whitewash the surfaces to visually link the series’ disparate elements. The gesture isolates or obscures certain details, evoking the passage of time and the fading of memory. Some components address history and politics; others appear more whimsical and intimate. The collage drawings capture the intersection of shared and individual histories, the transformation of public information into private knowledge.

The images of White Piece #0126 are from the newspaper propaganda that supported the Burma Socialist Program Party (BSPP)’s very first congress in 1971. The three hands at the bottom represent the three classes, always addressed as ‘The People’ by the Socialist Government. The objects held in the gripping hands include a sickle, pickaxe, and brush and pen and represent farmer, laborer, and white-collar worker. The figures of people at the background appear to support the Socialist Program Party, the Socialist Government, and the Army. When the artists made this work, they included the sun-like-logo with rays, which was the logo of the party and which referenced its good time. Light blue was the color of the Myanmar socialist era, and was the color that represented the party, as well. The artists were familiar with the color throughout their childhood. They wrote that whenever we see this color they miss their childhood, but with a fright.

Wah Nu and Tun Win Aung, respectively born in 1977 and 1975, Yangon, Myanmar. Live and work Yangon. Wah Nu and Tun Win graduated from the University of Culture, Yangon, in 1998, Wah Nu with a BA in traditional Burmese music, Tun Win Aung with a BA in sculpture. After completing her studies, Wah Nu turned to painting and video, while Tun Win Aung extended his practice to performance, multimedia work, and painting. He has also created several site-specific outdoor installations, often involving Myanmar’s landscape.