Organisers of a three-part art exhibition said last week following the show’s final installment that they believed they had been successful in raising awareness of water-related environmental issues.
Art of Watershed, held at Gallery 65 in Dagon township, showed the changes that had occurred to the watershed of the Ayeyarwady River as well as wetland sites, including Inle Lake and Indawgyi Lake, through photographs, paintings and installations. Designer Myint Maung Kyaw, environmental photographer Myint Zaw and writer Juu exhibited about 200 artworks in all.
The exhibition was presented in three parts, with the first from February 26 to 28, the second from March 19 to 21 and the third from March 26 to 28.
Designer Myint Maung Kyaw said the group aimed to use their art to raise people’s awareness of environmental issues and they believed their approach was a more effective than conventional education campaigns.
“The environment is reflected in the heart of the artist. If it’s dry, the artwork will be dry. If it’s green, the artwork will be green. Artists get inspiration from their environment. The more we love the environment, the more we rouse people to preserve it,” he told The Myanmar Times last week.
“The beauty of information is to give people information [in a manner that leaves them with a] pleasant feeling,” he said.
As an example, he cited the way the exhibition showed the difficulties residents of delta regions have accessing drinking water. “We didn’t want to display their trouble [explicitly] in the exhibition. We want to show it through art instead because it is not as unpleasant for people,” he said.
On the show’s opening morning the gallery was crowded with guests, who were lured not only by the art but also the chance to hear talks by public figures such as former Department of Meteorology and Hydrology director general Dr Tun Lwin and writer Ko Tar.
Student Ma Nandar, 19, described the exhibition as “awesome”.
“I didn’t even get a chance to enter the gallery on the opening night and I had to listen to the talks from outside. They were great. Seeing the worsening environment is really heartbreaking but it’s also a really attractive way [of conveying a message] to the younger generations. We really feel bored when we just see facts and figures,” she said.
The artists’ previous group shows include Heat Stroke in May 2010 and Art Cries, Save Soil in October 2010.