Happy Land/Htein Lin/24 July to 30 September 2015

24 Jul 2015 > 30 Sep 2015

Tasneem Gallery is delighted to present Htein Lin’s third exhibition in the gallery.

Htein Lin is an artist activist who uses performance, paintings and sculpture to make social commentary, focusing on issues of human rights.

He is an artist whose production does not require the calm of a studio, but is created in unexpected places, whether in active defiance in a prison cell where he was confined as a political prisoner, or in the streets, of Bangkok, the canals of Venice, or where the most marginal people live as in the ironically named Happy Land, a garbage dump site in Manila.

This exhibition consisting of paintings made out in the open, in public and unexpected places brings together many facets of his practice: the performance, the audience participation, the use of body parts to paint; techniques that emerged during his prison time and which reflect again his prison work, where the use of contraband material and body parts that replaced the paintbrush were his greatest tools. The three videos introduced are the first records of this peculiar work. In them we can appreciate his skills as a multidisciplinary artist and performer in constant harmony with the audience.

As well as a political activist, Htein Lin is deeply spiritual and these works reflect this spirituality both in the imagery and whole process of creation.

We would like to inform you of Htein Lin’s participation in two other exhibitions:

The Story Teller, a solo exhibition curated by Nathalie Johanston which will take place take place at the Goethe Institute in Yangoon from 24th July to 23rd August 2015. In this Htein Lin reflects on his past while providing a lens through which to view a recent history of Myanmar – its many trials, but perhaps most importantly, its healing process.

Mynamar, Pagodas, Longyis and Nat Spirits until 16 September 2015 at the Museum Fünf Kontienente, Munich. A collective combining ancient and contemporary art of Myanmar.

About the artist

Htein Lin(1966, Birmania)

He studied law at University, became involved in Anyeint (Burmese Popular Theatre), and led the 1988 student protests in favour of democracy. Before being jailed in 1998, he was a pioneer of performance art in Burma. During the six years he spent in prison, he developed printing and painting techniques that allowed him to secretly create hundreds of works on prison uniforms, using smuggled materials and objects he had in his cell, like plates and lighters.

After his release, he continued to paint using the techniques he had devised in jail and has also further developed his work as a performance artist. Htein Lin’s work is based on his extraordinary life experiences, political events in Burma, and his profound Buddhist faith. He currently lives in the United Kingdom, and his work has been exhibited in the UK, US, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, at major international fairs, like the 2007 Venice Biennale, the Singapore Fringe Festival 2010 and the 1st Indian Biennale, Kochi India, 2012.