News and Views

  • A New Chapter for Chindwin Chambers as River II

    posted on Wednesday, 06 November 2013
    Looking for new premises close to the original River Gallery in The Strand, we had come across the Chindwin Chambers in the road right next to the hotel, three minutes walk from the gallery.  The elegant three story colonial building caught our eye, and we noticed that one section at the north end of the building was home to an office with just a few workers.  We tracked down the owners and discovered that they were amenable to relocating these employees and renting out the space to us for a new gallery.  
    The renovation was relatively minor, just waterproofing the structure, taking out some internal partitions, fixing the wiring, making new doors and painting and plastering to give us large flat white walls. The room has beautiful proportions with 18 foot ceilings and a length of over 120 foot, which spans the whole block giving us access onto both 38th Street and 37th Street.  These are charming old lanes, where local life goes on uninterrupted. I enjoy sitting at the desk in the middle of the gallery, able to see out both ends to the streets where  people walk by, street vendors sell their wares, and the local dogs guard their territory.
    We're looking forward to hosting various events and functions at River II , so that a wide range of people can come and enjoy the re-purposed space and help give downtown Yangon a bit more of a  buzz.
  • Myanmar artists on display in Chennai- India

    posted on Monday, 30 September 2013

    Our partners in India -  the Calcutta Arts Club - have mounted "From Myanmar with Love", a show featuring five leading Myanmar artists from River Gallery:  Zaw WIn Pe, Maung Aw, K. Kyaw, Than Kyaw Htay and Aung Myint. Pls visit the following links to review the journalist's delighted reactions of the show.

  • Review- Wonder in the Land- Group Exhibition, Canada

    posted on Friday, 13 September 2013

    A lot has happened in Burma, also known as Myanmar, since the East Gallery first introduced Burmese contemporary art to Canadians in 2011. After five decades of censorship, Burmese artists are relishing a somewhat greater freedom of expression and the increased international attention being paid to the country’s vibrant art scene. "Wonder in the Land", the East Gallery’s third group show of contemporary Burmese artists, features new work by 5 leading artists, all of whom have had considerable international exposure and success. Visitors will experience a range of styles and themes from abstract to expressionistic, and from landscapes to street scenes.

    Pls View the article;

  • Investment Advisory Company investigates potential for investment in Myanmar art market.

    posted on Monday, 26 August 2013

    Thura Swiss, a business consultancy based in Yangon, has turned its attention to the Myanmar art market, describing the current situation, and outlining necessary measures for the sector to progress.  Read the report for an interesting assessment of the investment potential of Myanmar art - a nice change from electricity, oil and gas and banking.  The report concludes, "Myanmar's art business has potential to grow exponentially, not only because of its small start, but simply because of the wealth of skills and talent of its artists."  Hear hear!

    Please view article;

  • A quick tour around Myanmar's art scene from Hong Kong's South China Morning Post.

    posted on Monday, 19 August 2013

    This article addresses the impact of the Myanmar Spring on the the country's art scene and artists.

    Pls visit below link;

  • Sculptures by Aung Ko

    posted on Wednesday, 14 August 2013

    IN the depths of North Dagon, I visited the workshop Aung Ko had set up to produce his latest creations. A true pathmaker in the Myanmar art world, Aung Ko is pushing the envelope again with his life size sculptures of people frozen in poses of surprise and fear. His chosen medium is fiberglass, a first for a Myanmar artist. The process is lengthy – modeling in clay first, creating a plaster cast, and finally coating the inside of the cast with the fiberglass, before fitting the parts together and finishing the surface.

    These sculptures are an accompaniment to the “We are Moving” series of large format paintings, which depict the frisson of shock and anxiety in a crowd of people when they learnt that a bomb had exploded nearby. The sculptures give an added dimension – literally – to his depiction of this scene.

    They are destined for a solo show in Milan later this year, but before they head off, we will show them in River to give our local friends and artists a chance to see this pioneering new work.

    Pls view photos of

    Plaster cast of body;

  • Artist Yan Naing Tun depicts the changing role of monks in the New Myanmar

    posted on Wednesday, 14 August 2013

    Last week Yan Naing Tun brought in a new series of paintings featuring lines of photo-realistic monks on a blue contemporary background. Nothing new in painting monks in Myanmar, but these works were immediately arresting as the focal point of the works were the faces of the monks, depicted with angry or determined expressions.   Yan Naing Tun explained to me that since the country opened up the Sangha (the monkhood) has become a political force, with some monks playing an activist role in the debates about the issues the country is facing. This strong series of works graphically show that tranquil contentment is not the only face of the Myanmar monk these days.

    Pls view photo;

  • River Gallery hosts Young Global Leaders- June4th, 2013

    posted on Thursday, 06 June 2013
    With the World Economic Forum in Myanmar, the Young Global Leaders were interested in learning more about different aspects of the country's economic and cultural life.  We helped the organizers develop a program for an "Art Learning Journey" which would give this group of highly accomplished professionals a quick appreciation of Myanmar's contemporary art scene.  It was a bit like speed dating - there was a quick introduction, and then they were rushed off to the next thing.  Together with some of our artist and gallerist friends, we hosted them in River during the morning then headed off to Lokanat Gallery to see Yangon's first art gallery, before having a special tour of The Secretariat - one of Yangon's most fabulous colonial buildings, which we hope will become the site of a future art museum. There was a brief midday visit to Padauk 7000, an experimental art space, and then onto Khin Zaw Lat's gallery to meet the younger generation of conceptual artists.  It was a rewarding day for everyone;the YGL's had a glimpse of the challenges faced by artists in Myanmar, and our artists had the benefit of exchanges with successful professionals from other countries, all of whom had a keen appreciation of visual art.
    The visitors bought with them and donated to the art community about 60 art books.  These will reside with Ko Aung in the Pansodan Gallery until there is an Art Library as a permanent home.
  • Christie's auction spotlights growing importance of South-East Asian Art.-May, 2013

    posted on Monday, 03 June 2013

    Strong demand for works from south-east asian countries highlights a developing trend, as collectors turn their attention from the more established contemporary markets of China and Indian to the most talented artists of the smaller countries in the region.  We expect that Myanmar will be included in this south-east asian category within the next 12 months.

    Pls view the following link;



  • Visit with one of the grand old men of Myanmar Art- May, 2013

    posted on Wednesday, 29 May 2013
    Last week I went to visit Khin Maung Yin, one of Myanmar's most esteemed and beloved artists.  He was sitting on the floor, surrounded by paints and canvases, looking at some books someone had just brought him.  He was delighted by the books as they all used his painting images on their front covers, and seeing them brought back memories of those works and when he had created them.  He was full of fun and devilment, teasing Aung Myint, who had accompanied me, and telling stories about the 400 students of English who come to his small house for lessons and laughs.  Although partially paralyzed from a stroke, Khin Maung Yin is undimmed by age, still painting every day and receiving legions of visitors.  Long may it continue.