Mostly Burmese Mugs
Kyi May Kaung
Space 7-10, Kefa Café, Silver Spring, MD
March13 – April 7, 2007
Reception: Friday, March 16, 6:30 to 8:30pm
In this show, I am exhibiting iconic portraits that I have painted in oils on canvas since 2005 in an intuitive process that I worked out for myself. Starting from a sketch or snapshot of a real person, I keep painting to a point where the picture starts to tell me what it wishes to be. At this point I put the reference shot away and pay attention to what is happening on the canvas. The subjects change gender or ethnicity, or become iconic figures such as Our Lady of Scorpions or Lady Vanda (an orchid species.) They develop personalities of their own and select the objects they wish to be surrounded by. They also dictate to me, their conduit, in which style they wish to be painted. Some are in lumpy paint straight from the tube, and some are smooth surfaced.
These are the mug shots in this show. The rest are my hand painted ceramics, some of them actual mugs you can drink from.
Kyi May Kaung (Ph.D.) Bio – 2007
Ms. Kaung is a multidisciplinary and multi-faceted writer and artist who does not fit neatly into any pre-conceived category. She has been called “a trained social scientist with the soul of a poet.” She has just won a best short story prize for her story Black Rice from the Northern Virginia Review (#21).
Originally from Burma, she has published two poetry chapbooks; poetry in Rattapallax, CrossConnect, Poet’s Attic, Mosaic, and Passport Magazines; read poetry with DC Poets Against War, Washington Musica Viva and in the U.S.A. and Canada. Her short stories have appeared in Wild River Review, Northern Virginia Review (upcoming), Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine and Shoptalk; foreign policy articles in Foreign Policy in Focus, OpenDemocracy, Asian Survey and Irrawaddy. Her play “Shaman” was praised by Edward Albee and others and she has been a Pew finalist in literature twice. She is also a winner of the William Carlos Williams Award of the Academy of American Poets.
Kyi has been painting professionally since 2001. Mostly Burmese Mugs is her third one-woman show. (Previous shows were Flux – at Foundry Gallery, DC 2002 and Blotches from Burma at Space 7-10, MD in 2005). Kyi paints abstracts in an action painting style that has been compared to Franz Kline and Jackson Pollack, and intuitive and haunting “portraits” generated from photographs of real people and/or her imagination.