CHAW EI THEIN
b. 1969 Myanmar
Chaw Ei Thein, painter and conceptual/performance artist, engages with the global art scene as a candid commentator on the contradictions and conflicts of her native socio-political environment. Her feminist approach to art is both gracious and frank, earning her recognition as one of the most important contemporary artists to emerge from Myanmar.
She fled Myanmar after a period of incarceration in jail for a performance piece, and was awarded political asylum in the USA in 2009.
“I am always thinking about my country, about brutality, and about how I lived under that system. Sometimes I really want to escape from those things, escape from myself. But whenever I try to create something, all those related issues come up.”
The recipient of the Elizabeth J McCormack and Jerome I. Aaron fellowship in connection with the Asian Cultural Council, New York, she has lectured and exhibited extensively in and outside of Myanmar. Her numerous and notable achievements include participation in the Singapore Biennial 2008, Open Studios Exhibitions 2009, International Studio and Curators Program in New York as well as several performance works with Htein Lin in Myanmar and at Asia House, London.
SGFA exclusively represents the Camouflage Series, through which Chaw Ei Thein adeptly shares commentary, culture and aspiration, painted on the iconic Buddha statues and camouflage fabric as paintings – all in camouflage.
Bodhi Buddha, 2015
Acrylic on fibre glass
30.5 x 15 x 42 cm
Awards / Residencies
2012 Award. Sea Change Residency, GAEA Foundation.
2011 Fellow. The Gardarev Center Fall 2011 Research Residency, Boston.
Artist in Residence. Art Omi International Artists Residency, New York.
Fellow. Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists: NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Project, NY.
Award. by Canadian Writer Karen Connelly.
2009 - 2011 Artist in Residence. International Studios & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York.
2009 - 2010 Fellow. The Elizabeth. J. McCormack and Jerome I. Aron Fellowship. Asian Cultural Council (ACC), New York
2008 Creative Residency (Performance). 7a*11d Performance Art Festival, Toronto Free Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2014 For Su, River Ayeyarwaddy Gallery, Rangoon, Burma
It’s a long way, TS1 Gallery, Rangoon, Burma
In my Borough, Falchi Building, LIC, New York
2013 People’s United Nations (pUN), Queens Museum of Art, New York
Works on Paper 2013: Japan-U.S. Art Exchange Exhibition, Hirosaka Annex,
Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art & Ginza Space Atte., Tokyo, Japan
Fragile States by fD (Free Dimensional Org.), New York
24th Gangaw Village Group Show, Lokanat Gallery, Rangoon, Burma
2012 Blue Wind Multimedia Art Festival, Rangoon, Burma (Nov.)
To Be Not To Be, Gallery 35, New York
2011 ARTLIVE2011, CATM Chelsea Gallery, New York
OtherIS/TVDinner, Immigrant Movement International, New York
Bushwick Open Studios, New York
2010 Giggling Bubbling: group show, Da Gallery, New York
Stories Out of Burma: with artist Htein Lin, Thavibu Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand
We r NEW YORKers2: Group Show, Holiday Inn Express, Chelsea, New York
Public Consumption: Puffin Room, Soho, New York
Stack Up: NARS Foundation, New York
Bedtime Stories, Monotone Dreams: Fardom Gallery, New York
Transformed Conversation: with artist Brad Darcy, SoapBox Gallery, New York
Contemporary Burmese Art: Ideas & Ideals, New York Open Center, New York
2009 - 2010 Open Studio (May and November): International Studio & Curators Program (ISCP), NY
2009 MuMO (Must-More Video Show): Point B Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2008 Wonder: Singapore Bienniale 2008, Singapore
In This Dark & Closed Space:3rd Solo Exhibition. Balance Art Gallery. Chiang Mai, Thailand
2006 - 2007 Hermes’ Ear exhibition: Nitrianska gallery, Nitra, Slovakia & Budapest, Hungary
2005 16th Gangaw Village group art show: Rangoon, Burma
2004 Dreamweaver (2nd Solo Exhibition): Espace Art Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand
We are in Burma (1st Solo Exhibition): NIPAF House art gallery, Nagano, Japan
2014 Solo Performance, for Get on the Bus, Cooper Union, New York
2013 Duet Performance with Lee Wen, Design Cloud, Chicago
Sandaya: Burmese Lessons, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington DC
2012 Living Monument: Performance by Chaw Ei Thein & Htein Lin, ISCP, New York
Sandaya, Black Fox, Washington D.C
Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival, Chicago
WEs, Solo Performance, Cooper Union, Amnesty International, New York
2011 WEs, Solo Performance, 11pm Series, Mobius, Boston
WEs, Asian American Writer Workshop, New York
Quiet River: Blue Note Jazz Club, New York
2010 Solo Performance: The 3rd Annual NARS Foundation Open Studio Event”, New York
2009 Solo Performance (June): United Nations Plaza. New York
2008 10th Asiatopia International Performance Art festival: Bangkok, Thailand
Small East Asia Co-prosperity Restaurant 08 Performance Art Festival: Tokyo, Japan
2007 9th Asiatopia International Performance Art Festival. Chiang Mai, Thailand
8th Open International Performance Art Festival: Beijing, China
On the Table with Artist Htein Lin: Asia House, London, United Kingdom
2005 7th Asiatopia, & First Southeast Asia Performance Art Symposium: Bangkok, Thailand
Test Motion Taiwan International Performance Art Festival: TipaLIVE. Taipei, Taiwan
NIPAF – Myanmar Performance Art Festival: Rangoon, Burma
Quiet River. Gangaw Village group art exhibition in Alliance Francaise. Rangoon, Burma
Mobile Gallery + Mobile Market Street Performance (with Htein Lin). Rangoon, Burma
2004 The 9th NIPAF Asian Performance Art Series. Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya, Nagano, Japan
Golden Spinning Gong, 2015
Golden Peace, 2015
Acrylic on faux sandstone finish cast resin construction
75 x 53.5 x 38 cm
Camo for Peach, 2015
Acrylic on resin
Bodhi & Bell, 2015
Acrylic on sandstone finish cast resin construction
Varada Mudra, 2015
Acrylic on faux oxidized iron patina finish