“There is no routine”: Myanmar artist Zaw Win Pe talks art

What inspired this exhibition?

I was inspired by a monk’s preaching. He said that we could find new creations within ourselves even when we abandon notions of what’s good and what’s not. The works in Motley & Me were created freestyle, without control or borders. I created them not because I wanted to create “good” art, but because they were what I really like and want to paint.

Tell us a bit about your previous shows.

I had two exhibitions last year, Natural Person and A Tale of Two Tribes. Natural Person was shown at Suvannabhumi Art Gallery in Chiang Mai. In that exhibition, I only displayed portraits of my neighbors to demonstrate the importance of grassroots participation as Myanmar is undergoing political change.

The exhibition A Tale of Two Tribes with Nguyen Quang Huy was at Thavibu Gallery in Bangkok. In these paintings, my inspiration was from Shan State. Colors are usually my main focus, but I wanted my works to reflect my art philosophy as well. 

What’s your daily routine like?

There is no routine. Sometimes, I just read without painting anything; sometimes I draw sketches for the whole week. If I paint, I paint a lot continuously. I like to listen to music, too.

What’s your ambition as an artist?

I have the capability to create paintings with emotion, thought and skill. But I want to create works without any boundaries. My motto is: “Never stop painting till the day I die.”

Motley & Me is on through Feb 15 at Art Seasons Gallery.