Flying into Osaka twice, once from Tokyo, then again after a nice sojourn to Bangkok, Thailand, where I admired the art of Myoe Win Aung,
reminded me of the movie Black Rain which starred Michael Douglas as New York Police Detective Nick Conklin.
Black Rain appeared in the theaters way back in 1989, and has been replayed many times in my own home. Douglas was ably supported by Ken Takakura, as Japanese Detective Masahiro Matsumoto, and Andy Garcia as his sidekick, Detective Charlie Vincent.
It was a thrilling picture. The tagline: An American Cop in Japan. Their country. Their laws. Their game. His rules. The picture postcards of Osaka, as handed out on screen by the film’s director, Ridley Scott, were only a part of what I saw in my time in Osaka. I did see the neon, and I did see the vast industrial centers, and I also saw some of the rain-washed streets; the rain always seemed to add a slick surface sheen to night scenes.
But walking around in the rain is not the same as seeing it on a movie screen. On a day that had a light rain falling, I visited the Thavibu Gallery on Silom Road in Bangkok.
It was only about a mile and half walk from my hotel on Rajdamri Road. After stepping out of the rain, and entering the gallery, I immediately found some works by an artist from Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma. The first (below) is called Afternoon.
Myoe Win Aung‘s medium is watercolors. You all remember watercolor painting. As kids in elementary school we all tried our hands at it. I never picked up a paint brush after that. But clearly this artist had the passion and desire to make painting his life work, and to be a success in the highly competitive world of Art.
His style is impressionistic yet realistic. Check out Lone Monk III (above). I love the shadows and the cartwheel tracks in the dusty road. His intent is to make us, as human beings, see how small each of us is on any kind of stage or platform; be it world, national, or local. The rains come and go, and will do so with or without our specific presences. The artist’s style is directly influenced by religious life and the Buddhism that the Burmese respect and understand. Shan Pagodas is below.
While the Buddhist monks, nuns, and novices portrayed in these paintings live austere and simple lives; these works are brimming with energy and life.
I love the look of these country-based themes, and by extension, his other works strike boldly and have an impact on the viewer. I liked this art so much, that I went to see more of his work in a New York gallery. And now I am pleased to share some of this magnificent art with you. Enjoy.
But even as Ridley Scott so beautifully portrayed rainy nights in Osaka, and how Myoe Win Aung created such lovely images of days in the Myanmar countryside, raining or otherwise; we still like to see beautiful ladies under the sun.
So please visit our pages often, and we will try to bring you a look at some wonderful treasures – those that you see in the movies, those that you see on the streets, and, yes, even those that appear in an Art gallery. If you run into Sugai-san in Osaka, please don’t mention my name.