Nowadays Myanmar is known for the ethnic cleansing carried out by its military and for Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace prize laureate who is now keeping mum in support of said military. However, the country also has some fantastic art. Soe Naing is an artist from Yangon who names both Marc Chagall and Willem de Kooning as his influences. I’m a big fan of both, so perhaps that’s what caught me in Naing’s paintings. But I also love how while being fresh takes on abstract expressionism with small dollops of the figurative, they also invoke a strong sense of place, reminding of burmese landscapes, the country’s alphabet and the national decorative tradition. More Burmese artists, less Burmese bad news.