A Dangerous Palette for Burma's Artists

It's only mid-morning, and sitting in his simple studio in the shadow of some of Rangoon's wealthiest mansions, Thein Soe is already exhausted.

Soe, not his real name, is bone-thin at 61, with smoke-yellowed hair, and a face like the Scream. An artist for most of his life, Soe was 16 when General Ne Win took power in Burma in a military coup. He's since weathered the military junta's 46 year-rule on his country, watching it crush pro-democracy demonstrations, turn one of the wealthiest Southeast Asian economies upside down and quash all freedom of expression.

He may be tired, but Soe is not a beaten man. From the studio in his quiet home, he still tries to capture the truths of his country in his paintings, installations and performance art. It's not always a truth that's savored by the government.

Continue reading "A Dangerous Palette for Burma's Artists"