Kaung Su (b.1972) adopts a variety of personas: simultaneously a painter, performance artist, filmmaker, as well as a writer and a promoter of Burmese contemporary art. After studying art under local painter Pyi Soe Myint and attending Yangon’s State School of Fine Art, Kaung Su is a prominent and respected member of the scene, having taken part in various exhibitions in Myanmar and abroad. He has completed prestigious residencies in Chiang Mai (Thailand) with the Heinrich Böll Foundation and in New York with the Apexart Foundation.
He has also notably founded the Earth Rise Art Space in Yangon and is part of New Zero Art Space’s Board of Directors, demonstrating an acute involvement with the artist-run spaces of Myanmar; spaces that have been instrumental in the development of contemporary art in what was once a very hostile climate.
Kaung Su’s works almost exclusively focus on environmental concerns. They are rational revelations on the frontiers of the cosmos, dying environments, the impact of catastrophes and unbounded curiosities – a narrative display of exploratory horizon. His recent series: ‘Mercury Rising’ featured sculptures forged from disposable syringes that suggest the link between disease, drugs and industrial waste.
“The human race is becoming a disease,” Kaung Su said. “The anthropocentric world view is like a gas leak – we don’t smell it but it is killing us silently. Human activities are responsible for natural pollutants. We must think of ourselves not as individuals but as a species.”