Soe Yu Nwe


Soe Yu Nwe’s fascinating and often subversive works are the only ceramics on view at the exhibition. Her statement reads:  ‘I explore different ways of narrating my experience of alienation, confusion, pain, and psychological confinement as a cultural outsider. I seek to create narrative spaces that explore the spatial relationships between the fragmented and dislocated self with the surrounding environment along with a yearning for connection. I convey these experiences through the use of symbols (house, shrine, vessel, and snake) as metaphors for the self. As a third generation Chinese immigrant in Myanmar, I look back to Buddhist and Animistic practices in my native country, in addition to Chinese cultural practices, for inspiration in my work. The concept of “Spirit Houses,” in particular, influences my work. Spirit Houses are animistic shrines that people in Southeast Asia build to placate the spirits disrupted by the human habitat by offering them shelter, food, and entertainment’


One of very few artists from Myanmar to receive a formal, Western artistic education, Soe Yu Nwe completed her MFA in Ceramics at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the U.S. in 2015. Having only recently had her first solo-show in Myanmar this year, she has managed to exhibit extensively internationally. Selected exhibitions and festivals include: Sculptured, Vol. 1, Yavuz Gallery, Singapore (2016), Flux: Ceramics Triennial, Woods-Gerry Gallery, Providence, USA (2017), Ways of Clay: Perspectives Toward the Future, The 4th Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2016), Me and My Arrow, ZieherSmith, New York City (2016).