August 19, 2016

U San Hlaing passes away at 93

A painting by U San Hlaing displayed at his recent solo show in Yangon. Photo: Maung Maung Htwe
A painting by U San Hlaing displayed at his recent solo show in Yangon. Photo: Maung Maung Htwe

MYANMAR’S oldest classical artist U San Hlaing has passed away at 93. He died at 7 pm on Tuesday, 15th December.
The venerated artist had just recently concluded a solo art exhibition that was seen as a success as celerbities from various fields, fellow artists, enthusiasts and tourists visited it and paid respects. The exhibition showcased the artist’s masterpiece paintings featuring Myanmar rural traditions, ancient pagodas and historical heritage, the life story of the Buddha and the struggle for independence in Myanmar.
Mr Wayne Roger Keagle of Canberra, Australia, said that the paintings reflected the life styles, rural traditions, history and exciting images of Myanmar people. He added that he liked Myanmar paintings as they presented the truth concerning.
U San Hlaing was the son of U Khant and Daw Tint, born in Pyapon on 24 December 1923. He was the fifth of seven children. As his parents were poor, he could not afford pencils, brushes, paper or paints and had to draw pictures on the ground with a stick in his childhood, according to sources who knew him.
He later studied the art of painting under Saya Hmart, U Thein Nyunt, U Ngwe Gaing, U Hla Maung Gyi, U Khin Ohn, like U Ba Nyan, U Ba Zaw, U Ba Lon, U Tun Kywe, U Saw Maung and U Phone Lwin.
As a teenager, he earned a living from painting but had to do various jobs to support his parents.
He joined the Burma Defence Army during the Second World War and he was later awarded the second order of independence medal.
He later lived at 27th Street in downtown Yangon and became a professional artist by drawing paintings for advertisements, cinema posters, newspapers and periodicals. His first solo exhibition was held at Jubilee Hall in 1956. He drew historic paintings and created a design for the state flag during the ear of Burma Socialist Programme Party.
He was known for his honesty and humble life style and strong traditional painting techniques among fellow artists.
His death is mourned by millions of Myanmar art lovers and patriots.—Maung Maung Htwe (MNA)


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