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February 18, 2020

Myanmar needs to develop traditional sculpture business: veteran sculptor

Sculptors carving wooden figures in Darbein. Photo: Khon (Win Pa)
Sculptors carving wooden figures in Darbein. Photo: Khon (Win Pa)

To produce high-quality sculptures, Myanmar needs to boost traditional sculpture businesses, produce skilled sculptors, and make it easier to apply for a business license and buy better raw materials, such as hardwood, said a veteran sculptor.
“We cannot set a time-limit for making a sculpture. When we are making a sculpture, we need to focus on doing our job to our best to be able to manufacture beautiful and good quality products. In doing so, we need to be artistic as well as creative and use innovative ideas. Additionally, we need to select designs based on the size of the hardwood. The price of sculptures can vary, depending on their size, design, and quality of hardwood. But, each handicraft is needed to fetch us an attractive price. The best hardwood varieties to make sculptures are: tawgyi padauk, tamaland, teak, and padauk. We have difficulty obtaining a license and raw teak is hard to find. But, the government has allowed us to sell finished sculptures in the market freely. Now, our team has arrived in this town to manufacture sculptures. The labour charges will depend on the quality. I started to make sculptures at the age of 14, and have been a sculptor for more than 20 years,” said U Ye Naing from Darpein town in Hlegu Township.
“I have been making arrangements to open a sculpture shop for more than one year. Now, I have collected many sculptures. I offer appropriate fees to sculptors after observing the design of their handicrafts. Now, we can buy raw wood in town to manufacture sculptures. I am not really sure if the sculpture market will be good. We are also selling sculptures at affordable prices. We have a furniture license,” said U Kyaw Wei of the Ah Kaung Kyaik family from Thuwannawady town.
The government is encouraging the development of sculpture. A wooden sculpture competition is currently on now. But, only a few professional youth sculptors can be found in Myanmar. —Khon (Win Pa) (Translated by Hay Mar)

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