PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2007, 12:00am


Asia Fine Art

Reviewed: Feb 9

It's worth searching out this out-of-the-way Wan Chai gallery for the exhibition of works by Myanmar artists. With their vibrant colours, the paintings depict the beauty of Rangoon and the rest of the country.

Mandalay-born Myat Kyawt's impressionist works are instantly arresting. Vaguely reminiscent of Jackson Pollack's abstract line paintings, the 41-year-old's acrylics of flowers and trees are bursting with violet, yellow and scarlet. Although the underlying layer of paint is applied with a brush, he gives life to the canvas with the heavy application of paint straight from the tube.

In Flower Field and Mount Popa, the free-flowing ruby red blotches make up a symphony of flower petals.

However, in Couple Under the Purple Tree, Kyawt goes too far. The canvas is crowded with dabs of purple, white and green that form a densely packed wreath of colour surrounding a tiny couple sitting on a bright yellow park bench that doesn't allow the viewer's eye to breathe.

Another striking painting is Hla Phone Aung's Sunrise I, II, III (below), an acrylic triptych of a forest at sunrise. It's the artist's only submission, and Aung adds delicacy to the scene with thin lines of paint applied with a syringe.

Other highlights include Myoe Kyaw's Two Boats in oil, a fragile meeting of two vessels destined to cross paths, and Aye Nyein Myint's pastel and watercolour, Pomegranate, which evokes a sexual rawness as the forbidden fruit is crudely torn open and its contents strewn across a table.

One negative point, not directly related to the paintings, is that the gallery is full of unrelated paintings on the floor and walls. It's a distraction that takes away from an otherwise emotive show that definitely lives up to its title.

Daily, 10.30am-6.30pm, 12 Sik On St (by 99 Queen's Rd East), Wan Chai. Inquiries: 2522 0405, or go to Ends Feb 28