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Artists in Myanmar


(1936 -1993)

Paw Oo Thett was bom in Mandalay in 1936, and his parents were U Hia Gyi and Daw Ngwe Ma. His father worked as a drawing master in the school and took up art jobs outside.

Paw Oo Thett began learning art from his father at 12 years of age, and when he turned 15 he studied with art masters in Mandalay, particularly U Ba Thet (from whom he derived his name ‘Thett) and also U Khin Maung.

He won prizes in art competitions and exhibitions at school, and in 1959 he won a scholarship to study art by correspondence through the American Famous Artist School.

By the time he became 21, Paw Oo Thett had made art his sole livelihood, and he painted and illustrated several special covers for newspapers like The People's Daily of Mandalay, The Mirror and The Working People's Daily of Yangon.

He also drew cartoons in newspapers and magazines, and was one of the founders of the comic monthly Gali.

Paw 0o Thett contributed designs for United Nations Children's Fund greeting cards and diaries, and he also created a design for a literacy campaign in Myanmar.

Paw Oo Thett published illustrations for books in the West.

Paw 00 Thett became known among western art connoisseurs as a painter familiar with both traditional Myanmar art and western modern art and with the ability to masterly blend the two.

Paw 00 Thett died on 13 April 1993.

U Ba Kyi
(1912 -2000)

U Ba Kyi was one of Myanmar's most gifted, brilliant and famous master painters who painted still life, murals, magazine illustrations and covers, and brought to life tales from the Jatakas (Buddha's birth stories).

He also illustrated children's books, and he was always innovative though his technique remained essentially Myanmar.

He first learnt to paint under the tutelage of U Ba Zan and later U Ba Nyan who had then returned from England. It was in collaboration with Ba Nyan that he illustrated “The Child's Book of Poetry.”

U Ba Kyi was a prolific and diverse artist. During the Japanese regime of WWII, he drew the designs for currency notes and stamps, and propaganda posters. After the War when Myanmar had just regained her independence, he painted huge theatre backdrops for the modern plays that were enjoying great popularity at the time and he also drew many magazine covers and illustrations. He flouted the contemporary custom of drawing female figures for magazine covers to promote sales and devoted himself to other subjects, which won acclaim for sheer artistry.

When new Myanmar currency notes were issued, he was again chosen as the designer and artist. A good example of his work is the old 5-kyat note, which he illustrated with a picture of a young girl with a traditional Myanmar hairdo consisting of a topknot and a circular fringe. She was spinning cotton. He also created the illustration of General Aung San in a peak cap and the ruffed neck of a lion, which can still be seen on old Myanmar currency notes. The Independence Column in Maha Bandoola Park was constructed on the basis of a design by U Ba Kyi.

U Lun Gywe

U Lun Gywe is Myanmar's best known and respected impressionist. His paintings are characterized by a soft and fluid style, filled with emotion, clothed in gentle pastel colours, bristling with technical mastery, and, capturing magically in one broad, confident sweep the real life canvas of the essential Myanmar way of life. This makes his work stands out among his contemporaries.

U Lun Gywe started drawing in his youth, sketching on the back of his school notebooks. His father died when he was five months old, but his mother, a schoolteacher, saw her son's budding talent and encouraged him to paint. He attended the Art Institute of Teacher's Training in Yangon. He studied under a number of Myanmar masters and was immediately drawn to impressionism.

His greatest teacher was the late U Thein Han. U Lun Gywe has been teaching and painting for more than 30 years, but he is now, at the age of 70, can devote himself completely to painting. He is a devoted Buddhist and believes that meditation helped him in his artistic pursuits.

U Lun Gywe has exhibited his works widely, both in Myanmar and other countries such as Japan and Korea. His paintings have been purchased by numerous individuals and companies from overseas.

Younger Generation


U Min Wae Aung was born in 1960 at Danubyu, Myanmar. He graduated from the State School of Fine Arts, Yangon in 1982. His art masters include U Goon, U Mya Aye, U M. Tin Aye, U Thu Kha, U Kyaw Hlaing, U Ba Sway, U Ba Yin Galay and U Ba Yin Gyi.

U Min Wae Aung has exhibited in Yangon and throughout Asia, and also the USA, UK and Europe.

Than Kywe

U Than Kywe was born in 1946. He graduated from the State School of Fine Arts, Mandalay in 1961, and he has studied under U Chit Mye, U Aye Kyaw, and U Kan Nyunt. He has participated in several art exhibitions in Myanmar, and his solo exhibition was held in 2003.

Some artists of younger generations

Myint Soe

U Myint Soe was born in 1954 in Yangon, Myanmar, and he graduated from the Yangon University in 1977. He started painting in 1975, specializing in oil painting. His paintings are well accepted by international collectors from Asia, Europe and America.

He is an impressionist painter and recently he diversified into a modern style of painting. Two of his most popular paintings are " Inlay Lake," and " Floating Village."

U Myint Soe has participated in a many art exhibitions, both in Myanmar and overseas including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, France and the UK. He founded Summit Art Collection Gallery in 1995.

Sit Linn (1954-2001)

U Sit Linn was born in 1954 in Myanmar and studied under the artists Pyi Soe Myint, Hla Han and Hla Tin Tun. He has participated in about 70 group both at home and abroad in Japan, China, and Singapore. He also held his own exhibitions in Malaysia in 1997 and 1998. His works have been collected by Bagan Museum and National Museum, Yangon.

Kyaw Soe

U Kyaw Soe was born in 1955 and graduated from the Mawlamyaing University in 1979. He studied under Paw Thein, U Win, HIa Han and Lun Gywe. He took part in over 50 art exhibitions both in Myanmar and overseas and his solo exhibition was held Singapore 1997. A lot of his works have been bought by international art collectors. He is a full-time artist and member of the Summit Art Collection gallery.

Htet Aung Zaw

He was born in 1970 in Myanmar and started painting in 1991, studying under Myint Soe. His works are displayed mainly at the Summit Art Collection Gallery. He likes to draw realism in a modern mood, and he is a graphic designer as well as an artist.


Bogie was born in 1949 and started painting in 1971. He studied under the artists Yin Min Pike and Ko Shwe Oung Thame. He participated in over 50 art exhibitions both in Myanmar and abroad.

His first participation in an exhibition was with Moe 00 Pan (1971) and he held one-man shows held in 1975 and 1998. His modern style of art is popular with art collectors, especially those from Europe and America. He likes to paint abstract art.

Aung Thiha

Aung Thiha was born in 1971, and graduated from the State School of Fine Arts in 1995. He studied under Myo Thant Oung and Zaw Zaw Aung. He has participated in over 20 art exhibitions including the Myanmar Art Exhibitions of 1999, 2002. His realistic paintings are most popular among the international art collectors. He likes to draw human subjects, especially those of hill-tribe people and other Myanmar nationals.

Aung Hein

Aung Hein was born in 1974, and he has inherited his father's artistic flair. He graduated from the State School of Fine Arts, Yangon in 1995. He studied under his father Sit Lin and Myo Thant Oung, and has participated in over 20 art exhibitions. He held solo exhibitions in 2000 and 2001 in Yangon.

Nature is his favorite subject as can be seen in most of his paintings. He also loves to do impressionist paintings. He is a full-time artist and member of the Summit Art Collection Gallery. Recently he has been to Thailand, Switzerland, France, and UK to observe art exhibitions, and visit galleries and museums for his own personal experience and to further his own foreign exposure.