Published August 23, 2018

New exhibit

‘Altered States,’ on display through Sept. 21, examines life in Myanmar
MONMOUTH, Ill. – A traveling exhibit that examines art, culture, education and politics in the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar has made a stop at Monmouth College.

“Altered States: Painting Myanmar in a Time of Transition” features pieces from the collection of Ian Holliday of the University of Hong Kong. It is on display in Monmouth College’s Len G. Everett Gallery in Hewes Library through Sept. 21.

The College community will welcome Holliday to campus at 3 p.m. on the exhibit’s final day.

“He will come to Monmouth to give a lecture that coincides with the closing reception of the exhibition,” said Monmouth art professor Stephanie Baugh.

Baugh said Holliday assembled an exhibition of 36 paintings from his collection, of which 21 are on display at Monmouth. The exhibit has been traveling throughout the United States.

The vice president and pro-vice chancellor of teaching and learning at the University of Hong Kong, Holliday created thukhuma.org to explore art, culture, education and politics in Myanmar. Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar is a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand.

Thukhuma means “art” or “culture” in Pali, the liturgical language of Myanmar’s dominant Theravada Buddhist tradition. It also has connotations of uniqueness.

“The thukhuma collection is personal and partial,” said Holliday. “It does not display the full range of paintings now being produced by Myanmar artists, and certainly there are major gaps. The guiding principle is to present multiple artistic perspectives on a society in transition. Most of the paintings thus date from the past few years.”

Online, said Holliday, thukhuma.org “presents the work of contemporary painters, and provides a forum for analysis and debate. Offline, it makes available its entire collection for display in public spaces,” actively seeking to loan or donate paintings to museums, galleries, universities, schools, hospitals and other public institutions.
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