Myanmar: Recovering the Past – Politics, Prison, Plastercasts and Patchwork

The Politics of Art in Southeast Asia Seminar Series

About the Webinar

Htein Lin will speak about how the subjects and materials of his art reflect contemporary Myanmar history and politics, and capture elements of Myanmar culture which are disappearing as the country modernises.

Htein Lin’s recent and ongoing work includes ‘A Show of Hands’, in which he collects the plaster casts of arms of former political prisoners together with their stories, which was premiered at his solo show, The Storyteller, at the Goethe Institute in Yangon in 2015; and ‘Skirting the Issue’ which explores underlying discriminatory attitudes towards women in Burmese society.

In 2019, his piece, ‘Recently Departed’, in which a household of charred wood symbolises the loss and migration of populations across Burma, was included in ‘Concept Context Contestation’, a major touring exhibition of South East Asian conceptual art at the Secretariat in Rangoon, the colonial building in which independence leader Aung San was assassinated in 1947, and where in 2018, Htein Lin curated a significant exhibition of Burmese artists reflecting on ‘Seven Decades’ since independence.

This webinar is supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

About the Speaker

Htein Lin is a Burmese artist (painting, installation, performance) who has also been a comedian and actor. He spent almost seven years in jail (1998-2004) for political reasons where he developed his artistic practice. He lived in London from 2006-2013 and moved back to Burma in July 2013. Buddhism is a major inspiration for his work. Human rights, including freedom of speech and discrimination, political reforms, and setbacks to Burma’s democratization process are also a focus of his work.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.
Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Set up a Zoom account, using the following link:
3. Click on the unique link in your email.

For the best experience, please mute your microphone. If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Aug 25 2020


10:00 am - 11:30 am