Aung Kyi Soe

Aung Kyi Soe, born in Magwe in 1979, studied theories of art under D. Aung Thein, Aung Thein Oo (co-professor of University of Culture), WPM and Maung Thein Win. He also studied art in his own way. Before he can live on art as a full time artist, he was a photographer.

Aung Kyi Soe experienced urbanisation on a very personal level. He moved to Yangon, the commercial centre of Myanmar, in 2003 at the age of 24. He has a love-hate relationship with Yangon. Many of his paintings capture the friction in Yangon– heritage buildings in disrepair as the cityscape rapidly develops, degrading values as people embrace technology, conflict in gender, religion, and class.

He has exhibited three solo shows; Electronic City (2013, Yangon), Travelling with Black Sheep (2014, Yangon), The Crows (2016, Yangon). He has shown over fifty group exhibitions including oversea group shows; Banned in Burma: Paintings Under Censorship (2014, Hong Kong), Travelling with Black Sheep (2015, Taiwan), Burma by Proxy: Art at the Dawn of Democracy (2015, Hong Kong) and Myanmar’s Change and Myanmar’s Painting (2016, Washington D.C).


Humans live in between the opposite forces of flame; happiness and misery, wholesome deeds and unwholesome deeds, justice and injustice, friend and foe, light and dark etc. All humans can’t escape the flames. But some live like crows. ​We can see crows almost everywhere. When I was a monastery student, I had to feed crows. Therefore I noticed their character, nature and behavior. ​I feel that crows are strange birds, unlike other birds. I noticed we should copy their way of living and their good character we. ​However crows are very selfish among birds. They want to extort. They want to bully. They are blind patriots. They enjoy rot food. They enjoy the others’ failure. All these are the characteristics of crows. ​The characteristics of the crows I am aware of are;

– being ardent, ​

– being alert, ​

– being cautious, ​

– having no attachment to native region, ​

– being shameless,

​- being skillful at taking meat stealthily,

​- being selfish and not showing kindness even to their own kind,

​- bullying the weak,

​- attacking in groups (if necessary),

​- enjoying raw meat,

​- inhabiting only in loathsome places. I learn that crow-like people, crow-like associations, crow-like sects etc are increasing in our society. I am always meeting such people, such associations, and such sects, so the idea to make these artworks occurred to me. ​The result is these artworks.