Bionic Society – S.E.A. Focus

Bionic Society

Thu Myat

Medium: Neon light

Size of work: 46 x 122 cm, 46 x 152 cm

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Bionic Society by Thu Myat (Myanmar) is an ongoing series, which the artist started in 2018. This series questions the consumerist appropriation of science and the new risks of alienation it implies. The selection for S.E.A. Focus 2024 encompasses three artworks: a neon light signage and two paintings.

Thu Myat, who is one of the most famous street artists of Myanmar, is a science-fiction addict and his artworks often reflect on the future of our humanity. Programme, one of the featured artworks, is inspired by Matrix (1999) and can be interpreted in many different ways: as a humoristic painting, a critic of a centrally controlled society, an invitation to escape in an imaginary world or a reflection on the evolving relationship between humans and machines.

Mirage, the other featured painting, directly refers to virtual reality and artificial intelligence. In the context of Myanmar, where the citizens have been deprived of freedom for more than 60 years under a harsh military regime, the artist questions the ability of humans to free themselves though artistic creation and wonders what to expect from artificial intelligence. However, this question is universal. Can artificial intelligence be a tool giving access to more freedom, or is it a new instrument for the political leaders to better control and repress the citizens? Are we going to live better thanks to the development of science, medicine and technology or is humanity going to disappear in advanced societies?

About the Artist

Born in 1986 in Yangon, Thu Myat has a B.A. in Business Management as well as a Diploma in Multimedia. He is the co-founder of Plus Ka Gyia company that specialises in graphic design.

A member of the OKP Crew, he has been at the forefront of Myanmar’s urban and street art – especially as the organiser of Rendezvous: South East Asia Urban Art Event.

He has participated in numerous exhibitions, including several group shows at New Zero Art Space and Lawkanat Gallery in Yangon. He also participated in the exhibition Urbane at Folklore-Kunstraum in Innsbruck, Austria, 2013. In 2017, he was commissioned to create a giant mural painting on the Myaynigone Flyover in Yangon.  In the same year, he was also commissioned to create a giant mural painting on the Myaynigone Flyover in Yangon.

His first exhibition in Singapore "Myanmar New Wave, pop art revisited" took place in October 2017.