Centre College’s AEGON Gallery in the Jones Visual Arts Center is proud to host a collection of contemporary Burmese art entitled Thukhuma. The 14 paintings come from a variety of artists, many of whom are self-taught and whose work has rarely been accessible in the United States.
Coordinator of the AEGON Gallery and H. W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Art Judith Jia said “Thukhuma” means art or culture in Pali, the sacred language of Myanmar’s dominant Theravada Buddhists.
Ian Holliday, the vice president and pro-vice chancellor of teaching and learning at the University of Hong Kong, brought this installation together in 2015. Its paintings have traveled to many well-known universities besides Centre, including Harvard University, Yale University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Kyle Anderson, director of the Center for Global Citizenship and director of external relations at the Parami Institute of Liberal Arts & Sciences in Rangoon, Myanmar, also played a significant role in bringing the collection to Centre, as his travels to Myanmar connected him to Holliday and his work.
Anderson has visited Myanmar several times over his past six years of travels.
“Once sealed off from the world for decades under violent generals, its people and artists now find themselves catapulted into a thick storm of technological and artistic advances,” Anderson said, as he described the country.
“When I first visited the nation in 2011, I was amazed at the diversity of its commercial and cultural capital Yangon (or Rangoon),” he continued. “Visits to Anglican, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhists sites of worship were all possible within one city block. The city was bubbling with sound, energy, commerce and color.”
The collection reflects this diverse image of Myanmar, giving Centre’s campus and the surrounding Danville community the unique opportunity to become stronger global citizens with an enriching glimpse into Myanmar’s transitioning culture.
By Kathleen Murphy ’18
September 28, 2017