Aung Kyi Soe was born on 1st Oct 1979, in Magway Region. He studied basic art theories and art techniques from D. Aung Thein and Aung Thin Oo. He is also a professional photographer.
Aung Kyi Soe experienced urbanization 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.
His first solo show in 2013 ‘Electronic City’ depicted the interconnectivity between people and the environment and how mental development takes precedence over material development. He wanted to express that the need for change did not necessarily mean material changes.
“The culture of the city remains unclear and stuck to its former bad smell” said Aung Kyi Soe. The power of change rests in the individual. If we are our own prisoners locked in our old ways of behaviour, no amount of physical change would lead to real changes to the lives of people.
His second solo show in 2014 “Traveling With Black Sheep”, Aung Kyi Soe wanted to express the beauty of differences. “I don’t believe differences are problems, in fact I believe the opposite. The real problem is when we try and make things that are different or unique conform to sameness” said Aung Kyi Soe.
His “Bullfight” series points out how the innocent people have become the victims because of conflicts between the Army and Rebel Armed groups. There is a saying in Burmese-“The grass has become the victim between two buffaloes’ fight”. He created this series based on the Burmese saying to give a message to stop making the innocent people become the victims.
His latest series “Living with Crows” expresses how scary and threatening today society is. “Today society is full of challenges, big competition and changes that can happen in the blink of an eye like lightning in a thunderstorm. Living in today’s society makes me feel as if I’m living in a murder of crows; it’s scary and threatening” said Aung Kyi Soe.
His work has been shown in many group and solo exhibits locally and internationally, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and US. His collection can be seen at Nawaday Tharlar Gallery.