Brang Li was born in 1981 in Myintkyinar in Kachin State, where most people have no knowledge about art. Growing up he had no teachers to teach him how to paint, nor any books for him to study his craft. However, from a very young age he has been an inherent painter. He moved to Yangon in 2000 to study painting at the University of Culture, where he received his degree in 2004. After he studied painting, he began to paint the patterns of traditional Kachin garments on canvas. His paintings use a brush and thick paint to depict Kachin traditional hand-woven clothes in detail. "When I began to paint, I knew that most people were familiar with Kachin patterns as clothing. But I wanted to take those traditional patterns and represent them through paintings." His “No More Life” series in 2016 is a tribute to those impacted by the war. He started using soot for “No More Life” series to feel the suffering of fumes and flames of civil war. He has participated in many shows locally and internationally, Miami Art Basel, Singapore, Hong Kong. His collection can be seen at Nawaday Tharlar Gallery.
No More Life
World's longest running civil war, which first touched upon Myanmar ironically as one of the aftermaths of the country's independence, is still going strong after sixty odd years. This war has engulfed the lives of many. Yet, why does this war remain unresolved?
No one I know is fond of the term war. Similarly, I have a hard time imagining anybody who enjoys fighting in wars. If no one likes wars, why are we still fighting?
As a child, I saw my father glued to his handheld radio day and night. My father was not a politician. Yet his radio channels mostly covered news of ongoing battles and their associated politics, with little entertainment. Today, my father has passed, but I have become my father, following the movement of the war through modern media, beyond his handheld radio. My hope is that I would one day be able to listen to my father's radio, which would feature pleasant country music, without the angst associated with following the developments of this ongoing war.
I believe justice is the means to peace. Unless we can honor truths of minorities, and grant equal rights to all in a federated republic, wars will continue to ravage Myanmar and engulf the lives of our people. My art here is a tribute to those impacted by the war. (Brang Li, 2016)