top of page

Sandar Khaing, known as a leading contemporary female artist in Myanmar, was born in 1971 in Yangon. She studied under prominent and experienced artists Pe Nyunt Wai and Win PeMyint. She was one of only a few female artists who kept pushing the boundaries of restriction in Myanmar. Until very recently any kind of nude art was strongly restricted and strictly censored by the Government Censorship Board. Until now most think of nude art as a socially destructive subject in Myanmar. In 2000, she first time got a chance to show her work in public but was banned by Censorship Board until 2012. Most of her work has rarely been shown in public as the Censorship Board kept rejecting it, but she never gave up what she believes and has developed a personal vision of the human form. She is a rare individual who has created paintings of live nude models with different mediums since the restricted time during the military regime. “I was never satisfied with drawing from pictures. Drawing a live model always gives satisfaction for my creation, but it is always very difficult to find a model for my work. Then I asked my family members-my mom, my sister to sit as a model for me, but they became tired of always being models because I kept asking them. They also complained that what I had done were not paintings and asked why I was doing this kind of art, even though they sat as models for me to make me happy,” said Sandar Khaing. In 2015, she really wanted to paint but couldn’t find any models, even when she offered more payment than before. “I was reading newspapers every day because I was so curious about students protesting for Education Reforms. Suddenly I got an idea that I will mix my old paintings with newspapers since I couldn’t find any models. Then I did ‘The Naked Truth with Newspaper’ series in 2015,” said SandarKhaing. For her, it is not only very difficult to find a model but also very difficult to work with a new model, because they are never relaxed sitting at first. She always had to teach them how to sit and feel free, relaxed, and comfortable before her. “That is how my ‘The Naked Truth with Camera’ series started. I asked my model to hold a camera and do whatever she wants. Then she becomes more relaxed and comfortable. I also suddenly realized different positions holding a camera is very interesting and then asked her to pose with a camera in different positions,” said Sandar Khaing. Now Sandar Khaing has become well-known for her large female nudes locally and internationally. The New York Times mentioned her as one of the artists in Myanmar who kept pushing the boundaries under the military regime. Her work has been shown in more than 30 exhibits locally and internationally in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the US.

bottom of page