By Swe Oo Wai
Myanmar has not only a great deal of artwork capable of giving different aesthetics to the viewers but also gifted artists who can create classical images together excellent brushwork. The painting museum, a bank of outstanding artwork is going to appear in Yangon soon.
The painting museum will be present in Chin Chaung Palace on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road in Bahan Township, Yangon Region. Now Chin Chaung Palace is under renovation to open a world-class painting museum. The world-class painting museum is expected to be open to the public at the end of 2020. The renovation tasks are aimed at not harming the original styles of this palace structure.
The highest number of foreign visitors
Yangon is a major city in the areas of Myanmar’s economy, international relations and domestic and international trade. It is also a city where ancient urban heritages are concentrated and it is also a venue where foreign visitors mainly go in and go out. With such good circumstances, Yangon is badly in need of a world-class splendid painting museum for ensuring that not only Myanmar people but also local and foreign visitors will be able to view classical artwork only at the same place.
Chin Chaung Palace changed into Painting Museum
The Painting Museum necessary for Myanma painting arena is under implementation to proudly show excellent artwork of Myanmar’s great artists. At the request of great artist U Lun Kywe, Panchi Hla Tin Tun and Panchi Soe Moe, during the meeting with Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, permission was granted to transform Chin Chaung Palace into the painting museum.
For the time being, renovation work is being carried out in Chin Chaung Palace. The places to display and hang paintings are being also designated. It has been long that the painting museum similar to the international ones should be in Myanmar. The plan to display classical artwork of Myanmar great artists in Chin Chaung Palace to be transformed into the painting museum deserves a welcome.
Lim Chin Tsong, a Burmese Chinese tycoon and merchant started building Chin Chaung Palace in 1915 and the construction ended in 1919. The early-20-century mansion was built with the use of western and Chinese architectural designs. The construction materials were imported from Italy and China. Chin Chaung Palace was built to resemble the Fu Xing Pavilion in the Summer Palace, in Beijing and it has also a tower capable of overlooking the different views of Yangon since then. But now the tall buildings are growing in number in Yangon whose some scenes can’t be seen from the tower of Chin Chaung Palace nowadays because of the high-rise buildings. There are wall paintings in the upper structure of Chin Chaung Palace which were drawn by two notable British painters Ernest and Doc Proctor. It was learnt that these persons of those days were not famous painters.
However, Lim Chin Tsong, a Burmese Chinese tycoon and merchant, was a person who took interest in painting and so the construction included artistic work. Lim Chin Tsong, a Burmese Chinese tycoon and merchant, passed away in 1923, four years after the construction of Chin Chaung Palace. When he was dead, the British occupied Chin Chaung Palace where they received guests occasionally. Later, in the Japanese area, it was used as the broadcasting station. But in 1950, it was transformed into Kanbawza Yeiktha where the guests from Shan State put up. Later it was changed into the female’s hostel of the Institute of Economics, and then into the Office of Myanma Socialist Programme Party. State High School of Arts was opened in the compound of Chin Chaung Palace. In 1993, the first-ever University of Culture (Yangon) was opened in Chin Chaung Palace. Now it is owned by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture. It has not been used for any purpose yet and so it has been under implementation.
If the Chin Chaung Palace has finished renovation, the paintings created by veteran artist U Ba Nyan 90 years ago, contemporary ones, and traditional ones will be systematically displayed at the painting museum. Moreover, plans are underway to put together and display the paintings from National Libraries in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw and a collection of paintings from Archaeological Museum representing different eras in their original respective places. With these measures being implemented in the century-old Chin Chaung Palace, the painting museum is going to appear in Yangon in the near future. The prestige of Yangon will be greater due to the presence of the painting museum where historic and contemporary artistic works will be displayed. (Translated by Htut Htut (Twantay))