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01.05.2015

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Since 2010, Berlin photographer Martin Seeliger has travelled on various occasions to Mrauk U, the former royal capital of the Arakan Empire, in today’s Myanmar. There he met the locally born painter Shwe Maung Thar, with whom he planned the exhibition Sagenhaftes Arakan (Legendary Arakan), which will be on display at the Kuhn & Partner Gallery in Berlin, from May 16 to June 6, 2015. Unfortunately, Shwe Maung Thar (1955–2015), who painted local motifs in a European-impressionistic style, suddenly passed away a few months before the opening of the exhibition. His son Khine Min Tun trained with him and will carry on his father’s artistic heritage and the L’Amitié Gallery in Myanmar. He will come to the exhibition in Berlin, presenting his own pieces alongside his father's paintings.

Equipped with a Leica M, Seeliger decided to take slides of the cultural treasures at risk of decay in the region – countless archaeologically unique temple complexes and pagodas, buried in the surrounding hills and fields, or deep in the tropical rainforests. “Shortly after getting there, I realized that I would have to have a lot of patience, sensitivity and, above all, enough time, to access the archaic atmosphere of the place. I wanted to preserve the rare lingering moments of quiet and stillness with due thoughtfulness.”

Sagenhaftes Arakan is the first picture exhibition in Germany dedicated exclusively to Mrauk U’s unique cultural landscape. The combination of Shwe Maung Thar’s painting and Seeliger’s photographs paints an in depth, multi-layered portrait of the former royal city. The exhibition’s vernissage takes place on May 15 at 7:00 pm.
© Shwe Maung Thar
© Shwe Maung Thar

Martin Seeliger

Born in 1972, the photographer studied German philology and media sciences before turning with passion to photography. He assisted in the conception of a number of historic photo and technology exhibitions at the German Museum of Technology, and later worked for a German camera manufacturer. Since 2008 he has been represented by the Picture Press und Getty Images photo agency. Seeliger lives in Berlin.

www.martinseeliger.de
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