Bart Was Not Here

Paris-based artist juxtaposing Burmese and imported cultural norms on and off the walls

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Bart Was Not Here / Kyaw Moe Khine (b. 1996)

Imageries full of escapism and dry humour, Bart's artworks on or off the walls are a mix of text and image juxtaposing Burmese and imported cultural norms inspired by Hieronymous Bosch, Frank Stella, and Louise Nevelson. His visuals have been described to be “what goes on inside the bottle that a Djinn (Genie) lives” from Islamic mythology. His humour can be fully appreciate alongside with a riddled punchline commentary about the social situation in Myanmar, the immigrant experience, and things he finds mind-bending.

Grew up in Myanmar, an authoritarian country, Bart was frustrated by a corrupted school system, a strict religion, and the inability to assimilate into the traditional Burmese culture. Access to American Pop Culture such as Hip Hop through movies, cartoons, comic books, novels and magazines found in Burmese bootleg markets provided him a lens to the alternative outside world. Since acquainting with graffiti in his 8th grade, he started practicing under the moniker "Bart Was Not Here" after the character in “The Simpsons”, alluding to the tongue-in-cheek quality in his artworks.

Bart graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts as a Fine Arts major in 2018. In May of 2019, Since his first solo exhibition ‘God Complex’ at Myanm/art gallery, he has done a number of freelance collaborations with major brands like AIA, Bosch, Tiger Beer, etc. He is an artist-in-residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France for 2021-2022.


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