Behind the pseudonym Moe Satt is a thirty-year-old Burmese man who was born during the dictatorship and is now watching his country gradually become more liberal. The prolific multi-media artist has work on three continents and is committed to promoting the recognition of Burma's artistic production.
Published on 04/11/2019
Born in 1983 in Yangon, Burma, Moe Satt is a socially-committed artist who remains apolitical. His preference is for performance art, a practice where the medium is the body itself, where the action creates the work of art.
Beyond performance, Moe Satt’s creations also include installations, video and photography: “When people think about Burma, they think only about Aung San Suu Kyi and the military junta. I want to show them another side of life here." In 2008, Moe Satt founded the first officially authorised performance festival in Burma, Beyond Pressure: “We sincerely hope to educate young people and newcomers about the power of art as a social force.”
The history of Burma is omnipresent in Moe Satt’s works. A history he often expresses through his hands, which have a very special meaning for him: “Our hands are what catch newborn babies, and they are also what we use to close the eyes of the dead. I believe that if you want a new country, you need new gestures and new languages”.
These hands are present in his photographic series Face and Fingers (2008-2009), where Moe Satt invents 108 poses with a nod to Buddhism, in the video Hands around in Yangon (2012) which closely examines the hands of civilian workers, in his performance Five Questions to Society Where I Live (2015) on the sign language used by political opponents to communicate with each other, or more recently in his ceramic and fibreglass installation Dove with Revolution Hands (2018-2019).
Asia remains the continent where Moe Satt produces the most work. He has a long list of international appearances to his name: Open International Performance Art Festival in Beijing, China, KHOJ International Artist Workshop in Bihar, India, Bo:m Festival in Seoul, South Korea, International Cross-Border Arts in Bangkok, Thailand, Art Basel Hong Kong in Japan.
He has also been highly featured in Europe and North America One of his installations is part of the summer 2019 exhibition La Rue. Là où le monde se crée. (“The Street. Where the world is created.”) designed by Hou Hanru, at the Montpellier Contemporain (MOCO) in France, after an initial appearance at the National Museum of 21st Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome, Italy.
Moe Satt begins his career as an artist at the age of 22, following a degree in zoology.
He creates Beyond Pressure, the first officially authorised performance festival in Burma.
Moe Satt’s son is born: Since this moment, the artist has stated that joy and mischief guide his creations.
At Art Basel Hong Kong Moe Satt makes a splash with his History at Play: Is the Revolution Over?
Moe Satt is invited to Montpellier Contemporain (MOCO) for the exhibition La Rue, Là où le monde se crée.
Moe Satt benefited from the support of the Institut français through an Hors les murs residency at the Centre International des Récollets in 2015. Learn more about the Institut Français residency programmes
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