"The sharp knife of a short life

I've had just enough time..."

- "If I Die Young" The Band Perry

I see Beauty in many things. And like the ghosts that only speak to you if you notice them, they tell me wondrous tales. With my camera and my thoughts, I captured these as faithfully as I can to share with you. And by doing so, they gave me the reasons. And though the thousand reasons may not all be sweet and some indeed bitter; they are still reasons to live. Come to think about it, that is Life, isn't it?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Beauty From Destruction in Myanmar – Part II. (Arts From Disaster)

I've had just enough time to...   ponder on the irony of Life

The monkey peeking out to see if the storm is over...

Driving along the University Avenue road in Yangon, you will pass by an amazing display of huge wooden sculptures all along it and in front of the Sayasan Plaza. Many of them are carved out of fallen trees toppled by the Cyclone Nargis in 2008. ( See Part I – The Tragedy of Cyclone Nargis). The trees that were brought down by the storm that could not be saved ended up as raw materials for sculptors who used it as a most fitting tribute to the fallen trees.

The tall giraffe cautiously stands on high ground...

The lizard gape in wonder at having survived the storm...

Ironically, these trees also helped the sculptors as they provided them with much needed materials for their carving as they were suffering from a scarcity of woods in recent years. This problem was solved at least for the time being as an indirect consequence of the disaster. It also served to raise the awareness of Myanmese wood carvings. Exhibitions were held both within and outside the country to promote the art and the tragedy was a good platform to do so. This is the irony of Life, what it takes away with one hand, it also gives with another.

The proud peacock could not believe her luck...

The leopard growled remembering the storm...

The most prized wood for carving is the famed teak wood but this has become increasingly difficult to obtain. The trees salvaged after Cyclone Nargis however were Koako, a type of banyan tree and does not fetched as high a price as teak wood. Still, the sculptors were unexpectedly gifted with an abundance of valuable raw materials to work on. Most of the sculptures themselves were carved the traditional styles and the most popular subjects seem to be animals whether real or mythical. These are some examples of the wooden sculptures.

The girl is pleased that peace is again at hand...

Isn't it an irony of Life that such destruction should give birth to such beauty?

The gentle white Rhino lay contently on the grass...


  1. ineedathis
    So realistic, great capture my friend!

    Wonderful art and dig the chimp as well ;)

    Onasill ~
    Beautiful shot !! Excellent composition and colors Thou

    Patricia Speck
    What an amazing piece of work....and how endearing.
    Excellent shot!!

    The beautifully crafted piece combined with your caption is what makes it endearing. Lovely, thou!

    ShambLady catching up....still a bit slow :)
    really like this one! aww!

    The Visual Poet
    Fantastic capture! Wishing you a fab day!


  2. ineedathis
    Love the details on this bird!

    Elegance is enjoyable ;)

    Rebecca Ang
    This is a beautiful carving. I also like the giraffe sculpture on your blog but not on Flickr. "Isn't it an irony of Life that such destruction should give birth to such beauty?" - your thoughts made me reflect on human resilience. Tragedy may attempt to break the human spirit but hopefully, good and even beauty can result from it.

    Onasill ~
    The carved details are striking in beauty. Kudos

    Patricia Speck
    How skilled the artist is who carved that....and you took a very well detailed shot
    Thanks for sharing.


  3. ineedathis
    Such a great way of using the light and shadow technique on this carving,
    Great photo!

    I like the way you captured the detail of this wonder ;)

    Onasill ~
    Beautifully caught in the round with good light for the effect.

    ShambLady catching up....still a bit slow :)
    so pretty, will check the others tomorrow ! and read!


  4. oola *
    AMAZING ability to capture texture, proportions, bone/muscle structures, everything...

    Masterful art work indeed !

    Onasill ~
    The grains in the wood are superior and and your snap is becoming. Kudos

    Patricia Speck
    You have captured some amazing detail here ......What a great shot!!

    looks like a display yard. Are these pieces for sale? beautifully detailed work.

  5. What a beautiful art Thou San! And you made great pictures of it too ;-)

    Greetings from the Netherlands,

  6. Beautiful sculptures! And it is very sorry. I have opened only three photos

  7. I love the captions you gave to each photo. Gives them life!


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