acrylic on canvas
61 x 61 cm (24×24 inches)
Women are born with the potential to be strong-minded and yet as they grow up within society, they forget this power as they are pushed and pulled by social currents. Women’s ways of thinking and their behaviour become subject to monitoring. Their thoughts and their clothes, the shape of their bodies are scrutinised by society. Women are trapped and put on display, locked within a glass case in a shop window, under a spotlight. The daily lives of women in Myanmar are disrupted and colonised. They are bullied and patronised. Their ability to define themselves has been taken away.
Chuu have shown that sense of suffocation we all feel in these paintings where the ganouq (the flowery, traditional Myanmar patterns), are stretched over the girls’ faces, obscuring their identity and containing the memory of being “written over” by traditional expectations of women. We cannot see who is this girl, she has lost her identity. In the paintings they remain locked and limited, they have forgotten their individuality, or perhaps it is easier not to remember.