of solongs and ashes is a visual stream of consciousness reflecting the deluge of memories swirling in Min Ma Naing’s mind, as she struggles to fill the void in her as an exile artist since leaving her homeland of Myanmar in July 2021. The artwork title references an extract within E.E.Cummings’s poignant poem “into the strenuous briefness”, which celebrates the brilliant and ephemeral qualities of life.

Her list of memories includes:

Tea leaf salad with dried beef, hasty hugs, sour tamarind whiskey, military boots, splashes of rain, touches, Yangon, guilt, fear, metal bars, Sule Pagoda, fly glue trap ( yes, I know it’s cruel). Pansoedan, rusty locks, tears, tear gas, old film wheel, cockroach passing on the top of my feet, Changi airport, red lipstick I only wore once, “Safe Travels, Don’t Die”, chipmunks, noisy batch of pigeons on my roof, the hawkers, Ithaca, Polaroid first sheet which says “Love Me Tender”, green rain boots, snow, 45 min walk to home, home, forest home, pots and pans, 8pm,mom, Vici, tailless gecko, ice green tea, flix bus,15 hour flight, Ngapi, Insein prison, gorges, quarantines, the glove on the road, tomato soup from food pantry, shrink, Trumansburg, Acai Sorbet, blanket, hey fever, spring, Aung Mingalar Noodle Shop, Crime Alerts, tasteless chewing gum after 3 hour, deers’ eyes, mom’s dry fingers, Craigslist, Tinder, coma, Kya Seint tea, chickpea powder, Danny, grief, ice machine sounds which reminds me of San Chaung nights, Father’s Office, my lost sketcher, Ouzo, stray dogs, vertigo, my summer green dress which you said you like, walk with me to Beebe Lake, 37th street studio, woods, traffic, oxygen, 4am alarm, non-stop hair pulling, butternut squash, Franklin house, ambulance sound heard from the phone, get lost, walk, Brook Lane, I miss mango ice cream from Anawrahta Road (I realized I never learn its name), repeating sound of fluorescent light, last jasmine flower bought on the way to airport,slippers, have you ever tasted snow with maple syrup?

Curated John Tung

About Artist