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Maung Theid Dhi

Born: 1950
Hometown: Shwe Bo, Sagaing

Maung Theid Dhi is one of the pioneer minimalist artists in Myanmar. He studied at the State School of Fine Arts but much of the art education then focused on basic concepts and realism. He learnt about modernism from renowned modernists Paw Oo Thett and Khin One. Paw Oo Thett taught him how to simplify objects into lines and form, while Khin One taught him how express artistic intent.

In 1974, he formed the Wild Eye Exhibition with a group of artists that included Kyee Myint Saw, San Minn, and Win Pe Myint. Over the past four decades, Wild Eye has put on a total of 15 exhibitions on modern and contemporary art.

Maung Theid Dhi has been arrested repeatedly for his artwork during the period of severe censorship in Myanmar. In 1976, he spent a week in prison in 1976 for his self portrait symbolising oppression under the military government. In 1988, he was again arrested as his artwork was seen to be critical of the government. In 2000, he spent two and a half years in the infamous Insein prison for his portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi.

He is known for his signature style of geometric shapes and outlines, often with the use of strings to add a tactile dimension. He continuously refines and recreates his style to reflect changes in the world today. His works have been shown in over 90 exhibitions locally and worldwide.

Click here to see Maung Theid Dhi's artwork.