Language: EN MM

The Goethe-Institut together with the organizers of this year’s Yangon Photo Festival are delighted to announce the opening of the exhibition “Burmese Photographers”, curated by Lukas Birk.


Where: The Secretariat / Minister’s Building. (Thein Phyu Street, East Wing)

When: Sunday 18th of February at 11 am – OPENING CEREMONY. The exhibition will remain open to the public until the 11th of March from 10 am – 5 pm.


The first photographs in Myanmar were taken more than 150 years ago. Whereas the many pictures from the early colonial times, taken mainly by foreign photographers, are well documented and preserved, the first local Myanmar photographers remain widely unknown. Since around 1910 a small scene of Burmese photographers emerged, soon superseding the “colonial gaze” of the foreigners on Burma and developing their own perspective and photographic interpretation of Myanmar’s lived reality.

Lukas Birk’s extensive research traces exactly this emergence of an autonomous Burmese imagery. Having searched hidden archives of antique dealers and photo studios, the Austrian curator and photographer has collected more than 10.000 photographs – a mixture of studio photographs, amateur and private photos, as well as press and advertising materials.

In addition to the exhibition, where a large selection of these photographs will be on display, Lukas Birk’s research has resulted in a comprehensive book, which will be published by the Goethe-Institut Myanmar in Burmese for the opening of the exhibition, later followed by an English publication.

Our exhibition in the East Wing of the Secretariat represents also the first step in an initiative of the newly founded artist collective Pyinsa Rasa and the Anawmar Art Group to create a six-month arts and culture program in the historic building. The aim of this project is the establishment of a permanent cultural space in the Secretariat for the future benefit of the city.