Aung Aung Taik

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Fish 5 © Aung Aung Taik
Fish 7 © Aung Aung Taik
Fish 10 © Aung Aung Taik
Fish 11 © Aung Aung Taik
Fish 12 © Aung Aung Taik
Fish 13, 12/09 © Aung Aung Taik
Fish 14 © Aung Aung Taik
Fish 15 © Aung Aung Taik
Fish 16 © Aung Aung TAik
Buddha, 2008 Mixed Media © Aung Aung Taik
Quick Facts
Rangoon, Burma
Lives in
San Francisco
mixed-media, modern, sculpture

Artist’s  Statement


I have always been fascinated by the act of dissection. It expands my mind to comprehend the source of life and death. I don’t know whether it is a blessing or a curse that I did not become a doctor.

All the parts I use for my work came from once functioning components whose original purposes have become moribund.

Out of curiosity, I took them apart to see the inside, the marvels of their magical contribution towards mankind. I found that each piece linked to each other with logical relativity.

Each constituent piece is unique in form and intent unlike what I see in the outside world.

I use the pieces in my work by putting them back together differently to give them a new life and form. This time not for pragmatic purposes but for the stimulation of

conjectural imaginary. But their new life and purpose will also end someday for some reason just as their first life did. So, inherently, everything we see and feel has its own rate of longevity.

This precept of impermanence may be regarded as being dark to many,

but embracing it gives me the understanding of the very nature of cause and

effect.  That is to say, one will be less disappointed or dismayed with things that don't come one’s way.

It is far better to be clear about one's confusions than confused about one's own confusions.

In essence, I will say that, it is obvious that things exist temporarily within their own nature and contrarily we labor to build that nature into an edifice of permanence.

Aung Aung Taik


Aung Aung Taik


Born in Rangoon, Burma in 1948, the Burmese artist Aung Aung Taik, received the traditional boarding school education of his class, after which he decided not to follow his father’s footsteps and enter medical school, but to study painting.  He attended the State Academy of Art in Rangoon and took private lessons from two of Burma’s leading artists, U Ba Kyi and U Ngwe Gaing.  Afterwards, he accompanied his mentors, the writers Ludu U Hla and Daw Ahmar on a number of anthropological expeditions into the remote regions of Burma. Aung Aung Taik illustrated a series of books published by Ludu U Hla.   Successful exhibitions of his work in Burma and Japan followed.  Dissatisfied with stagnation in the fine arts and seeking greater artistic autonomy, Aung Aung Taik left Burma and came to the United States in 1972 and continued his studies at the San Francisco Art Institute.  A series of exhibitions led to his first one-man show at the Mission Cultural Center in 1981, where Tom Albright commented in the San Francisco Chronicle that Aung Aung’s paintings “…suggest some of the strange stage sets of Francis Bacon carried to a greater degree of abstraction…”


Intense engagement with the diversity of cultural life in the San Francisco of the 80’s led him to a mastery of the English language and the desire to express some of his understandings in poetry and prose.  Visions of Shwedagon (1989), an autobiographical novel followed, and with it a renewed interest in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism native to his homeland.  Aung Aung extended his grasp of that unique viewpoint with a series of sculptural representations of the Buddha and the essay, “ A View from the Lower Life”(1992).


In a further celebration of the traditions of his homeland, he published his Under the Golden Pagoda (1993) with Chronicle Books, reclaiming Burma’s rich cuisine as an integral part of his San Francisco life.

Aung Aung Taik became an American citizen in 1994.

In 2001, Aung Aung Taik, one of the pioneer modern artists of Burma, returned to his beloved country to paint, and have his first solo exhibition there after 30 years in America.


Since then, Aung Aung Taik has been visiting Burma annually having one man shows and group shows in Rangoon and Mandalay. He conducted art workshops and forums at Htanyeiknyo Art Center in Mandalay. He is of one of the founders of Art Space, which opened in February 2008. Art Space represents a group of modern artists called the New Zero Art Group, of which Aung Aung Taik is also a member.