Southeast Asian Studies section

Legendary Arakan – between Myth and Modernity

A German-Burmese Exhibition

Vernissage: Tuesday, 21.06.2016, 7 p.m.
Exhibition: 20.06.2016 - 30.06.2016, daily 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., admission free
Location: WGP – exhibition rooms, Steiningergasse 2, 94032 Passau

The Chair of Southeast Asian Studies, University of Passau, in collaboration with Martin Seeliger (photographer), Shwe Maung Thar (†) and Khine Min Tun (painter) presents Legendary Arakan, the first exhibition of images in Germany exclusively dedicated to Mrauk U, the last royal capital of the fabled Kingdom of Arakan in the far west of today’s Myanmar. The show presents a multifaceted in-depth portrait of this remarkable cultural landscape in a synopsis, combining Shwe Maung Thar’s (†) and Khine Min Tun’s paintings and Martin Seeliger’s photographic works. The images will be presented at the WGP-exhibition rooms from 20th till 30th June 2016. The vernissage will take place on Tuesday, 21.06.2016, attended by the photographer Martin Seeliger and Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Korff, Chair of Southeast Asian Studies, University Passau.

Mrauk U is today a timeless, secluded place, where dark temples rise like massive creatures from rolling tropical hills and the steaming jungle constantly threatens to engulf the fragile ruins of ancient pagodas. Legendary Arakan captures rare and exquisite scenes of peace and serenity which may soon vanish as a nationwide wave of change reaches this isolated area of outstanding cultural heritage. 

In 2010, while exploring this once powerful kingdom, photographer Martin Seeliger met and became friends with local artist Shwe Maung Thar and his son and master scholar Khine Min Tun. Their intensive discussions on local images, pictorial composition and perspectives were to continue every year for four years when Martin Seeliger returned to Mrauk U. This exchange, both professional and personal, has resulted in a portrait of this fabled city and region from the twin perspectives of a marvelling tourist and an artist familiar with the local sights.

The exhibition also offers a chance to explore the eventful history of the fabled Arakenese kingdom. In their fascinating essays, international experts Pamela Gutman (†), Jacques P. Leider, Stephan van Galen und Uta Gärtner present a journey of ideas through the cultural and social history, and the archaeology of this former royal capital.

The Berlin exhibition was part of the cultural programme within the Asia-Pacific Weeks Berlin 2015 and is therewith imbedded in a well-established forum for international exchange and dialogue. Encouraged by the success of Legendary Arakan, the first follow-up exhibition stays in Passau. 

With the friendly assistance of: Projekt Südostasien (PSOA), University Passau

Supporting programme

Public workshop (in German language) under the direction of Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Korff,
Chair of Southeast Asian Studies, University of Passau, Germany
Tuesday, 21.06.2016, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Gasthaus „Grüner Baum“, Höllgasse 7, 94032 Passau, Germany

Weitere Informationen:

PDF Flyer (German only)

PDF Poster (German only)


See the Exhibition spot:

| 08.06.2016