Myanmar artist Po Po erotic sculpture silk pillows

You’ll never look a silk pillow the same way again, once you’ve seen Myanmar artist Po Po’s art installations. Your bedtime companion will have taken a new, more sensual turn – for better or worse. Curious? Head down to Yavuz Gallery for the artist’s solo exhibition, Out Of Myth, Onto_Logical, a curation of Po Po’s works created from 1982 to 1997.

Greek mythology forms the reference point for the artist’s silk pillow works, four of which are part of the exhibition. (Yes, pillows and Greek mythology – who would have thought?) Narcissus (below) is composed of a silk pillow bound in rope and lying on a mirror – in the myth, the vain youth Narcissus falls in love with his own reflection in the river (he didn’t know it was his own face in the water) and eventually commits suicide because the love is unrequited.

Myanmar artist Po Po Narcissus

Another interesting piece is Erotic (top of page), in which two pink silk pillows are entwined as if they’re embracing. The effect is strangely sensual – not at all what you’d expect from a sculpture of pillows. Ditto for Three Graces (below) – Po Po’s interpretation of the three daughters of Zeus, typically depicted as nudes in classical art. The artist uses iron stakes to hold up the silk pillows here, bent in  oddly human-like postures.

Myanmar artist Po Po Three Graces sculpture silk pillows

Controlled Tejo is another must-see. In Pali, a Buddhist scriptural language, the word “tejo” means “fire”. Part of a series of four works based on the four elements (fire, wind, water, earth) , this installation features fluorescent lights held captive in a crate. Another, Controlled Apo (“apo” is “water”), is a block of ice set in a crate that will melt slowly over time. (Good luck bringing that one home with you – I’ve got my eye on Controlled Tejo, much more mobile.)

Myanmar artist Po Po Controlled Tejo
Controlled Tejo
Myanmar artist Po Po Controlled Apo
Controlled Apo – a block of ice set in a crate

Also at Po Po’s solo show – these three tactile pieces. Titled Painting for the Blind I, II and III (below), these are made with enamel and oil on canvas, with nails thrown in.

Myanmar artist Po Po Paint for the Blind

No more spoilers here – you’ll just have to see the rest of the 18 installations yourself at Yavuz Gallery. On Aug 1, there’s even a talk by the artist himself at 3pm-4pm, moderated by Nathalie Johnston, the curator of the exhibition.
Myanmar artist Po Po’s solo exhibition Out Of Myth, Onto_Logical begins on August 1 at Yavuz Gallery (Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road, #02-23). Through Sept 13. All photos courtesy of Yavuz Gallery.

Like this? Check out this exhibition of archival photos of Singapore at the Artscience Museum.