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ESSAYS

Painting Between the Lines

BY MELISSA CARLSON

A half-century of censorship in Myanmar has produced a 
unique visual vocabulary among both artists and censors

SAN MINN's Men on the Road, 1986, which was banned by censors 

who misunderstood its meaning. Courtesy THEO Arts Professionals, Singapore.

In 1979, Burmese artist San Minn submitted several paintings for an exhibition in Yangon only to have four returned to him. Rejected by the censorship board, the works were stamped "not allowed to show" on both sides. None of the four paintings were remotely political in content, although

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