Moe Satt was born in Yangon, Myanmar in 1983. He graduated from Yangon University in 2004. He is a well-known installation and performance artist in Southeast Asia and was nominated for the 2015 HUGO BOSS Asian New Artist Award.
He is primarily a performance artist, something he attributes to the inexpensiveness of the medium and Myanmar artists’ (and activists’) history with the form. It’s also something he traces back to his youth. ‘I drew all over my body as a child,’ he says. ‘I like dealing with the body.’
His project began with a reflection on Myanmar's “88-year democracy movement”. The artist first searches for his own memories and lets his thoughts collage the pictures of that era. He only had some approximate fuzzy memories and could not restore the original appearance at that time, but he used this memory loss to derive his idea, which is mainly to show the collective memory of that era rather than individual memory. In fact, this work is not about a historical event, nor is it about telling a story, but about the reflection of memory—how memory works in our undercurrent of consciousness, how memory collects, and what a real event can do.
The consciousness of individual and collective is deeply impressed in my mind. This consciousness runs through my childhood. From the memory of public system, collectivism is something deeply rooted in our body. Some of my works also reflect the relationship between individual and collective and the influence between individual and collective.Through his works, I learned more about the possibilities of works. The volume of his works may be small, but the validity of the idea is particularly important at this time.
Like Umbrella, Like King 2015
Did you vote ？2015
In a country that has been controlled by a military junta since 1962, where freedom of expression has been severely curtailed, Moe Satt’s work is provocative.
Face and Fingers 2008-9
He tried to find five to ten positions in the mirror each day. then he tried to find more transitions between positions. Moving my hands around the face—it’s kind of a dance. Not really a dance but a sequence that’s very smooth. In the performance I try to find 108 positions, which in Buddhism represents infinity. Buddhists often carry 108 beads.
Five Questions to the Society where I Live 2015
Many of his works, are analogous to Buddhist mudras, or meaningful hand gestures. They include the Face and Fingers (2008-09) photographs; wherein Moe Satt invents and enumerates 108 different poses with names such as ‘Gun’ and ‘Wave.’ He also created a video Hands around in Yangon (2012), that closely examines peoples hands at profane, not sacred, work around the city, and Five Questions to the Society where I Live (2015), a silent language of hand signals for use in anticipation of the national election.