Born 1957, Pathein, Myanmar
Lives and works in Yangon, Myanmar
Po Po is a pioneer in the field of conceptual and performance art in Myanmar, and has been practising as an artist since the late 1970s. For his VIP Project (Yangon/Dhaka) 2010–15, he placed VIP signs in public bus stops in the cities of Yangon and Dhaka, the capital cities of Myanmar and Bangladesh, recording the politics of how public space functions under very different political conditions. He was particularly interested in how these elitist, exclusionary signs operated in countries that have been under dictatorships or volatile political systems. Standing across the street from the bus stops, he took a series of photographs and videos documenting the reactions of people to the signs — from feelings of threat or oppression, to avoidance, or humour that the signs would be placed within the context of public transport. With a long history creating paintings, sculpture and land-based works, Po Po began working with photography in the 2000s and describes it not as a visual record, but as a means to reflect his thoughts regarding political, social and cultural concerns.
Po Po / Myanmar, b.1957 / VIP Project (Yangon/Dhaka) (detail, Yangon) 2010–15 / Mixed media installation / Installed dimension variable / VIP Project (Dhaka) commissioned and produced by the Samdani Art Foundation for Dhaka Art Summit 2016 / Image courtesy and © Po Po
Po Po / Myanmar, b.1957 / VIP Project (Yangon/Dhaka) (detail, Yangon) 2010–15, installed for APT8 in GOMA's Gallery 2.1, 2015 / VIP Project (Dhaka) commissioned and produced by the Samdani Art Foundation for Dhaka Art Summit 2016 / © Po Po / Photograph: Mark Sherwood, QAGOMA