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Moe Satt

Moe Satt: Wishes of Hands

June 25, 4 PM, The Museum of Contemporary Art, garden


As a performance artist Moe Satt mostly works with meaningful hand gestures - communication, work and routine gestures. The hand as a medium of inter-human gestures can communicate beyond spoken language - who you are, what you are used to do with your hands etc. In the performance “Wishes of Hands”, Satt creates banners with drawn contours of hands on them, on which he writes wishes present in the context where the work is displayed. In the contemplative garden of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Satt carries the banners and wave them in the air till he places them on the ground. The wishes written on the banners are recognised as a parodic ritual at the end, questioning the honesty or purpose of wishing as such.

Satt has worked with the meaning of hand gestures in several former works, which include the “Face and Fingers” (2008-09) photographs, wherein Satt invents and enumerates 108 different poses with names such as ‘Gun’ and ‘Wave.’ He has also created the video works “Hands around in Yangon” (2012) that closely examines people’s 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. “I use body parts as a means of expression in my work. In performance art, I play mostly with meaningful and meaningless hand positions and actions. I base these on positions of my own body combined with spaces to challenge and experiment with my body’s levels of endurance,” he says.

At the museum Moe Satt will also create a local Pop-up bar with cocktails that tell a story about the political and historical situation in Burma. The “Pegu Club” cocktail (Gin, Orange Curacao, Fresh Lime, Dash of Bitter) will be served. Pegu Club was a Victorian-Style Gentlemen's Club in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) – one of the most famous clubs in Southeast Asia. The name of the cocktail was a signature of the Pegu Club. The “Democrat” cocktail (Bourbon Whisky, Fresh Lemon juice, Peach Liqueur, Honey Syrup) will also be offered. “Democrat”, Satt explains, “is an American cocktail but I like the name of it. The reason I choose the "Democrat" is because Myanmar is now in a transition era from Military Junta to Democratic nation.”

Moe Satt is the Initiator of the performance festival Beyond Pressure "Beyond Pressure Public Art Festival" (2008-2014) in Myanmar, Burma, and was nominated for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award 2015. He recently took part in the exhibition “A Journal of the Plague Year”, Kadist Art Foundation and The Lab, San Francisco, USA, 2015, and curated the exhibition "Silent For A While", 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong, 2016.


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Julie Damgaard Nielsen