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Published on Feb 24, 2016
Nge Lay's large-scale installation 'The sick classroom' developed from years of research and regular visits to Thuye'dan village, a rural area ten hours north of Yangon. With her husband, artist Aung Ko, Nge Lay established the Thuye'dan Village Art Project in 2007. The project seeks to engage and share contemporary art with the villagers, and many of the most successful artists in Myanmar have participated. During her long stays in Thuye'dan Village, Nge Lay also worked closely with local craftspeople to create sculptures that have become the basis for her recent sculptural works. The sick classroom is one of the most ambitious examples of contemporary art from Myanmar in recent years, and features life-size carved wooden sculptures based on the village school, including the classroom, the teacher and 26 first-year students. The installation emphasises the poor state of education in Myanmar and is a call for equal education in Myanmar for all children, both rural and urban.