Artistic encounters
in war and violent conflict


Hanreality Visual Artist

Hanreality is a Burmese digital collage artist. In his work, he combines and layers different images in order to create something new. Since the military coup in Myanmar February 1st 2021, Hanreality has made a range of anti-coup artworks.

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Visual Artist

The artist

Hanreality was born and raised in Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar. Growing up he was interested in music, especially in the rap genre, and he later became involved in the Myanmar hip hop scene. In his collage artworks he often draws inspiration from local rap lyrics – translating words and sentences into visual art.

Since the first day of the military coup on 1 February 2021, Hanreality started making collages in response to what was going on. Through these artworks, he wanted to spread awareness about the injustices happening and show solidarity with the democracy movement. As the developments in Myanmar has become more violent, Hanreality aims to create collages that can take people’s minds away from the current situation, if only for a brief moment. He explains: “I try to create artworks that can help people mentally now in this time of madness and crisis”.


Selected works

Pretend Zebra Head

This artwork was created after the leader of the military junta, Min Aung Hlaing, announced himself the prime minister of Myanmar. He replaced his military uniform with a Tike Pone, a traditional Burmese suit coat, and tried to give the impression he would restore balance in the community. The zebra usually represents community and freedom. In Pretend Zebra Head, the zebra only pretends to be a zebra. In reality, he is the one with blood on his hands and he can never restore the freedom needed.

May the Whole Universe Hear Us!

From the very first days after the military coup, people in Myanmar banged pots and pans every evening at 8:00 pm to protest against the junta. The noise was so loud it sounded like heavy rain. This artwork portrays how not only the neighborhood, not only the world, but the whole universe could hear the sound of the banging pots.

Here Are Sunflowers

Seeing a single or a whole field of sunflowers always makes me happy. I regard sunflowers as a sign of hope, warmness, and love. In this artwork, I imagine a scene in which a local vendor is trying to sell the warmness we need. If you feel a certain kind of warmness, then you have already bought what she is selling.

Skulls Dinner

Thousands of people have been killed by the military junta since the coup happened in Myanmar. During the early stages of the coup, people waited and hoped for actions from organizations like the UN. The symbol of a giraffe in the artwork draws on a joke in Myanmar. When someone waits for something for a long time, people say: “Your neck will get as long as a giraffe’s neck”.

Carrying the Tiredness/Flowers

Pann Thal is the Burmese name of this artwork. Thal means carrying and Pann can be translated either as flowers or as being tired. It may seem like the bus is carrying flowers. But it is also carrying the tiredness of its passengers. During rush hours when most buses are filled with people, I always look at the faces of the passengers tired of work or school. In this artwork, I wanted to reimagine these rush hour scenes by portraying a big strong bus carrying people back to their homes as well as flowers to make people happy.

Have Fun in Burma

You can find no fun in Burma during this time when the military junta is killing, torturing, and detaining students, activists and anyone who oppose them. Behind the bars is an alms bowl used by Buddhist monks. The overturned alms bowl represents boycotting something. In this case the overturned alms bowl symbolizes the activists and students imprisoned by the military junta. If you come to Burma as a visitor, the junta will only show you the clean front side, not the backyards filled with blood and torture. The name of the artwork was inspired by the novel Have Fun in Burma by Rosalie Metro.

Unsafe Nights

Myanmar’s military and police, who call themselves security forces, have since the coup on February 1st been arresting activists, students, political leaders, and anyone who opposes them. The big hand in the artwork represents security forces who are arresting our citizens at night. They are controlled by the junta who are manipulating them from above. Since February 1st, thousands of people have been detained.

Blue Summer and Sea

This artwork was inspired by the rap lyrics of a young, passionate Burmese artist. In the particular song, he describes situations in his life with words like: “Sometimes, I was a sunflower, then a whale”. In the artwork I wanted to portray these scenes.

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