Seeing Red

On the morning of 1st February 2021, the Burmese military junta staged a coup d’etat with no solid reason whatsoever. The Junta claimed voting fraud and arrested all the elected personnels. The whole country of Burma rose up and protested against thecoup. The protests started from first week of February and it evolved into a defensivecivil war by mid and late 2021.

Bart reacted to the coup on the first day with a digital artwork “Disobey” which went viral amongst Burmese graffiti community as a keyword that got sprayed on walls and public places in Yangon city. He made protest art/illustrations every month insupport for the freedom movement in 2021.
Seeing Red series is a selection works from thewhole body of work.

His protest illustrations have been featured in prominent publications such as TIME Magazine, France24, Nikkei Asia, and Hyperallergic. These works have been exhibited in front of the Louvre in Paris, Oslo, Australia, London, and more.

“Most these works had to be made digitally while I was in Yangon during the early daysof the coup and the protest so I could just delete all of them (as opposed to throwing away the physical evidences). After I left Yangon, I kept making protest artworks on my iPad. I guess it became a habit. This is a collection of my favorite 2021 Burma protest artworks.”

- Bart Was Not Here

Digital Illustration

Gods and Prophets on Strike
Digital Illustration
“Gods and Prophets on Strike is an illustration tailor-made for the Civil Disobedience Movement during the 2021 pro-democracy protests in Burma.
Burma, objectively, is a country where religiongoverns national policy directly or indirectly. Most of the civilians in the private and public work force have an attachment to their respective religions. When the 2021 coup happened in February, all the religious leaders that have beenprofiting off of the general public went radio silent to protect their interest, and also their lives.
The religious leaders hid and ran so the gods and prophets themselves had to come out and stand with the people.”
Against All Odds
Digital Illustration

Light ‘Em Up
Digital Illustration

“Both ‘Light ‘Em Up’ and ‘Against All Odds’ are based on true events that occurred during the protests.

When the military opened fire on innocent civilians on 28th February 2021, most of the young people realized there was only one way to gain ourfreedom back. That route was far from easy. Young people, of all creed and color, started building barricades in the streets, forging make-shift steel shields, and made homemade molotov cocktails.
The two instances that really stood out to me were turned into illustrations as a part of this “Seeing Red” series.
The young man that was trying to fight live rounds with a bow and arrow, the civilian that threw a hand grenade into a military truck offered something refreshing while we were seeing all the news of death and despair flooding us in real life, and on social media.
These images, to me, offered something that I have never seen in the previous generation of Burmese people - the sheer will to physically fight the oppressor to retrieve our freedom.”

Guoache on Fabriano Paper

“In his signature illustration style, Bart animates symbolic violent acts against the military that hold some comedic value despite their sinister nature.
As part of a network of young people fuelling the resistancethrough fundraisers, Bart and his friends were targeted- and many paid the ultimate price.
Bart’s images are renderings of clear and direct sentiments.”

- Nathalie Johnston, Fighting Fear 2 Catalogue.
Digital Illustration
“Omen is an illustration prophesizing the end of the military regimein Burma. It is an exact copy of the general’s cap worn by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, except for the Burmese text below the crest. This is a pejorative term in Burmese implying relations between the general and his mother.
Omen is meant as an explicit insult to the military and a will to destroy them. All those in Myanmar who voted in multiple elections to gradually lessen the military’s influence by supporting democratically elected leaders are angry beyond measure that not only was the election result of 2020 denied to them, but also their leaders imprisoned, and untold numbers of peaceful protestors have been imprisoned and killed for defying the institution which has taken away their freedom.”

-Nathalie Johnston, Curator, Fighting Fear 2 Catalogue
Dancing On Your Grave
24in x 40in
Acrylic on Canvas
“Dancing on Your Grave is a loveletter to all the Urban Guerrilla brothers and sisters sacrificing their lives and taking all the risks to disrupt the Military Junta's chokehold and protect the civilians from giving into the absurd pressures applied by the Junta.”