As Htein Lin began painting with his hands in the dark light of his cell and on the uniform of the prisoners, the Burmese voters had their fingers full of purple ink, which they used to press their fingerprints in the poll offers of free Burma. This is the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi.
According to Htein Lin, the Burmese committed artist, Aung San Suu Kyi could see her party elected to a very large majority. Htein Lin, however, believed that the daughter of General Aung San, who was said to be the father of Burmese independence and was assassinated in 1947, must meet more than two-thirds of the seats around her party of NLD: the Constitution guaranteeing 25% of the seats in the army.
Thanks to Htein Lin, who painted on the uniforms of prisoners with his fingers in the dark, finger-Burmese voters, today, are known to be the inkwells of freedom.
According to the artist, the election result could be stolen to the Burmese; unfortunately, this was the case in 1990. The polls do not directly lead “The Lady of Rangoon” to the presidency, a mother of foreign child, to access to the highest office. The generals insist that they are yet to respect the fate of the polls this time.
Assigned to house arrest for 15 years, the Nobel Peace Prize has created the National League for Democracy, but she did not foresee a real successor so that NLD could become a “monocracy” and Burma a “nemocracy”, by default the designation of a legitimate successor of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Suu Kyi, as blessed by History, already says she will be “above the President.” Dreamlike metonym of the mother of the people, “Mother Suu”, as her parishioners call her, is now moving full symbolism.
Htein Lin, meanwhile, is calling for a strategy to exercise the power. For two weeks, he campaigned for the political battle NLD fiercely in every place, where the government is inflexible. Relentlessly, the artist organizes concerts, events, conferences, etc. for the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi and LND.
He took over again, at the time of elections, the pilgrim’s staff, who took him to jail:
Born in 1966 in Ingapu, Ayeyarwady, it is a component of the student movement at the University of Rangoon. He lived in Hidingin, the jungle after the takeover of the military junta, eating plants and suffering from paludism; he spent nearly four years in a refugee camp on the Indian border, where he studied art with the artist Sitt Nyein Aye. He joined the student army ABSDF at the Chinese border. At Pajau, he was captured for nine months from 1991-1992.
Back to Yangon in May 1992, he completed his law degree in 1995, before choosing the ramp as a film actor. A letter of denunciation wrongly mentions him, in 1998, as always being involved in rebellion; he is, thus, imprisoned for seven years at Mandalay prison (1998-2004) including one year among the prisoners sentenced to death.
During his incarceration, he had made his art, using his fingers, bowls, lighters, and all those things that could come handy, just to prove that they could lock up an artist, but not his art and creativity; the absence of webs and brushes, he painted with his hands on uniforms for the freedom of Burmese sentenced to death.
Upon release, the artist came to know about his national and international success of two of his works that were acquired by the US Embassy in Rangoon. Htein Lin married the former ambassador of the United Kingdom, H.E. Victoria Bowman, and went on honeymoon to Europe, where he designed a series of works named “On the road”, while “Vicky” was driving the car.
Back in jail for a week in 2014, in order to initiate the inmates and guards to Vipassana meditation, he was responsible of monitoring fasts and silence of the followers, and take the opportunity to paint the prisoners and the jailers in meditation. One of the disciples, detached from another prison, immediately recognized him. He was his jailer of Mandalay, “Coconut”, that the artist was responsible for monitoring during meditation. Yesterday’s prisoner, tomorrow’s supervisor; the wheel of life turns, central to the Buddhist faith and the work of Htein Lin!
Happy, who like Htein Lin, signed with his hands, the freedom of people. Just as the artist, today all Burmese choose to live in freedom with their ink-stained fingers.