In 1911 Lucian Scherman, director of the Museum of Ethnology in Munich (now Five Continents Museum), and his wife Christine travelled to Burma, today’s Myanmar. Together they compiled an ethnographic collection which is unmatched anywhere in the world. It contains over 2,300 objects, 1,200 photographs, detailed travel diaries and audio recordings. The most beautiful and valuable objects in the collection are now presented for the first time in an outstanding exhibition. Join us as we follow these two researchers through one of Asia’s most fascinating countries: You will meet a wealth of different ethnic groups, learn how they live, become familiar with everyday life in Myanmar, attend religious festivals and admire incomparable works of art. The trip through beautiful and varied landscapes will introduce you to virtually unknown places. Whether at Inle Lake, on the Chindwin River or in the vast mountainous regions in the west and east of the country – a few steps will take you into completely different worlds.
The "trip" starts at the market square. Like everywhere else in the world, the market in Myanmar is the place where people from near and far meet and where goods of all kinds are traded and news is exchanged. While the Schermans travelled "along dusty roads to golden pagodas" you will experience no such inconvenience in viewing the highlights of exhibition which include a puppet theatre whose figures have been awakened to new life after one hundred years. The latest changes in the Golden Land are pointed out, enabling you to witness the rapid developments in Myanmar in recent years. How does a more fast-paced lifestyle, driven by economic goals, harmonise with the spirituality of Buddhism in its special Myanmarian form? How widespread is the belief in the ancient nat spirits in the new "Tiger on the Ayeyawady"? Are the Naga still an "inherently pugnacious people", as Christine and Lucian Scherman recorded in their travelogue in the language of their time?
Inspiring discoveries await you in the area dedicated to the contemporary art scene in Myanmar. Works by artists such as Nann Nann, Khin Zaw Latt, Zaw Win Pe and Htein Lin demonstrate impressively how fertile not only the ground of ancient Burma but also the political past and present of the country are for art in the new Myanmar.
Come with us on this spectacular journey! We look forward to seeing you.
Note: Explanations are given in German & English.