Chin Women of Myanmar
An Evening Presentation by Jens Uwe Parkitny, Photographer and Managing Director, Expedia
The Chin tribes live in remote parts of Western Myanmar; they are a population of up to 2.5 million composed of over 50 ethnic groups that speak 40 related but distinct languages. Tattooing faces of young girls and women is a common practice among the Chin. It is not only a decorative form of art, but an integral part of the Chin culture distinguishing ethnicities in tribal societies, a representation of age, and social and marital status.
Jens Uwe Parkitny, Managing Director of Expedia first visited then-Burma in 1999. He felt an instant connection with the country and her many tribal groups and has returned on numerous occasions to photograph the tribal faces, each telling its own story. As a first-of-its-kind documentation of what is left in contemporary Myanmar of this ancient tribal art, Jens' collection of intimate photographs of Chin women are now published in the limited edition book Bloodfaces.
In this presentation, Jens will talk about the intriguing lifestyle of the Chin people and share personal stories of his encounters with Chin women, the symbolism behind the different patterns on their faces, and whether facial tattooing practice is a vanishing tradition.(Proceeds from sale of prints and books will go to a girls orphanage in Yangon.)
Images from the book will also be presented in a special exhibition curated by Asia Fine Art at Three Pacific Place from November 11-24, 2009.