Guided by spirits: the paintings of Sein Myint

Artist Sein Myint was at home working on yet more paintings of the 37 nats (spirits) of Myanmar, which he has depicted for the last 10 years of a career spanning decades.

“Without knowing about each nat – their history and their personality – there’s no way to paint these spirits. I try to read everything I can about them,” Sein Myint said.

Nats are believed to have special powers to protect or destroy humans. They are said to have died thousands of years ago, after leading prominent lives as kings, queens, generals and the like with strong passions and aggressions. Legends tell of many nats with many names, but only 37 are famous all over the country and celebrated on special occasions.

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