Earlier this week, The Secretariat announced the launch of its cultural wing in partnership with culture entrepreneur Ivan Pun’s initiative TS1. Located in the southern wing of The Secretariat, TS1 will bring in the works of both local and international artists to the heart of Yangon, creating an interactive space aimed at families, students, and the general public.
TS1 will lead the overall artistic vision and direction and will soon appoint a Director of the project with specific responsibilities of overseeing the operations and exhibitions. The team will also work closely with the Cultural team at The Secretariat to ensure alignment in the programme and content curation.
The Secretariat is currently undergoing an ambitious restoration and will gradually be opening its premises in phases to the public. When fully restored, the iconic building aims to become an epicenter of culture and a new public space where people will gather in the heart of downtown.
With its rich heritage and important place in Myanmar history, the Secretariat is well placed to start a new chapter and conversation in Myanmar modern history, culture, and art. While it continues to memorialize Myanmar’s past, the Secretariat also aims to give locals, artists, and participants a chance to create their own stories and heritage for the next generation.
The new cultural wing will fulfill a much-needed unmet need in Yangon and in the country. Having greater exposure to culture and arts has proven to benefit many communities, as arts and culture is known to promote well being and enhance the quality of life for individuals and societies. Children and students will also greatly benefit from arts and culture, through the ability to develop critical skills through improved learning, creating thinking and overall cognitive acceleration.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome TS1 to the Secretariat project. TS1 and The Secretariat share a common vision in wanting to make arts and culture more accessible and fun to everyone. As our country develops economically, arts and culture need to develop alongside so that we cultivate a well-rounded and enlightened community,” said Dr. Maung Maung Thein, Chairman of the Secretariat Conservation Trust.
Ivan Pun, founder of PUN + PROJECTS and TS1, is excited about the potential that the permanent space at The Secretariat offers. “The Secretariat holds such an important place in the history of Myanmar. Currently, the public learns about Martyr’s day on one specific day of the year. With a wide spectrum of content, experiences, and events at our disposal, we wanted to make this a public space that is accessible to everyone to learn about our country’s rich cultural offerings, from the past, present, and future. In many ways, Myanmar’s story has just begun, and we wanted the Secretariat to be the starting point at which it begins. We are thrilled to have our new home at The Secretariat. We look forward to using this space as a powerful vehicle to unleash Myanmar’s creative spirit,” Pun said.
The new cultural pulse of Yangon TS1 @ Secretariat will promote arts education for all through a combination of a steady stream of landmark exhibitions and regular pipeline of arts and cultural engagement programme. The space will feature landmark exhibitions featuring a mix of renowned global artists and established local artists. The team will also introduce more experiential arts and culture initiative such as pop up stores at the retail wing of The Secretariat that spotlight Myanmar craft to bring art to the masses.
Making arts and culture accessible for everyone Not limited to contemporary art, TS1 @ Secretariat will also be a place for everyone to experience arts and culture in an educational and interactive way. Outside of the marquee exhibitions, visitors to TS1 @ Secretariat can experience series of pop-ups and educational activities. There will also be space carved out as a platform for aspiring and established artists across all genres in Myanmar to present their works and share their stories, and to nurture the next generation of artists for Myanmar, by Myanmar.
About The Secretariat
The Secretariat is a national icon that represents the story of Myanmar in the making. Currently undergoing the most ambitious restoration in history, it will be a dedicated space where people and communities of Myanmar can convene at the heart of Yangon. The Secretariat is set to become the architectural marvel where commerce, history, culture, and education intersect. Envisioned as the heartbeat of Yangon, TS1 @ Secretariat will lead the revival of downtown Yangon.
TS1 is a creative concept project, founded by cultural entrepreneur Ivan Pun in Yangon, Myanmar in 2013. Started as pop-up space for contemporary arts in a transitioning city, it has now widened its scope to include more than physical space for artistic expression. Envisioned as the heartbeat of Yangon, TS1 @ Secretariat will lead the revival of downtown Yangon. TS1’s platform also encourages the diversity of mediums, acting as an advisory body for the development of contemporary art in Myanmar – a cultural catalyst for future generations of creative thinkers. In a country where there are no public art institutions, TS1 hopes to engage the public through the arts by collaborating with the numerous independent organizations throughout the country and the region.
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