Being in Place – Longing for Heritage in Yangon, Myanmar

May 6 – October 30, 2022

In times of political change, Helena Cing Deih Sian explored the current significance of the architectural heritage in Yangon/Myanmar. She examined the relationship between the spatial environment and political development.

In the cabinet exhibition, contemporary witnesses talked about 14 places in Yangon. These places have been left out of the ideological narratives of the military dictatorship and their significance for the future development of building culture and urban planning has not been taken into account. The stories about these places that have not yet been told are counter-narratives of the civilian efforts for democracy and freedom. These places stand out as “unofficial heritage sites” and underline the urgency for the question of who is entitled to dispose of them. Do they have to be specialists or can people without expertise have their say? What can remain and what will be demolished?

The exhibition offered an insight into the discourse surrounding the contested architectural heritage. With the aim of establishing a culture of remembrance for Yangon, Helena Cing Deih Sian invited visitors to participate and contribute their thoughts. After its stop in the South/Southeast Asia section of the Linden-Museum, the traveling exhibition was shown in cities with a large Myanmar diaspora: Frankfurt, Berlin and Hamburg.

Helena Cing Deih Sian, born in 1994 in Kalay/Myanmar, studied architecture and urban planning at the University of Stuttgart until April 2022. The exhibition was the subject of her final thesis.

In cooperation with:
University of Stuttgart, Urban Planning Institute International Urbanism