Vicky Mann, owner of Bijou Fine Art in Federal, has a passion for Burma, its people and the lacquer ware and teak furniture made there.
Vicky Mann, owner of Bijou Fine Art in Federal, has a passion for Burma, its people and the lacquer ware and teak furniture made there. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Beauty of Burma goes on display

AN exhibition of Burmese lacquer ware aimed at supporting impoverished artisans in that country is on show at Bijou Fine Arts in Federal.

Over the past 30 years gallery owners Vicki and Gary Mann and Mitch Noble have developed close working relationships with creative communities across Asia and the Middle East.

They bought their pieces directly from owners and artisans in these often impoverished communities.

"We buy directly from local collectors and the makers themselves," Ms Mann said.

"Our business is set up so the revenue flows to the makers of the work.

"By purchasing works from Bijou, collectors can directly support these communities and protect many precious treasures from being lost or destroyed."

Ms Mann said they travelled to Burma at least once or twice a year to buy pieces.

They also sponsored some small local restaurants in Burma, helping the owners with business planning and strategy.

"I have a passion for Burma and its people; their culture is so simple," she said.

"The Burmese have a trait whereby they do not focus on the negatives of the past but concentrate on the bright future."

Ms Mann said this was also true of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition figure kept under house arrest for 15 years by the Burmese military.

"There is no rancour toward the military junta; she has simply drawn a line in the sand and moved on," she said.

"On our visits we take steps to stay with the people and deliberately avoid government-run enterprises."

She said the pieces in the exhibition were functional, exceptionally beautiful and rich in meaning.

"We choose every single item that we import and try to rescue items of ceremonial and artistic importance," she said.

"When customers visit the showroom they can learn more about Burmese lacquer ware, teak furniture and Buddha mudras."

Phone 0408 845 734 or go to bijoufinearts.com.au.



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