Biennale Jogja, 20 October 2019

Moe Satt is a conceptual and performance artist  and curator. In 2008, he founded and organized Beyond Pressure, an international festival of performance art in Myanmar. In his works, which span various mediums from photography, sculpture, video and sound installation, Moe Satt addresses provocative social and political issues in military-ruled Myanmar, such as the role of religion and that of the individual in society.


He has been invited to several artist-in-residence programs, among others, ACC in New York (2017); IASPIS in Umeå, Sweden (2016); and International Residence at Recollets, Paris (2015). His work has been featured in several group exhibitions, including Political Acts: Pioneers of performance art in Southeast Asia in Melbourne (2017); CAFAM Biennale, Beijing (2013); and Busan Biennale (2012). Satt was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award 2015. He lives and works in Yangon, Myanmar.


In the video, Moe Satt recorded the hand movements of people around him: from laborers working on the streets and in the markets to friends and local artists. He proposes a question: do you think hand gestures can tell a story? About sadness, success, and so on. There are moving hands, working hands, eating hands, communicating hands. Moe Satt collects many stories about the hands of others.

This video emphasizes the almost autonomous character of the ingrained movement it follows.


The hands are shown as if independent of their owners’ mind and rather integral to the activity they are pursuing. Could hand movements ever be a key to revealing the inner workings of any given culture? It seems they might. Seeing as how the hand movements are -at least to a degree – determined by the things they touch and leave.