Myint Zaw sits in front of the entrance to the temple of Thambula Pahto in Bagan and sells his paintings to tourists who come for a quick look. The site is not anymore on the top list of the sightseeings, since now it is forbidden for tourists to climb up to the upper terrace.
He is legally here, has to pay for his licence an annual amount of 6 US-Dollar. Myint Zaw started to study sand painting at the age of 13. “I learned it from my father”, says the 31 year old man from Bagan. He gets the sand from the river and puts it in 3 layers on glue at a cotton piece. “Every layer takes at least 3 hours to dry”, he explains. When the sand is stable enough he starts drawing. After he uses acrylic and natural colours from stones, depends on the intensity of the colours he wants.
He studied 6 years in primary school. English he learned with monks at a nearby monastery. His big dream is studying archaeology. He knows that he will never make it. Another wish is just getting more westernized. Actually, his idols are Western people. He cannot explain why. Maybe, Burma, his country, was for too long a closed society, apart from all influences from abroad. He sells his paintings to tourists between 5 to 55 US-Dollar.