The photography exhibition “From Burma to Myanmar: Portrait of a Country in Transition” is scheduled to open Thursday and run through June 21 at the Krause Center for Innovation Gallery at Foothill College, 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills.
An opening reception is slated 7-9 p.m. Thursday.
The display – comprising 17 local photographers and 30 photographs – captures a country exiting a troubled past and entering a new era of reform and openness. A nominally civilian government was installed in 2011, ending 50 years of military dictatorship and opening a doorway to foreign relationships, investment and tourism. Burma today offers contrasting views of traditional ways and modernization.
During a two-week trip led by Foothill College photography professor Ron Herman, the participating photographers visited many areas of Myanmar, including the cities of Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake. Each city featured golden pagodas, often the cultural and spiritual center of Buddhist life.
Photographers accompanying Herman on the trip included Katherine Bazak, Cathy Cakebread, Barbara Buchholz Collins, Michael Collins, Harlan Crowder, Lorraine Crowder, Evelyn D’Alessandro, Lisa D’Alessandro, Ann Eddington, Karen Hensman, Bob Mazawa, Melinda Miller, Susan Neville, Sandy O’Gorman, Don Wheatley and Kate Winn-Rogers.
“Myanmar enters the information age, with all the difficulties and possibilities that come with modernity,” said Michael Collins. “We went there to see something of the past, and there is a sadness with losing some of the wisdom of the past, but we appreciate that the past came with rigidities and lost opportunities.”
Winn-Rogers said she was “amazed” that the people were so warm and welcoming, despite the tales of political oppression.
“This is a country in rapid transition from a previous century to the wonders of the modern world – see it now before westernization changes it forever,” she said.
The KCI Gallery is located on the lower level of the Krause Center for Innovation, Building 4000. Parking is available in Lot 4 or Lot4-B for the disabled. Parking is $3 (quarters or $1 bills only). Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays. The gallery is closed Sundays and Memorial Day weekend.
For more information, visit the exhibition blog at FromBurmaToMyanmar.wordpress.com.