Kyaw Kyaw Winn—A Prolific And Versatile Photographer in Asia

February 10, 2015 - Photographers - Post by: WfpaEdit

Kyaw Kyaw (pronounced Chaw Chaw) Winn has been an enthusiastic photographer for more than two decades. His passion in photography was ignited after attending his first introductory photography course while he was still in middle school in 1998 and after 17 years, a passion became a profession. Now Kyaw Kyaw is one of Myanmar’s most respected and awarded photographers.

Kyaw Kyaw writes many photography and travel photography articles for the local magazines and journals. His photographs have appeared on the covers of publications internationally. Since 2007 he has won over 500 awards in both local and international photo contests. Especially to deserve to be mentioned, in china, Kyaw Kyaw won the grand award under the Portrait & Costume category in HPA 2011 for the work called “Faces of Chin Women” and the Jury’s Special Award under the Architecture category in HPA 2013 for the work called “Bagan, Our Fortune” respectively.

Kyaw Kyaw remembers the highlights of documenting “Face of Chin Women” were trekking and shooting for 4-days in remote Chin State with several vanishing “tattoo” tribes. Images of Chin women with tattooed faces are almost always shown with dour if not menacing faces, which is far from who they really are. They are generally fun loving, hard working and big hearted. They are also tough as nails, scratching out not much more than a subsistence living in the steep mountain terrain. The oldest living he found was 95. Another claimed to be 100, but she really didn’t look a day over 85. The Myanmar government has outlawed the Chin facial tattooing, so the practice is dying out. The youngest woman to sport the tattoos he believed to be 20, though he never caught up with her and found a few in their mid-thirties, and the average seems to be around 60.

Kyaw Kyaw also enjoyed photographing the project “Bagan, Our Fortune” in 2013, the 1,000 monks and thousands of pilgrims at the Ananda Pagoda festival in Bagan, many of whom arrived and departed in covered wagons pulled by oxen.

Recently, instead of learning photography, Kyaw Kyaw is teaching it as tutor for the Myanmar Photographic Society. He believes that photography is one kind of art, like all art forms, it holds within it infinite creative possibilities. He often inspires his students to be creative photographers simply by being who he is and leading by example. Sometimes when shooting conditions are not good, he relishes in finding ways to create pro level images anyway. While some of his students are crying that the light is terrible, he tells them how and why this “bad” light is great if they know how to use it. Most people never try because they have been trained to think about light in only one way, and to avoid shooting in harsh midday light instead of how to work with and take advantage of it. Documentary photojournalists know more than anyone else, life happens all day long, not just during Golden Hours, and you’d better know how to work and work well in all shooting conditions.



  1. Tashi Namgyal May 12, 2015 3:49 am

    Greetings from Himalaya Ladakh to all the teams of Photographer
    I am a amateur photographer from Ladakh, I like to join sending some photos about our culture and life
    how do i do?



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