U Shwe Oung Thame (1935 -1994)

A witty and eccentric artist whose name used to be Aung Thein, Shwe Oung Thame changed the spelling of his name in English and added prefix "Shwe" meaning gold as there were so many others of the same name.


U Shwe Oung Thein was born in Kyi Myin Dine Township, Yangon. He was one of four children. His parents were U Pho Sine and Daw Aye Hla. Since childhood, U Shwe Oung Thein was immersed in the art of painting. He studied art under the well-known artist U Ba Thet and had shown more than 300 paintings at the Sarpaybeikman Exhibitions. His paintings were also exhibited in Honolulu in 1986 and in Seoul in 1988 and 1990. U Shwe Oung Thein also wrote and published several novels, Madman in 1969 and A Way Out through the Treasure Cave in 1974. In these books, he described his life, his philosophy, his art and other subjects.


U Shwe Oung Thame was a well respected artist and writer. His paintings were usually painted with a palette knife which gave them a rich texture. His richly textured landscapes in oils, painted with a knife, were a distinct variation from the works of his peers who preferred large canvases and seldom used a knife.