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Andrea Peña
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Asim Waqif
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After School

Teen Art Cooperative
Our Mission

The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

Learn More About Us

Than Htay Maung

My Offering

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Curated by Katherine Talcott

Artist Statement

I have not escaped the memories of the victims’ hands asking for food and help in the aftermath of the Nagis cyclone that hit Burma’s delta in 2008. When my wife and I were doing relief work with other friends, I saw the many hands of people who were hungry for food, for safety, for kindness, and for others. We continue to see countless hands like these all over the world today. There are countless hungry people who are running and hiding because of civil war and war aggressions, who lost their job because of crises, and who are trying to survive under a dictatorship. They raise their hands with hunger and questions that are important to solve to stay alive. I am an artist who became a baker for our family’s survival. Whenever I am working with bread, I see the hungry hands of the victims we helped in Burma, and I continue to think of other hands that are rising with needs. It is a pleasure to put nourishment in the hands of hungry ones. When I bake, peace becomes an ingredient. One night, I had a chance to rewatch an old James Bond movie. There was a scene about a weapon factory in the film. The faces of the workers in the weapons factory are like the faces of statues–I could not see any happiness or interest. When I thought of my fellow workers, I felt joy knowing I am able able to work with their smiling faces in the bakery. I believe that everybody, especially those who have known hunger, will be happy to view this expanse of bread. I mentally combined the hungry hands that I cannot forget and the bread that I have enjoyed baking over the years to make this artwork because I want to bring a little bit of happiness to people. Imagine bombs instead of bread in these hands. Would you still find joy in them?



About The Artist

Than Htay Maung was born in 1958 in Pathien, Burma. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife Khet Mar, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh's writer-in-residence. His installation work, created out of found materials, is politically charged commentary on news and its veracity and dissemination to the public. Whether making an installation about satellite news distribution in Burma or sending SOS bottles filled with commentary down the Irrawaddy River, Than Htay Maung’s work always asks the viewer to question what he or she believes to be the truth

Curated by Katherine Talcott


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