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Far East Painting – Burmese Contemporary Art

Burmese Contemporary Art – The HistoryBurma (Myanmar), a Southeast Asian country, has been isolated from the rest of the world since 1988, due to its non-democratic military dictatorship. Similar to its political and economic isolation, Contemporary Art in this region also does not have much western influence. Developing on its own terms, art in Burma reflects a fine balance between modernity and the country’s rich cultural heritage. The motifs and art theme in paintings are often related to the deep-rooted Marxist and Buddhist beliefs in the country. The difficult socio-political situation in the country also has a significant influence on its Contemporary Art.Contemporary Art is not much experimental in Burma, with oil, poster color, crayons, and watercolor as the most popular mediums for paintings. A characteristic feature of art education in Burma is the system of apprenticeship, where-in students learn from their masters in workshops. The development in Contemporary Art is limited to the two major cities of Rangoon (Yangon) and Mandalay. The State School of Fine Arts opened in Yangon and Mandalay, in 1952. They are the first formal art schools of the country. The National Museum of Myanmar, established in 1952, was first platform for aspiring artists to display the nation’s art.The Artworks & ArtistsArtists U Ba Nyan and U Ngwe Gaing were the first ones to introduce Western Painting style in Burmese Art. U Lun Gywe (Yangon, 1930) is considered the greatest living master of Burmese Paintings. His style of painting is close to Impressionism, with his favorite subject being the beauty of women. ‘Dancer I & II’ (2006), ‘Bathing Beauties’ (2007), ‘Bathing Nymphs’ (2007), and ‘Nude series’ (2005) are among his famous artworks. Aung Kyaw Htet’s (Myaungmya, 1965) work mirrors basic values and rituals that encompass Buddhism and his rural upbringing. Unlike most Burmese artists, his paintings depict the faces of monks and nuns in detail, with a special series of monks in red robes. ‘Four Monks in White’ (2006), ‘Portrait of a Monk in Red’ (2008), ‘Robing at Dawn I & II’ (2009), ‘Innocence & Faith’ (2009), and ‘A Walk in the Sun’ (2009) are among his innumerable artworks.Some other ace Burmese Modern artists are Maung Di, Khin One, Khin Maung Yln, Kyi Twe, Nyunt Myat, San Myint, Paw Oo Thet, Win Pe (Mandalay), Po Po (born 1957), Mote Thone, Soe Naing, San Min, Min Wae, Wah Nu (born 1977), MPP Ye Myint, San Naing, Paw Thame, Nyein Chan Su, The Maw Naing, Aung Myint, Aung Ko, Moe Satt, Mrat Lunn Htwann, and Nyan Lin Htet.ConclusionDespite the absence of affluent collectors, the close-knit contemporary artists group in Myanmar exhibits its works in the private galleries of Yangon and Mandalay with enormous zeal. Insulated from the western world, the unique ‘eastern-ness’ of their art expression has shown beauty in the social realities of its conservative society. Myanmar’s economy has seen enormous growth, since it became a member of ASEAN in 1997. With this awakening, Myanmar Modernism, in its traditional pictorial connotations, also gained recognition in international art circles. Art critics across the world consider Myanmar Contemporary Art, with its dedication to most common everyday situation, enlightening and fresh, compared to the sophisticated Western Art forms.

Top 5 Reasons Why Online Banks Make Sense Today

Online banking is one of the services that retail banks, credit unions, and building societies provide their customers with. There are also some banks that are purely online so they have no branches with tellers that you interact with. The growing use of credit cards, debit cards, and other online payment services like PayPal adds to the diverse ways by which people move money around. All this makes people more comfortable with the idea of virtual monetary transactions where they’re not using cash and that opens up opportunities for online banking.So what are some of the reasons why e-banking is an attractive option for consumers?
Cheaper and May Offer Higher Interest Rates on Savings
One of the reasons why some are flocking to virtual banks or direct banks is that these are cheaper. People are getting frustrated with the various fees that banks are charging for their services. Direct banks do not have any branch network and they provide their services thru e-banking. This helps them avoid the overhead costs of maintaining a brick-and-mortar branch so they don’t need to charge so many fees. Many direct banks also offer online savings accounts that provide customers with higher interest rates compared to traditional banks.
Many traditional banks are now offering online banking services as an added service to their customers. U.S. bank Wells Fargo for example, is offering the Wells Fargo Online service. It’s convenient for customers because they can monitor their accounts and pay bills all from the comfort of their own homes. Check your bank if you can enroll in their online banking service to take advantage of these services.
Many may be turned away from online banking by the thought that it is not as safe as transacting with traditional banks. However, traditional banks also keep their customers’ financial information stored online so the risk is basically the same. Taking the same precautions that you take when protecting your other online accounts are just as important or even more important in order for you to protect your online bank information.
Extended Operating Hours
How many times have you had to take time off from your lunch break to make a transaction with your bank because you couldn’t drop by your bank after work hours? If you’re tired of rushing to the bank and taking time off from work, then you should consider e-banking. Many online banks operate 24/7 so there’s no need to rush out to your bank to complete a transaction.
Ability to Access Credit Card Statements
For credit card holders, banks that provide online banking allow cardholders to get their credit card statement online so there’s no need to wait for it to come in from the mail. The faster you get your statement, the faster you can review it. This paper-less transaction is also great for the environment.Online banks have many attractive features such as its higher interest rates, lower fees, security, and its many services that make it convenient to complete transactions like deposits, withdrawals, payment of bills and when you need to get your credit card statement. If you’re already comfortable using virtual payment methods like PayPal, then you should consider online banking for its benefits.

Can TIC’s Survive in the Existing Real Estate Market?

TIC InvestorsIn this very dynamic real estate market TIC (Tenant in Common) investors have suffered as the market has weakened. In particular, those real estate investors that joined TIC investments in the last four years, (at the top of the market) are finding that in some locations, high vacancy rates and plunging rental rates are squeezing their cash flow and their ability to pay their mortgages.Who bought TIC investments?As baby boomers have aged, they wanted to reposition their assets into investments that did not take up as much of their time and that did not involve their day to day attention. These investors wanted to escape management intense investments and buy into real estate investments that guaranteed them a “safe and consistent” return.They had typically sold other investments and traded into the TIC using a 1031 exchange, pooling with other investors which seemed like a safe bet. Unfortunately, many (not all*) TIC investments were organized by syndicators who purchased the properties at one price and then marked up the properties to resell to their investors. In many cases they used short term “interest only” loans to get their deals to pencil, betting that real estate appreciation as well as increasing rents would increase the value of the properties quickly and allow the properties to be refinanced.As a result of the large number of investors (TIC syndicators, REITS and others) competing for the same inventory, the price of assets went sky high thus lowering the yields of the investments. CAP rates as low as five and a half were not unusual and CMBS loan originators and other financial institutions were willing to lend to TIC syndicators and their investors on a non recourse basis.The Real Estate Market was not as strong as investors expected.Market appreciation, and rent increases did not occur. In the majority of American markets most property vacancy rates have increased, making it difficult for TIC’s to have enough money to cover their expenses. In many cases the properties performed to proforma, but when the time came to refinance them the rules had changed and the lenders wanted to see more equity in each investment. Nervous lenders have moved their investor equity requirements from 25% to 40% and even 50%.This has forced many TIC investors into the unpalatable position of significantly increasing their cash investments in properties to save their existing equity positions and furiously attempt to get new financing for their deals to replace the existing “interest only loans”. These new equity requirements are stretching the resources of TIC investors.TodayIn the past two years DBSI and Sunwest Management two major TIC syndicators have dissolved and filed for bankruptcy. As these cases move through the courts, questions have emerged about the future of TIC property sales. It seems likely that real estate TICs sold by real estate brokers will disappear and most likely be replaced by securitized TIC’s for larger investments and real estate partnerships for smaller investments. (TICs can be sold as real estate investments or as securities, but Real estate TICs are not held to the same high standard of disclosure as securities investments).A reflection of this trend, is that the Tenant-In-Common Association (TICA) changed their name to Real Estate Investment Securities Association ( REISA). In the last year REISA recommended that all TICs be structured as securities.** Some TIC syndicators are still in business such as RealtyNet Advisors. Realtynet Advisors have adjusted to changes in the market place with their special approach to TIC’s where there is no debt just equity invested, in other words they do not borrow money to make a deal. They find enough investors to contribute equity for the full sales price.The future of TIC investments will be dictated by the recovery of the market; in the mean time look for other ways to make money investing in real estate. Some of these other options include purchasing foreclosed property, purchasing real estate deals with large (50%) down payments or buying notes from banks that are desperate to increase their cash positions.Notes:**RealtyNet Advisors, are not your average Tenant-In-Common sponsor. Unlike most TIC sponsors, Realty Net Advisors don’t burden their properties with debt, brokerage fees, or other costly charges, and they do not sell at a higher than market rate. With the RealtyNet’s simple, co-ownership structure, investors own an undivided, fractional interest in an entire property. They each share in their portion of the net income, tax shelters, and property appreciation.” (quoted from RealtyNetAdvisors website) See http://www.realtynetadvisors.com/benefits-of-a-tic.php.Note: What is a Tenant in Common (also known as Undivided Fractional Interest) Investment?The tenant in common (or undivided fractional interest) structure allows investors to purchase an interest in a significant real estate asset, perhaps larger than they could obtain individually. The investor acquires a percentage ownership (title and deed) and receives passive rental income while receiving the tax benefits of traditional real estate. The investors own and control the properties, not a third party. TIC ownership provides investors with the first ever means for ownership diversity, both in location and type, of their real estate portfolio.Unlike partnership real estate, TIC ownership entitles each owner to the same ownership rights regardless of the equity invested. This element of the investment structure puts no individual owner (or group of owners) in direct control of the property over any other investor(s). You can truly have all of the ownership benefits and security of a large commercial asset with significantly fewer obstacles. As with any type of investment, the value of a fractional interest typically increases annually due to escalations inherent in most tenant leases. From Real Estate Investment Securities Association website at, http://www.reisa.org.** REISA is a national trade association for professionals who offer and distribute securitized real estate investments