Rijks Academy Residency Personal Statement

Burmese artist Zaw Win Pe undertook a short residency at Rimbun Dahan from April to June 2010.

“I am inspired by landscape themes, not with the thought of painting particular places, but of expressing elemental moods and emotions. But the paintings never lack the geographical and environmental characteristics of the places I paint. Colour is the key element for me. I believe colour can tell everything about human’s feelings and thoughts.”

Born in 1960 in Le Gaing, Mague Division, Central Myanmar
1981 – 1984 State School of Fine Art

Myanmar exhibitions:

1994 Wintry Winter Group Exhibition, Judson Hall, Yangon
1996 Five Fingers Art Exhibition, New Treasure Gallery, Yangon
1998 Page 98 Group Exhibition, Lokanat Gallery, Yangon
1998 Libra Art Exhibition, Lokanat Gallery, Yangon
1998 All Myanmar Art and Sculpture Exhibition, Yangon
1999 Aesthetic Journey Art Exhibition, Yangon
2000 Nudes by Contemporary Myanmar Artists, Yangon
2000 Artistic Touch Exhibition, Lokanat Gallery, Yangon
2000 “Zaw Win Pe’s Palette Knife Paintings”, Yangon
2001 Stroke in Tempo Exhibition, Yangon
2002 5th Annual Group Show, Myanmar Gallery of Contemporary Art, Yangon
2002 “Exotic Eye” – Solo, Myanmar Gallery of Contemporary Art, Yangon
2003 Page 2003 Exhibition, Lokanat Gallery, Yangon
2004 4th Artistic Touch Group Exhibition, Lokanat Gallery, Yangon
2004 Myanmar Contemporary Art Awards Exhibition of Finalists, Yangon
2008 Myanmar Contemporary Art Awards Exhibition of Finalists, Yangon

Overseas exhibitions:

2004 Myanmar Contemporary Art Award Exhibition of finalists, HK
2004 Two man exhibition with Ba Khine, Singapore
2005 “Searching the Colour with Knife Strokes”, Solo exhibition, Chiang Mai, Thailand
2005 Three man exhibition “Burma Stars”, Hong Kong
2006 “Quiet Wind” Exhibition of five Myanmar artists, San Francisco
2007 “Burma Phoenix” Group show of Myanmar artists, New York
2007 Contemporary Art from Myanmar. Group show of Myanmar artists, Washington, USA
2007 Art from Myanmar. Group show of Myanmar artists, Princeton and New York
2008 “Serenity” Solo Exhibition, Ernst & Young Solution LLp, Singapore
2010 “Christies-30 Artfriends Exhibition, Christies International Art Auction House

Awards and collections

2004 Winner of the Myanmar Contemporary Art Awards
2008 Second prize winner in the Myanmar Contemporary Art Awards 2008
2008 Painting acquired by the Singapore National Art Museum

Other Art Experience

2010 Painting was selected as 30 Artfriends Book.

The residency application process is all business. Those who read your essay are not looking for novel styling, mysterious openings, or poetic phrasing; instead, they are looking for a clear statement of why you want to pursue a career in that particular specialty.

Like the AMCAS personal statement, residency personal statements are open ended in that there's no specific prompt. However, your residency matching application essay will need to be even more focused than the one that you submitted to medical school. Keep in mind that you are ultimately applying for a job, and your residency essay should reflect a strong level of professionalism.

One of the biggest mistakes that we see in residency essays is organizing them like med school application essays. Some applicants even try to use their med school essay as the basis for their residency essay. On the surface, this makes sense. Obviously, your medical school application essay was successful, so you want to repeat that success in the residency matching process.

However, we definitely recommend starting your residency essay from scratch. The selectors really only want to know about your life after you began medical school, so you'll need to draw upon those experiences to create an effective essay. Also, there is a strong trend within residency matching for shorter and shorter essays. No specialty is looking for an essay of longer than one page and one paragraph, but limiting the essay to fewer than 700 words is a good guideline.  

Additionally, we've learned that creative essays don't perform particularly well in the matching process. Residency selectors are looking for very specific things within the essay, and they want to know how you'll fit in to their program. It's called 'matching' for a reason, and you'll need to show the selectors that you have a place with them as a resident.

Here are the main content areas that we suggest covering in your residency essay:

Why have you chosen this specialty?

In the first part of your residency statement, you should discuss what in particular has interested you about the specialty you've chosen, and how you've built experience in that field. If you're planning on devoting your life to internal medicine, radiology, or any other focused branch of medicine, you must have a clear reason for doing so. Thus, make sure that the reader comes away from this section understanding what has led you to this profession.

Why do you think you will excel in this specialty?

Not every med school student will have equal interest in, let alone talent for, every specialty. What about you makes this specialty the right match for your personality and goals? Help the selectors see that you have what it takes to thrive in the specialty. A meticulous person can feel right at home doing gross and checks in pathology. Excellent manual dexterity can ensure success as a surgeon. Persistence in solving complex puzzles can serve you well as an internist. In this part of the essay, make connections between general talents and your chosen specialty.

What are you seeking in a residency?

Next, write about how you intend to further that experience during your residency and what specifically you're seeking in a residency. Don't talk about specific locations, though, as you'll likely send this essay to a large number of facilities. You've got a solid base of experience already, but during your residency you're going to become an expert. What will you contribute? You may want to write about things like teamwork, continuous learning, and passion for patient care.

How do you see your career in this field progressing?

Finally, look past your residency to give the reader an idea of what you plan to do with your accrued knowledge once you have completed your residency. Show the residency selectors how you will use the knowledge and skills that you gained in the residency for the benefit of patients. Do you envision yourself pursuing research? Working in a university? Being a provider in underserved regions? Tell them your vision for your career as a physician.

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