For most of the nights since a coup returned Myanmar to military rule on February 1, a spectral symbol of protest has shone on a moldy side of a building.

Where the next lighting will appear in Yangon, the country’s largest city, is a mystery. But suddenly a projected image appears in the dark. Three fingers raised in rebellion. A dove of peace. The smiling face of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whose government was overthrown in the military coup.

The projections are from a filmmaker who wishes to remain anonymous while the military hunt down those who dare to oppose it.

Armed with brushes, poems and protest anthems, the creative classes give Myanmar’s mass uprising an imaginative oomph and rebellious spirit that surprised the military generals.

During the daily street rallies in the country’s big cities, the atmosphere often feels like a cultural carnival. Graffiti artists have sprayed messages about Major General Min Aung Hlaing, the army chief who orchestrated the coup. Poets have declaimed in angry verses. A cartoonists’ union marched with hand-drawn characters. Street dancers whirled around with devotion.

On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in a central district at the largest single rally since the street protests began in Yangon, holding up posters and signs designed for the Instagram generation.

“When we look at the history of the resistance in Myanmar, we have been quite aggressive and confrontational with that history of bloodshed,” said Ko Kyaw Nanda, a graphic designer whose protest art contrasts green pig heads (the army) with ruby ​​heels (Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi). “With this new approach, it can be less risky for people and more people can join.”

Myanmar’s military, which has ruled the nation for the most part for the past six decades, has detained more than 450 people since the coup, according to a group that persecutes political prisoners. The new regime has drastically curtailed civil liberties and its long history of forcible suppression of disagreements continues. Security forces have shot and beaten anti-coup protesters, but the weapons of dictatorship have not stopped peaceful protesters from relying on humorous memes and protest art to get them through.

“If the young people are on the street, why can’t I be?” said Daw Nu Nu Win, a retired official, who carried a laminated sign with Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s face at the rally on Wednesday. “I want the whole nation not to be under the dictatorship.”

Online art collectives made their designs for free so protesters could print them out for signs, stickers or t-shirts. One of the most popular pieces shows a collection of hands arranged in a three-finger salute from “The Hunger Games” films. Each hand was drawn by a different artist, a mosaic of defiance.

As she watched the protests grow, a freelance graphic designer known by the stage name Kuecool decided that she wanted to make a contribution. Even though she had illustrated a book on feminism, she hadn’t viewed herself as overtly political during her years at a PR agency.

She was shocked by the overthrow of the elected government by the military, which she did not like to see. She began to draw into the night.

One of her images is often used in the protest movement today: a young woman in a traditional sarong swinging a wok and a spatula. The background is purple, the characteristic color of the National League for Democracy, which was excluded from the government despite two landslide election victories.

Every evening at 8 p.m., cities across Myanmar have teamed up with the noise of people beating pots, pans, woks and anything else that causes a stir. The goal is to fend off the devil, and it is also during this period that the art of projection appears, adding visual elements to the noise of discontent.

Myanmar’s military rulers have long seen the arts as a threat, imprisoning poets, actors, painters and rappers. Among the dozen of people caught alongside Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi in the first raids of the coup before dawn included a filmmaker, two writers and a reggae singer. A graffiti artist whose protest tags have enlivened Yangon for the past two weeks said he was on the run from the police. Two poets were like that. Arrest warrants were issued for actors, directors and a singer on Wednesday.

Ko Zayar Thaw was a member of Generation Wave, a hip-hop collective that challenged the former ruling junta with clever text. After spending five years in prison for activism, he joined the National League for Democracy when it ran a by-election in 2012. Mr. Zayar Thaw won a parliamentary seat in what was once considered a military stronghold and settled down with tons of parliamentary paperwork thinking he had left his days of artistic protest behind.

“Hip-hop artists already have a culture of revolution, so our generation protested with songs,” he said. “Now all kinds of artists are involved because they don’t want to lose the value of democracy.”

The artistic ferment in Myanmar today has relied on other regional protest movements. During their month-long disagreement in Hong Kong, young protesters enlivened their rallies with cute cartoons and brightly colored walls of sticky notes reminiscent of the so-called Lennon Wall in Prague, where art and messages of dissent against communism proliferated. Motivated by a previous incarnation of the opposition, the demonstrators in Hong Kong popularized the use of the yellow umbrella against water cannons and turned it into a powerful meme.

In return, the Hong Kong democracy movement has spurred pro-democracy protesters in Thailand who held mass rallies for months over the past year. Encouraged by the capricious power in Hong Kong, Thai protesters who defended a prime minister who led a military coup in 2014 used inflatable rubber duck rafts to repel water cannons. They popularized the use of the greeting “The Hunger Games,” which Thailand’s former junta initially tried to ban with their states of emergency. (Nobody really listened.)

A few days after the coup in Myanmar, doctors who started a civil disobedience movement that has now forced around 750,000 people to stop going to work flashed their three fingers in protest. The greeting is now the leitmotif of rallies in Myanmar, along with characters in English – even better to attract international attention – denouncing the military takeover.

“I was inspired by the way protesters in Hong Kong and Thailand used creativity and humor in their protests,” said Kyaw Nanda, the graphic designer.

The counter-currents of protest flow in both directions. Last week a Thai youth group accepted the Myanmar saucepan campaign for a protest in Bangkok.

“There is a struggle for democracy, human rights and justice in the region,” said U Aye Ko, a painter in Myanmar whose art has long expressed political aspirations. “The movement goes beyond the problem of a nation. We have all come together to resist oppression. “