Born in Sri Lanka in 1967, Anup Vega is Sri Lanka’s most skilled draftsman and self-taught artist. Vega’s body of work consists of oil, acrylic and watercolour on canvas, board and paper. They depict nature, self-portraits and the artists’ spiritual beliefs.
Kala Chakra featured Vega’a series of acrylic on canvas paintings of the Sri Lankan coconut tree from a new perspective. Typically the works featured the various colors of sunlight shining through the palm fronds.
Nature is beautiful, at times nature could be very rough nevertheless, that is nature…
Man is the greatest creation for better or worse.
It is the man that nurtures and destroys nature that being the nature of man.
The challenge never ends and man continues to create.
Man makes man…
I, you and all of us
Love is a phenomenon which is capable of giving you anything you wish. Like the power of gravity which keeps us in place on earth. Love is a binding force. It has made us who we are and what we are.
As a person born and brought up in Buddhist culture, I believe that the concepts of good and bad fostered in the Dhamma controls my subconscious mind which in turn guides me to hold onto what I conceptualize as good or spiritual. I release this on canvas.
In the existing socio-cultural ethics “love” is often harnessed for material gain. Man in this scenario, a being unto himself, is driven by the selfishness which he has embraced as love.
I introduce certain materials used in consumerism such as, bits of newspaper, advertising banners onto my canvas (materials which seduce love) and infuse them with colour. This is a relationship with my subconscious mind, resulting in works of art.
The painting goes on until Sanjeewa Kumara feels ‘soul’ on his canvas-till it embodies a life of its own, layer upon layer of paint will be slapped on. “It’s like raising a child,” he grins. Hailing from Kegalle, Sanjeewa’s work is firmly grounded in that quintessential cross hybrid between Eastern and Western. The 40-year-old artist signs his work off as Sanji, an unpretentious name reflective of his easy smile and warmth.
Following his BA, he traveled to Europe in 1999, coming home five years later with another diploma and a Masters under his belt. In Europe he gained exposure, taking part in several group exhibitions with a smattering of solo exhibitions as well.
Confronted with his constantly evolving work Sanjeewa struggles to define his artistic style. “It’s not easy for me to establish boundaries like that,” he says. “I find that my work is invariably a hybrid of different forms and styles. For example, I would draw a woman in a saree-that’s traditional. But then I’d give her an extra limb and have her imposed on a background of abstract shapes.”
Kumari is one of the foremost female contemporary artists in the local scene today. It is common for young Sri Lankan women to commit themselves to becoming housewives after marriage. Despite being influenced by the work of Frida Kahlo, Kumari confirms that she is not a feminist and does not wish to be referred to by her gender. She feels that at this moment Sri Lankans are in a stage of self-discovery. History enables a base for this discovery, and perhaps a second statement of independence after independence was first achieved in 1948.
All her works carry a similar air of femininity. Layers contrasting to emphasize the language with which she communicates, a language she prefers to protect against silence. As Marian PasterRoces writes on Kumari’s work, ‘the inevitable ‘hardness’ of prose will constrict what is subtle, and solidify what is fluid’.
VimuthiSahan, an emerging contemporary, started professionally painting in 2007 and since then he has already had a solo exhibition and collaborated in many group shows island-wide.
A graduate of the University of Visual and Performing arts, Sahan, in this exhibition depicts life in Sri Lanka, the political and social turmoil the younger generation face today. Living and breathing in a post conflict country. Where are we heading? Where do we want to be?
He also approaches the importance of technology today and how his generation interacts and the affect it has on personal relationships.With the use of strong, distinctive colours such as Black, White, and Red together with fragmented, erratic lines, Sahan succeeds in bringing forward the voice of his generation.
Prageeth Manohansa has over the past few years become one of the islands most prominent sculptors. His most recent projects include the 20 foot high peacock made entirely of scrap metal (Manohansa’s primary medium) and a his solo exhibition at the end of last year in the emerging art capital, Singapore. Manohansa is an artist who works entirely on his own, and while his assemblage has inspired many other young local sculptors, what sets him apart is his ability to capture movement and character in his works while manipulating the ‘found’ medium very little, if at all.
In this, his fifth solo exhibition in Sri Lanka, Manohansa presents a series of works on paper. The Bull and the Ganesh are two subjects that the artist has worked on continuously since he began exhibiting his work. In addition the artist presents sketches of the human body, something entirely new for the artist. These large charcoal and pencil sketches are representative of the skill and freedom Manohansa expresses when he works on paper. His strokes are bold and strong, his subject is in various means of representation in a state of flux.
My childhood was spent in my village near Kegalle. The natural scenic beauty of the land played a big role in my feelings. The vision, visual shapes, and colours are most influential in my work.
Georgio Morandi (1890-1964) said, “Nothing is more abstract than reality” in a similar way my objective is to show the abstraction that nature conceals. Extracting the essence in reality is the aim of my abstract works. In that manner I see my own shapes and compositions.
As a contemporary artist I would like to look beyond the so-called social or political upheavals. Through my art I want to depict aesthetic beauty and inner meaning to the human life rather than reacting in a political context. My resources are natural and manmade landscapes. Most of them are townscapes. So, my contribution is the revelation of the abstract aesthetic values, which are available within oneâ€™s surroundings. The techniques used in my work are mixed media: acrylic, paper to achieve texture and a three dimensional effect.
Gayan Prageeth held his first solo show at Paradise Road Galleries in 2010. The exhibition titled â€˜Paradoxâ€™ presented Prageethâ€™s work on paper. His surrealistic depictions of landscapes and angels remained two reoccurring themes in his work in the years to follow. The artist thereafter participated in numerous group exhibitions locally as well as in the Maldives and Bangladesh. One of artist Jagath Ravindraâ€™s brightest students, Prageeth refused to present another solo exhibition until he was truly ready. In this show that remains untitled, the artist has proven the wait was worth it.
A series of portraits, surreal landscapes and abstract compositions make up this exhibition of paintings and drawings. The work is representative of the intense and somewhat introvert nature of the artist himself. Bravely, Prageeth has ventured into themes of sexuality, desire and politics; themes that are almost entirely new to the artists work.
Influences of others such as R.M.Naeem and Dumith Kulasekara are present in this collection, however, the works contain the strong autobiographical and emotional expression that has been Prageeths strength from the very beginning. He is a young emerging artist with a skill in brushwork that is becoming rare amongst young artists who are overly obsessed with following international trends.
This will be Rubert Soysa’s sixth exhibition at Paradise Road Galleries. Soysa is one of Sri Lanka’s more established artists, best known for his abstract paintings depicting both figurative and abstract form. Born in Sri Lanka, Soysa studied art at the Government College of Fine Arts in 1973. He held his first solo show at the Vansbro Public Library in Sweden and thereafter continued to exhibit his work in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Syria, Cuba, Bulgaria, India, South Korea, and throughout Europe.
In this, his latest exhibition, Soysa focuses more on the figurative with portraits and the female nude as his main subject. The artist has introduced new media into his work, incorporating layers and texture using cardboard and other materials. The composition of the canvas in some pieces play with proportion and geometrical shapes.