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An eye on the neighbour

first_imgWhen neighbours turn friends and display their artworks, it is a sight to watch out for. Jagath Weerasinghe, Anura Krishantha and Pala Pothupitiye are three artists from Sri Lanka who unveiled through their work narratives of a community redefined by transgressions and traumas. Together, the three artists depict diverse narratives of resistance developed in a society and a country that has for last 30 years witnessed multiple crises, the most visible of them being a highly destructive civil war that ended in 2009. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Notions of nationhood, citizenry and humanity are problematised in these narratives, painted, drawn and constructed to be read without compromising either the meanings or the aesthetics.Among the three artists, Jagath Weerasinghe is the seniormost who successfully dislodged the milieu from its excessive affinity with an Oriental sensibility. In his present works, Weerasinghe presents a series of works titled ‘Who Are You Soldier’, a re-formulated theme from his 1996 series with the same title. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPala Pothupitiye represents the second generation of artists that continue the legacy of the 90s art. Pothupitiye’s current works executed on maps cast a profound gaze upon the land and its people as victims of geopolitical agendas of states and dissenting groups. His attention on the politics of cartography and the emotions that overwhelm communities, nations and individuals on the basis of mythical and historical claims for ownership over land that fuel wars, domination and victimisation has produced a significant array of layered artworks in the form of maps. Anura Krishantha represents the most recent generation of artists whose art-making playfully absorbs the youthful preoccupations of urbanity and its globalised visuals and consumerist aspects of life, it discontents are presented as a fantasy imbued with power, illusion and danger. Krishantha, who has been working with the visual motif of chairs for over five years, predominantly bases his aesthetics on a mixture of pop and kitsch.Autobiographical in many senses and cathartic in other, the Sri Lankan artistes traces the transformations through a process of placing themselves in the center of the work. They are part of the anguished society.last_img read more

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