Serendipity Revealed

“Serendipity Revealed”: An Exhibition Contemporary Sri Lankan Art

at The Brunei Gallery, London

9th October – 20th December 2014

Curated by Annoushka Hempel, Founding Director

Click here to view the online exhibition

Click here to view the catalogue

Click here to view the report

Protest Series by Anoli Perera, Education Map by Pala Pothupitiya, Liz Fernando

A thematic show with representation by different artists presenting works in different mediums giving a view of the recent and contemporary history of Sri Lanka.

Five years of peace, from the end of the armed conflict in May 2009, has given the country and its artists in particular the opportunity to settle and develop their artistic practice. Since 2009, Sri Lanka has also hosted three editions of the Colombo Art Biennale which has opened horizons to practising artists.

Public Exhibition

“Serendipity Revealed” is being presented by the Colombo Art Biennale (CAB) in collaboration with Hempel Galleries. Curated by founding director, Annoushka Hempel who has carefully selected artists and their works to showcase and give glimpses of these untold stories as unveiled by some of Sri Lanka’s foremost contemporary artists.

Roadscape by Pradeep Thalawatta

Participating artists will include established artists in Sri Lanka such as: Kingsley Gunatillake, Anoli Perera and Sovereign Art Prize winner 2011 Pala Pothupitiya. Works by Internationally renowned artist Cora de Lang from her time in Sri Lanka, alongside emerging artists such as Jananda Laksiri, Pradeep Thalawatte and Koralegedara Pushpakumara. In addition works by diasporic artists such as Reginald Aloysius, Liz Fernando and Nina Mangalanayagam will be shown.

The exhibition will contain a minimum of 60 works including sculpture, installation, video, paintings and Photography and will be open to the public for two and half months.

Public Talk

Curator of the exhibition will give a talk that will give an important insight into the historical background and context for the exhibition. Six artists exhibiting at the show will also give presentations of their works at the gallery. Anoli Perera, Pala Pothupitiye, Reginald Aloysius, Liz Fernando and Nina Mangalanayagam.

Film Screenings

Screening of video work by multimedia artists, including film director Vimukthi Jayasundara - the first Sri Lankan to win the prestigious Camera d’Or Prize in Cannes, will also be present at the opening of the show.

The Brunei Gallery, London - Russell Square, London WC1

The Brunei Gallery, close to the British Museum, is part of London’s ‘Museum Mile’, is an important venue that hosts a programme of changing contemporary and historical exhibitions from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The international widely recognized institution is supporting this show through sponsorship.

The Artists

1. Anoli Perera’s work consists of large installations, paintings, sculpture and more recently photoperformances. Hailed as the pioneering contemporarywoman artist in Sri Lanka, who ushered in art that is informed by feminism and craft art practices, her work engages critically on thematics that range from women’s issues, history, myth to identity, colonialism and post colonial anxieties. Anoli has exhibited extensively internationally including South Asia, Hong Kong & the UK.

2. Pala Pothupitiye stems from a background of traditional craft art for ritual ceremonies. A thoughtful, sophisticated, subtly political artist,Pothupitiye confronts the compelling political issues raised by the war in Sri Lanka and brings certain repressed questions to the canvas and his art objects. More recently know for his map-works, Pala was won the prestigious Sovereing Asian Art Prize in 2010.

3. Cora de Lang is a transcultural nomad who has been living and working in Argentina, Germany, India, Mexico, Spain, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. Cora has exhibited extensively and has works in private and state collections over four continents. Her work often executed in layers encompasses both figurative and abstract as well asthe use of photography and video.

4. Jananda Laksirian emerging artist who stems from a fine arts and design education, explores the world of electronics, IT, and 2D & 3D graphic software. The result has been powerful digital art and striking multimedia installations. His superbly executed works are highly charged with energy and emotions that take the viewer beyond personal despair to focus on the broader issues of society.

5. Mahen Perera trained in Multi-Disciplinary Design & Fine Arts, works mainly with found objects and material detritus that are often ignored, and seeks to analyze and challenge the conventional language used to talk about issues of identity and representation. His works are evocative of the concept of absence and sometimes even suggestive of archeology in the way that he intimately explores and celebrates the residual.

6. Liz Fernando’s work mostly finds its roots in conceptual research. Her own biography, research into the role of photography in South Asia and the resulting work, highlights the different meanings that photography, identity, history and the notion of memory occupy within nonwestern cultures.Her work has been exhibited at theTate Modern and has recently been acquired by the World Bank in Washington D.C for its permanent collection. Liz lives and works in Berlin and Colombo.

7. Reginald S. Aloysius is a British-born artist of Sri Lankan Tamil descent whose background has informed his work exploring themes of globalisation, emigration, and the destruction of tradition through development and modernisation.Through the exploration of the iconography of Sri Lankan and Southern Indian temples, Aloysius investigates the social agency inherent in any cultural choice.

8. Kingsley Gunatillake is a senior practising artistin Sri Lanka, who works as a painter and installation artist. He has participated in a largenumber of group exhibitions both in Sri Lanka and abroad. He is the recipient of number of National awards and lectures at the University of Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo.

9. Dhanushka Marasinghe is an early career artist trained in fine arts and Digital Film developingfilm techniquesand his love of animation.Marasinghe addresses the expressive power of the audio-visual medium to explore socio-political issues such as violence, racism and bigotry, environmentalism, and how privacy (and thelack of it) has become one of the defining issues of modern society.

10. Koralegedera Pushpakumara is a mid-career artist and one of the early artists of the ‘90s Trend’ who works bth as a painter and a conceptual installation artist. He has exhibited extensively in Sri Lanka and taken part in many international workshops and art events. Pushpakumara is a highly acclaimed artist who has received many awards.

11. Nina Mangalanayagam of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, is a Swedish visual artist based in London.She uses her personal experience and family background to explore the fluidity and unfixed nature of identities, the interplay of influence among identity, family, society, and environments. Through her practice she explores theexperience of being “in-between” cultures and how she is perceived because of her mixed background. Nina has a Masters in Photography from the Royal College of Art in London, she has received several awards and is currently working on a Ph.D. at the University of Westminster.

12. Vimukthi Jayasundara is an award-winning young Sri Lankan director known for his surreal films that erase the borders between fiction and documentary, between cinema and visual art. After finishing his documentary the land of silence (2002) about the victims of civil war, he made his directorial debut with the forsaken land (2005), which won the Camera d’Or for best first feature at Cannes. Jayasundra followed this with Between two worlds (2009), which competed at the Venice Film Festival, and has been shown at over 100 festivals internationally. His third feature mushrooms (2011) was selected for Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. In 2012 he was invited to be one of three international directors to produce a film for the Jeonju Digital Project 2012, which was selected for the Locarno Film Festival.

13. Bandu Manamperi holds a BFA in Sculpture and is a core member of Colombo’s Theertha Artists’ Collective. Bandu was one of the first performance artists in Sri Lanka, creating highly personal art experiences based on the transformation of his own body. Bandu however doesn’t limit himself to any one genre and his art practicealso encompasses sculpture, drawing painting, and installation art. Bandu is a leading figure in recent social art projects carried out under the aegis of Theertha, including “Let’s Take a Walk” and “Ape Gama.”

14. Pradeep Thalawatta: Pradeep’s recent works are dominated by his experiences of the last three years living and teaching in Jaffna. Painting, drawing, photo manipulation, digital collaging, installations, video and performance, are all mediums in which Pradeep is working in, giving attention to textures and colours as well asthe memories, histories and experiences embodied in objects.

For enquires: Puja Srivastava –