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February 10, 2016

A Peek Into Pala Pothupitiye’s Sri Sri Lanka

Text by Huzan Tata

Explore an artist’s vision of the Pearl of the Orient

Are maps considered to be ‘art’? Well, after Pala Pothupitiye’s first solo exhibition in India, you’ll think they are. The Sri Lankan artist, in the Mumbai show Sri Sri Lanka, re-crafts maps on canvas and paper, delving into the island nation’s rich history and geopolitical changes. As the press note for the show says, ‘the scars of colonialism and religious conflicts demand that Sri Lanka re-looks at herself…through the eyes of a cartographer who questions his own traditional as well as academic upbringing in a politically-charged nation that, from his artistic vantage point, fails to address the venerated title — ‘Sri’ —the country is known for.’ The exhibition also has on display several sculptures.  
4 Questions with the artist, Pala Pothupitiye
  1. Artistic Motivations “I don’t know, I am not sure. I just paint and make art everyday. I like making art so much.”
  2. Inspirations “My father, Jagath Weerasinghe and K. G. Subramanyan. Also the traditional arts and crafts of Sri Lanka.”
  3. On the wall at home “Mullegama Art Center has gifted most of them. I have works given to me by Jagath Weerasinghe, Anoli Perera, Aruna Vidana Arachchi, Priyanthi Anusha, and other artists from Theertha. I admire many works by other master artists from around the world…”
  4. Concerns that find a place in your art “Human conflicts – ethnic, cast-based, colonial, religious…”

Sri Sri Lanka is on display at Tarq, Mumbai (F35/36, Dhanraj Mahal, Apollo Bunder, Colaba) until February 20, 2016.

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