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Rubert Soysa

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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 and 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.

Rubert sees art much more than a mere message and as a language a mode of communication of the human emotions. He is a recipient of three awards. Prime Minister's prize for the painting at the annual art exhibition of the Ceylon Society of Arts, President's Prize at the Annual Art Exhibition of the Ceylon Society of Arts and the first prize for the best painting at the State Award Ceremony.  

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Vajira Gunawardena

Self-portraits and colour dominate Vajira Gunawardena's work. Various heads, skulls and faces within the silhouette of a larger head are combined to encompass memories visually. In Gunawardena's earlier work he painted scenes from daily life and television with a focus on commercialism and consumerism. His latter works have begun to present more of the artist's self, in compositions of bright abstract canvases, featuring the face in many forms, expressions and colours. Gunawardena's work connects with the viewer in a lighter, direct manner. There are no hidden, darker meanings, just pure, bright fun.

 

The artist believes that creativity is his only response mechanism to the social politics he is faced with and a statement of his own artistic freedom that he uses in order to work without rules or trends. Gunawardena emerges from a generation of artists whom have studied with limited resources, nevertheless expressing their artistic creativity freely. Gunawardena uses motifs from popular culture combined with the traditional art practice in a similar way to that of neo-expressionists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Georg Baselitz. There is, however, a softer, quirkiness to his compositions, a characteristic that the artist uses to connect with and appeal to his audience. This experience in its entirety offers the viewer the escapism he himself craves.

 

'I work instinctively and intuitively. Spontaneity and experimentation play key roles in my creative process and I continuously edit my work until a unified composition and narrative emerges,' states Gunawardena. While he does not belong to a collective, he works closely with other established and young artists in promoting the contemporary art scene and staging exhibitions in galleries in Colombo.

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