RU 2008 Multiple - layered vision
RU 2008, the exhibition of paintings by Ruwan Upasena which commenced
at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery on May 9 will go on till May 11. Over
the years, Ruwan has evolved his own style of paintings with colour
composition dominated by bright hues and shades.
It seems that he has a penchant for creating images against the
backdrop of layers of colours often with black and reddish objects.
Although Upasena has not yet ventured into the areas of portraits, he
has been heavily drawn towards abstract paintings. Upasena’s exposure to
the classical tradition of world famous painters and their work is amply
manifested by their influence on his application of techniques.
Upasena states that he draws inspiration for his work from the
pleasant experiences of the past, present and the experience that he
would like to undergo in the future. For instance, one of his creations
is the painting of a reading man on an elephant’s back.
Here, though it is not clear whether the painter derived the image of
sage on a elephant’s back from Sri Lanka of the by gone era or from his
own jaunt, perhaps, at Pinnawala Elephant’s Orphanage, it is a ingenuous
combination of images of the past with the present.
The seemingly comfortable Dolawa (Coach) on elephant’s back is an
article from the past and it is combined with the mahout who is in
Sarong and Shirt. However, Upasena has chosen rather gloomy backdrop for
the painting. The elephant walks along a path against the background of
gloomy heaven and mountains look like those in desert areas.
The tree in white would have included making a contrast against an
otherwise gloomy background. For this creation, Upasena has primarily
used red, black, green and yellow discriminately. Gloomy background is a
common feature that has been a signature feature in his paintings.
Definitely this gloomy back drop has a contrasting effect on other
images and figures in the paintings.
The torso is one of the best creations included in the present
collection of exhibits. However in this creation, Upasena has somewhat
deviated from his practice of using gloomy background. Instead here is a
quite white backdrop, once again, with red, black and white hues. This
painting takes a bit of an abstract nature.
The line-drawn figure in left corner of the frame is being
obliterated, to a certain extent, by smudging it with black, white, red
and blue hues. The frame is dominated by black which is contrasted with
large patches of white towards the middle of the painting.
Though it is not clear, at a glance, whether the figure is in a happy
or a pensive mood, it definitely looks forward and the pattern of
thoughts that goes in his mind is depicted by tiny flowers sprung from a
tree on top of the head.
However, it is somewhat intriguing to speculate whether the
multi-directionally branched out tree has been inserted into the
painting to depict the state of mind of the figure or to reflect on the
mood of the environment. The somewhat bright tiny flowers on branch
edges of the tree are a clever way of depicting trend of thoughts of the
This painting shows that the artist is capable of demonstrating his
innate talents on different platforms and is quite conversant with
diverse styles of paintings.
The artist’s futuristic outlook is manifested in an abstract where a
vehicle in the shape of an elephant is depicted.The vehicle runs on
chain and is apparently driven by two rocket engines and the human
figure on the elephant’s back held a lit-up torch which serves as a head
light of the vehicle.
The background is red and black. The road along the vehicle is
driven, is made up of green and black stripes.
The human figure on top of the elephant is shaded by a leaf-less
three which is also mechanical. Here Upasena articulates his fears
regarding the emerging order which is dominated by machines and a lot of
artificial objects which perhaps, would replace the nature.Owing to the
ever shrinking space for human habitat, the buildings are depicted as
rising columns with capped roofs.
Even in this painting, Upasena has used a gloomy backdrop, perhaps,
to drive home the idea that the futuristic highly industrialized world
would not be a place where nature takes pride of place.
White has been sparingly used to bring about a contrasting effect to
the painting.Ruwan Upasena, a fourth year student in the Faculty of
Visual Art in the University of Visual and Performing Arts has been
engaged in the craft from his childhood. He is an old boy of St. Mary’s
College and Lumbini Maha Vidyalaya Colombo.
‘The Rhythm of life’
“The Rhythm of life” an annual exhibition of photography presented by
the National Photographic Art Society (NPAS) and the Ceylon Society of
Arts of Sri Lanka will go on board at the National Art Gallery from May
It will be held from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00. The inaugural session on the
16th will be held at 10 a.m.
The National Photographic Art Society will showcase some of the best
pictures of human interest.
Many of Sri Lanka’s well renowned photographers are members of this
distinguished fellowship whereupon five eminent life photographers, both
foreign and local will grace the occasion.There will be also a
competition, organised by the Natural Photographic Art Society of Sri
Lanka which aims to reward the best ‘photographers’ of the society.
Tele-drama producers against mega tele-drama series
The Tele-Nataya Sansadaya, an organisation of tele-drama producers
has recently protested against the telecast of so-called Mega Teledrama
series that run continuously.
The Sansadaya pointed out that Mega Tele-drama series has been
causing irreparable damage to the local tele-drama industry,
contributing steady decline in public taste. The Sansadaya states that
this trend which had been adapted by private channels, has,
unfortunately, been followed by state channels confining prime belt to
few chosen tele-dramas.
This has created never ending backlog of tele-dramas and producers
are unable to even recover the initial investment and paying the fees to
the cast. Sansadaya is of the view that this mega tele-series which is
being telecast without being subjected to any assessment will contribute
to the total collapse of local tele-drama industry.
However, it should be mentioned here that low- quality cheap local
productions have also paved the way for the intrusion of mega- tele-drama
series into the local scene.
Cherrio Sergeant - 20th anniversary
Sando Harris will present a special show of Cherrio Sergeant in
collaboration with the Welfare Society of ITN to coincide with his 20th
anniversary in the arts industry and his birthday on May 17 at the K. C.
P. Auditorium, Kadawatha. Organised by the Welfare Society of ITN the
shows will be at 3.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.
The cast will include Sando Harris, Melani Ashoka, Deshan Amerasinghe,
Damitha Saluwadana, Milinda Perera, Udaya Thalpawila, Somachandra, Erik
Pitawala, Ekanayake, Awantha Sudesh and Erik Francis. Music is by A. C.
Fernando and Hashan Harris, make up is by Sarath Ranaweera. On the
morning of May 17 at 10 a.m. - 11.00 a.m., Sando Harris will present a
one hour show of an episode from Cherrio Sergeant at the Cemetery
Veteran director of Tele-dramas Somaweera Bopitiya has produced a new
tele-drama titled “Suhada Prathana”. The cast include Tissa Wijesurendra,
Wickrama Bogoda, Nirosha Maithree, Swarna Bopitiya and Jagath
The script is written by Tissa Wijesurendra, edited by Chamara S
Widanapathirana and music for the tele-play is by Wasantha Priyankara