Days and Beyond
Portrayal of life in its widest manifestations:
By Chandima Dharmadasa (Kandy)
By Dinali Cooray (Colombo)
By Niroshana De Silva (Embilipitiya)
By Sisira Gintotage (Matara)
Neville M Gamage (Galle)
By Vajira Hapuhinna (Hanguranketha)
By Thushantha Vidanage (Panadura)
“Days and Beyond”, an exhibition of photography featuring works of
ten photographers from diverse parts of the county will be held at
Alliance Francaise Colombo from May 22 to May 31, 2008.
The exhibition is the result of the project work of ten participants,
who offer the widest possible view of life in Sri Lanka from diverse
perspectives. The Workshop was conducted by photographer Jagath
Dheerasekara, who is also the curator of the exhibition.
As the workshop was chiefly on documentary photography, the body of
work resulted from it offers rich insights into myriad aspects of life
in Sri Lanka from busy life of fishermen to religiosity in Sunday school
Participants of the exhibition, Chandima Dharmadasa (Kandy), Dinali
Cooray (Colombo), Harshana Henarath (Kurunegala), Muditha Adikari (Pannipitiya),
Neville M Gamage (Galle), Niroshana De Silva (Embilipitiya),
Ratnananthan Aroodguhan (Jaffna), Sisira Gintotage (Matara), Thushantha
Vidanage (Panadura) and Vajira Hapuhinna (Hanguranketha) have treated
their chosen subjects in a unique manner and are also different in their
styles, making a rich and diverse collection of documentary photography.
Chandima Dharmadasa who has worked on the topic of “life beyond home”
offers a rare insight into life of a boarder in Colombo. Here, where the
photographer lodges, is a boarding-house of a white collar workers and
life commences when boarders return from work. It is only a lodging
place for them. The few snaps that Chandima presents depict the night
life in the boarding-house.
Dinali Cooray who lives in Colombo has chosen “lives of pets” as the
subject. Here the photographer offers the kind of relationship that pets
enjoyed in the life of the household and stresses the fact that pets are
totally dependent on people of the house.
Harshana Henarath deals with the subject of “getting ready”, a
preparatory process in life and tries to capture the tens moments of
“getting ready”. His photographs capture this essential element of life
which is manifested in every physical facet such as semi-constructed
Muditha Adikari’s photographs on “spider web” offer diverse
perspective of spider webs and its complex architecture. The
photographer is so sharp-eyed that he captures even the dew drops on the
spider web. Muditha also points out that the process of making a spider
web is as interesting as its manifold designs which encompass natural
objects like a leaf or a surface.
Neville M Gamage who hails from Galle captures the Buddhist Sunday
School or “Daham pasala” in his photographic exploration into the
religiosity in Buddhist tradition in South of Sri Lanka. More than
anything else, Dharm Pasala symbolizes calmness and tranquillity, a
quintessential characteristic of Buddhist temples.
Niroshana de Silva has dwelled on the subject “my son” and shows in
no uncertain terms the special place the son occupies in her life. Her
snaps attempt to explore her son’s activities in different spaces.
Ratnananthan Aroodguhan has taken an extraordinary view of seemingly
common objects such as streets under the title “over the wall”. He
argues that life in the city is confined by walls and though they have
been taken as inanimate objects, they have a life of their own.
Aroodguhan narrates a life of a street which awakes, stays active and
goes to sleep. The photographs capture the road that leads to the
apartment of the narrator.
Sisira Gintotage works on the theme of “beauty and ugliness” relating
to a beach nearby his home. The beach representing responded beauty of
the island is also representing the ugly facet of environment pollution
which he juxtaposition with ugliness. He argues the beauty and ugliness
of nature is product of human activities.
Thushantha Vidanage captures “fisherman’s life” exploring hitherto
unseen facets of rather a tough life of fishermen in Sri Lanka. Their
days are uncertain dependent on the catch. Thushantha tries to look some
gentleness in the rough life of fishermen.
Vajira Hapuhinna on the “cell animals” focuses on the plight of
animals in the zoo. These animals are taken from their original habitat
and caged so that the visitors can see them as exhibits. Vajira sees
animals that are used to routinised life in total exposure as lifeless.
The exhibition is not only an excellent attempt in documentary
photography but also a photo-documentation of facets of life in Sri
Lanka and would offer an invaluable insight into fascinating human
landscape coloured by people of different walks.
By Ratnananthan Aroodguhan (Jaffna)
By Muditha Adikari (Pannipitiya)