Semage’s painting to be used in book on Buddhism


Renowned Sri Lankan artist ‘Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage recently despatched 20 beautiful Buddhist paintings each one depicting a significant event in the life of the Buddha to Singapore where they will be featured in an English and Chinese book on Buddhism.

Most Chinese people living in Singapore are Mahayana Buddhists.

They have heard of the many significant events in the life of Buddha, but they have not seen them in Buddhist paintings or other picture forms.

It was thus fortunate that Mr. Low Kim-Lyne a prominent member of the famous Mahayana Buddhist temple ‘Man fatt-Nam’ met Semage when the latter was on a tour in Singapore.

Mr. Semage had just conducted on exhibition of Buddhist paintings in Malaysian and a large number of art lovers had purchased his paintings. Mr Lyn had seen seen some of them and been very impressed by them.

And so when he met the artist, Semage he gave him the assignment of painting 20 paintings depicting events from Buddha life.

Semage has a style of his own. It is not so modern as to be complex and not so ancient as to leave towards temple paintings of Sri Lanka. This is a version of modernism based on the old. It is a creation of his own.

The 20 paintings have been done with water colours on a special paper and the artist says these are the bast paintings he had done so far.

In paintings pictures like "Mara Parajaya" (defeat of the God of death) he has used hot colours like dark red yellow and black, and in drowning pictures like "Buduweema" (attaining Buddha-hood) he has used mild colours in the picture "Dushkarakriya" (The great struggle) he has used colours to suit the title and the occasion. In painting senior pictures of "Sath Sathi" (Seven weeks) he has made a visible change by using poster colours.

In 2001 he became the first Sri Lankan artist to hold a one man exhibition of Buddhist paintings. This exhibition was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, In addition he was the first artist to do paintings at "Mangala Vihara" Singapore and at the Buddhist temple in Penang. He was selected to built the giant Buddhist Pandol at the entrance to the Asia-Pacific Exhibition held in Fukuoka Japan.

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