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Art and Architecture exhibitions highlight a thriving arts scene

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Six of the country’s leading arts organisations announce projects and events that celebrate Art, Architecture and Design during the first half of 2022

The year 2022 marks the start of a series of important and unmissable art and architecture events taking place in Colombo involving artists from across the country and internationally. Six of Sri Lanka’s leading arts organizations are coming together to raise awareness and promote their respective projects to the city’s residents and returning tourists. Each of their upcoming projects clearly positions Colombo as a must-see destination for local and international art. The participating galleries and institutions are Colomboscope, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka (MMCA Sri Lanka), the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, the John Keells Foundation in partnership with the George Keyt Foundation, Saskia Fernando Gallery and Barefoot Gallery Colombo.

Natasha Ginwala, Artistic Director, Colomboscope, speaking at the event said, “We are celebrating the seventh edition of the interdisciplinary art festival Colomboscope that will be the first event to start off art events in the city from 21 to 30 January 2022. This edition of the festival will bring together over 50 Sri Lankan and international artists, especially fostering South Asian dialogue and encounters with cultural practitioners from the diaspora with exhibitions and events spread over six locations in Colombo. Embarking from the words of poet-artist Cecilia Vicuña: ‘Language is Migrant’ – artistic and literary contributions map hybrid belonging, diasporic lineages, and coerced dislocation. Across six chapters, this edition explores how language relations form our selfhood and affinities that outweigh the bind of nationhood and citizenship. Between the counterpoints of stillness and motion, we situate practices that critically explore emancipatory and forced mobility—for we cannot deny that the world as we know it is composed of movement at galactic, human, and atomic levels. Artists compose, decipher and perform as vital travellers and storytellers of our times. Often, repairing relations by drawing material articulations from deep losses, silence and erasures while inventing language forms as bridges between communal narratives, official records, and submerged histories.”

The second event, will be by The Geoffrey Bawa Trust, and will commence on February 01st, 2022. It is Essential to be There is the first major exhibition that draws from the archives to look at Bawa’s practice. Organised in four thematic sections, exploring relationships between ideas, drawings, buildings and places, the exhibition explores the different ways in which images were used in Bawa’s practice. Over 120 documents from the Bawa archives, most of which have previously never been shown publicly, will be on view, including a section on unbuilt work and Bawa’s own photographs from his travels. Although Bawa’s work has been exhibited at multiple venues in the UK, USA, Australia, India, Brazil, Singapore and Germany, this is the first exhibition on Bawa’s work to be shown in Sri Lanka. The exhibition is curated by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust’s curator Shayari de Silva, and includes new photographs and video works by Sebastian Posingis, Dominic Sansoni and Clara Kraft Isono. The exhibition is on view from 1 February until 3 April, 2022 at The Stables at Park Street Mews in Colombo 02. Open daily from 11 a.m.–7 p.m., it is presented in English, Sinhala and Tamil languages. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive public programme of talks, tours and workshops as well as a website with additional digital content to enhance accessibility of the works on view. This exhibition received generous financial support from the primary partner Kohler, local partners Nations Trust Private Banking, Crystal Property Group, JAT Holdings and the venue partner, Park Street Mews.

Speaking at the event Sharmini Pereira, Chief Curator, MMCA Sri Lanka, said, “We are delighted to work alongside such a stellar lineup of arts organizations in Sri Lanka to promote art and architecture in the country. We hope this drive creates awareness about the high calibre and diversity of art activities taking place in Sri Lanka. MMCA Sri Lanka will be launching our second exhibition titled ‘Encounters’. The exhibition will run from 11 February to 28 August 2022 and will be presented at our new location inside Crescat Boulevard. ‘Encounters’ brings together 56 artworks as part of an exciting series of changing displays that draw from the art collections of the George Keyt Foundation and John Keells Holdings as the starting point. The exhibition will include work by 18 modern and contemporary artists and will include a 6-month trilingual public programme that is free and open to everyone. ‘Encounters’ is generously supported by the John Keells Foundation, the European Union and the Foundation for Arts Initiatives. Artworks have been kindly loaned to the exhibition from collectors in Sri Lanka and internationally.

John Keells Foundation, the CSR entity of John Keells Group, announced that they together with The George Keyt Foundation are organising the open-air Kala Pola event in August/September 2022. In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Kala Pola went online for the first time on www.srilankanartgallery.com hosted by John Keells Foundation, and following its success and to continue to empower artists during the pandemic, Kala Pola went online once again in the form of a Christmas Edition in December. Kala Pola has evolved as an eagerly anticipated event in the arts and culture calendar of Sri Lanka providing a platform for over 300 visual artists to connect with over 30,000 visitors from around the world each year, as a launchpad for emerging artists and a forum for artists and art professionals to network and learn while promoting public social dialogue through the powerful medium of art.

John Keells Foundation also noted that the Gratiaen Trust – which it partners as primary sponsor – will be organizing the annual Gratiaen Prize event in late June/early July and is also planning a series of events to mark its 30th anniversary this year. The Trust was founded by Sri Lankan-Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje with his Booker prize money for `The English Patient’ and its objective is to promote Sri Lankan creative writing in English and translations of Sinhala and Tamil literature into English. Its flagship event is the Gratiaen Prize which is awarded annually to the best work of creative writing in English submitted by a Sri Lankan resident in the country.

For the first quarter of 2022, in addition to the monthly calendar of exhibitions, Saskia Fernando Gallery (SFG) is pleased to announce the participation of artists Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Saskia Pintelon in the forthcoming Venice Biennale 2022, Italy. The installations by both artists will be a part of the Personal Structures Exhibition presented by the European Cultural Centre Venice. This January, SFG is also kicking off the first projects of the A4A Production Fund, established in 2021 in collaboration with the Udayshanth Fernando Foundation, with the aim of lending support to emerging contemporary Sri Lankan artists. The fund will support three Sri Lankan artists in the creation, exhibition and publication of their selected project. Finally, the #SupportLocalArt Talk Series supported by Nations Trust Bank Private Banking, established in 2021 with the intention of creating a much needed platform for conversation on the developments of the Sri Lankan art industry, will establish an independent youtube channel as an archive of previous talks and in keeping with the objective of the talk platform to engage the entire industry, SFG will be passing the baton to the MMCA for the next round of conversations.

For further information please contact:

MMCA Sri Lanka

Kishani Gunasekera

UBER Minds

kishani@uberminds.lk

0777 369195



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Wing Commander (Retd.) D. Pradeep S. Kannangara elected president, Industrial Security Foundation

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The Industrial Security Foundation (ISF) which acts as the sole organization in Sri Lanka to represent the Private Security industry having incorporated by an Act passed in the Parliament, Act No. 51 of 1999, elected Wing Commander (Retd.) Pradeep Kannangara as its President for the years 2022/2023 at its 30th annual General Meeting which was held at the PIM Auditorium in Borella. Wing Commander Pradeep Kannangara was appointed President while 14 other members were appointed to the Executive Committee, strengthening the ISF in order to drive and uplift the standards of the private security industry in Sri Lanka.

He has served on the ExCo consecutively since 2012 under four different presidents where he held the positions of Senior Vice President during the last three consecutive years. He has also been a committed member of the ISF and was awarded prestigious coveted FISF title due to his many valuable contributions to the organization and the Private Security Industry in Sri Lanka in 2012.

Wing Commander Kannangara’s journey into private security began after a successful career in the Sri Lanka Air Force for over 24 years where he served in many capacities finally being the Officer Commanding of the Special Air Borne Force. A recipient of the Ranasura Padakkama (RSP) Gallantry award for his bravery, sacrifices and service to the nation by the President of the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in 1990. He holds a Master’s in business management from the Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia too and serves as a Board Director in AB Securitas (Private) Limited in Sri Lanka and AB Securitas Bangladesh Limited.

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Kitchen & Bedroom reaffirms its partnership with Häfele Sri Lanka

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(L-R) Pawan Singh- General Manager Sales & Marketing at Hafele Sri Lanka, Jurgen Wolf- Managing Director Hafele South Asia, Dr. Sacquaff- Group CEO Kitchen & Bedroom, and Manish Mahajan, Director Sales Hafele South Asia

Kitchen & Bedroom, a name synonymous in the interior designing and furniture sector in the country recently celebrated its long-standing partnership with Häfele Sri Lanka during the latter’s 12th year anniversary celebratory event, reaffirming its ambitious plans to further strengthen and explore the numerous opportunities available here.

Häfele Sri Lanka, part of Häfele India which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hafele Global network, is a technology partner for various projects and initiatives of Kitchen & Bedroom. Both the companies operate in the interior design space, sharing their cumulative knowledge and expertise to provide extensive and personalized solutions catering to domestic requirements.

‘We take great pride in our association with Häfele Sri Lanka having exchanged and collaborated on many projects both commercial and household. We share similar values such as providing high quality, sustainable, functional and customized solutions to our customers, and most importantly to guide them through every aspect and step of the project and how best we could bring out their desired design,’ said Dr. Sacquaff, Kitchen & Bedroom Group CEO.

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DSI strengthens its islandwide presence with three new showrooms

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Amid the prevailing economic hardships faced by Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s premier footwear brand DSI recently expanded its islandwide presence in the country with the opening of three new showrooms in Kahawatta, Akuressa, and Chavakachcheri, with the aim of offering greater access to its diversified product range to a wider customer base.

Gracing the special occasion, the showrooms were declared open by D. Samson & Sons (Pvt.) Ltd. Managing Director Thusitha Rajapaksa, in the presence of Director Asanka Rajapaksa, General Manager Pradeep Samarathunga, National Sales Manager – Retail Sales Naleen Weerawardana, invitees, and well-wishers.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Thusitha Rajapaksa stated: “We are excited about expanding DSI wings to three new locations. Despite the ongoing economic conditions of the country, we took a call to take a proactive measure to expand our islandwide presence. While it has been a challenge, the commitment and hard work of our team has made it possible to serve our loyal customers better, and we are confident that we will be able to continue these efforts in the future as well.”

DSI is renowned for its well-trained staff who offer exceptional customer service. The three new DSI showrooms prioritize providing a unique service and customer support to make purchasing further convenient for the customer.

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