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An Exclusive Evening with ‘The Collective’ at the ARTNOW Gallery in Singapore

An Exclusive Evening with ‘The Collective’ at the ARTNOW Gallery in Singapore

  • by Neville Epa

Earlier this June, the ARTNOW Gallery in Singapore hosted a meet & greet with The Collective - an independent artists’ group who have come together to support each other in their creative processes. They have been planning and curating their own exhibitions, navigated by their desire to engage in art that allows them to be creative without the boundaries of themes, materials and presentation. 

The Collective consists of 6 Sri Lankan artists;  

Anoli Perera - Artist and Arts Writer, Co-Founder of Theertha International Artists’ Collective 

With art that is informed by feminism and craft art practices, Anoli’s work focuses on the thematic of women’s issues, history, myth to identity, colonialism and post-colonial anxieties.  

Her work has been exhibited all over the world, from Sri Lanka, to India, to Japan, to Germany to Austria and so on. It is also a part of permanent collections of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, World Culture Museum, Frankfurt, Germany, Guggenheim Museum, Abu Dhabi, Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai, USA, the Presidential Collection, Sri Lanka and more. As well as numerous private art collections both in Sri Lanka and abroad.  

Anoli’s writings on contemporary Sri Lankan art have been published in a number of publications inclusive of Art Asia Pacific (Australia), South Asia Journal for Culture (Sri Lanka), Frontline (India), Asian Art Archive (Hong Kong) and more.  

Koralegedara Pushpakumara - Artist and Director of Theertha International Artists’ Collective  

Having received many awards for his art including first place in 1995 at the Youth Services Council Awards Festival, Sri Lanka, and first place in 1999, at the State Festival of Arts, Sri Lanka - Koralegedara is one of the early artists of the ‘90’s Trend’ and was a part of the No Order Group (est. 1990’s).  

He has exhibited extensively in Sri Lanka, and has been a part of various international workshops and art events in India, Sweden, Pakistan, and the Netherlands. 

The ‘Goodwill Hardware’ series and its latter developments, which began in the post-war era in Sri Lanka has been highly acclaimed, and has been exhibited all over Colombo.  

Mahen Perera - Multi-Disciplinary Artist 

Professionally trained in Colombo and Singapore, Mahen is a recipient of the Winston Oh Travel Award (2007) and has had his work exhibited in Sri Lanka (Colomboscope, Colombo Art Biennale, Saskia Fernando Gallery), Vietnam and London (Brunei Gallery). Often incorporating personal objects and materials collected around Colombo, his work focuses on themes of memory, desire and fantasy after having gone through the process of ripping, knotting and stitching - essentially manipulating materials to showcase the sensibilities of immaterial human impulses.  

Pala Pothupitiye - Artist and Founding Member of Theertha International Artists’ Collective 

With work that confronts issues such as colonialism, nationalism, religious extremism and militarism - his art questions the distinction between art and craft, tradition and modernity, as well as generating a critique of Euro- centrism. 

He participated in the third Fukuoka Triennial at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan, and in 2010, won the jury award of the Sovereign Art Asian Prize, Hong Kong. He has since participated in countless art exhibitions and events both locally (Colombo Scope, Colombo Art Biennale) and internationally (Serendipity Art Festival - India, Singapore Biennale, Inaugural Karachi Biennale - Pakistan,  Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) - Spain)   

Pradeep Chandrasiri - Visual Artist, Visiting Lecturer at University of Kelaniya, University of Colombo and University of Jaffna,  and Founding Member of Theertha International Artists’ Collective  

Working in the field of art scenography as a production designer for two and half decades, Pradeep came to prominence during the 1990s and has exhibited his work both locally (Colombo Art Biennale) and internationally since 1998 (2nd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial). He is also a part of the ‘90’s Trend’ group and a founding member of the Theertha International Artists Collective.  

His art is profoundly influenced by autobiographical memories of his experiences with political violence in Sri Lanka in the 1980s. In 2003, he received the Commonwealth Art and Craft Award which allowed him to participate in a visiting artist program at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He has also designed award-winning theater sets as the art director for many theater productions participating in the National Theatre Festival of Sri Lanka.  

Thisath Thoradeniya - Artist and Director of Theertha International Artists’ Collective 

With art practices including painting and electro-mechanical, kinetic sculpture-installations - Thisath’s works are well-informed by the politics of Sri Lanka - subtly discussing the aspirations, tensions and calamities of life  incorporating a realism that is depicted with attention to detail and a minimalism which brings a somber neatness and an abstraction that is conceptually well thought. 
He has participated in a number of international (Bangladesh, Mauritius, Colombia) and has exhibited locally (Colombo Art Biennale) and internationally (Asian Art Biennale - Dhaka, Bangladesh where he also received an Honorable Mention Award).  

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