BELIEF: THE PROMISE OF ABSENCE | AN EXHIBITION BY JAGATH WEERASINGHE | 2018

16.11.18 – 06.12.18

In this exhibition of multidisciplinary works Jagath Weerasinghe discusses social calamities and personal pains. An artist often known for his politically conceptual painting on canvas, Weerasinghe first released a series from his diaries in 2012 for a two man show in London with Chandraguptha Thenuwara. Following a solo show in Delhi this year of a similar series, the artist has recently begun to expose an intimate side of his oeuvre, one which deals with sensitive and personal subject matter. Taking these thoughts and themes into a global perspective the artist expands the narrative to relate to the subjects of migration and displacement. Weerasinghe states, ‘Currently the world is experiencing a major civilizational crisis played out as mass migration – millions of people are forced to leave behind their “lives” and “memories”. These works are trying to take an intimate engagement with the suffering – ontological anxieties – of the individual caught in a crisis that is global and local at the same time. For everyone that has ‘left a place’, there are so many others who are ‘left behind’.’

Jagath Weerasinghe holds a Master of Fine Arts from the American University in Washington DC. As a co-founder of the Theertha Collective and the moving force behind collaborations such as the Colombo Art Biennale, Weerasinghe has lectured on the local contemporary art scene internationally alongside his work as the Head of the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology. The combination of his work as an artist and archaeologist is evident in his works on paper. While he is more often identified by his dominantly black politically expressive canvases, his multitude of diaries with drawings, often completed on his travels for lack of space, expose a more intimate and romantic side to his political nature.

Saskia Fernando Gallery