‘My expression is to visualize the moment prior to the confrontation of dual images of uncertainty and contradiction. My exercise is to use these images and structures, which take different modifications at times from hard and rough to soft and delicate. My joy is to let this process take place either by effort or effortlessly; creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened. With different textures that emerged from this process, paintings are conceived, projecting sexuality both due to fervent effort and by letting nature take its course.’ – Kingsley Gunatillake, 2019
Kingsley Gunatillake is an award-winning senior Sri Lankan visual artist holding two NOMA Awards from Japan and the award for illustration from the Biennale Bratislava, Slovakia. In 2001 he received the Bunka Award for visual arts for his exceptional work at the Temple of the Tooth world heritage site in Sri Lanka. The artist presented his first solo exhibition in 1981 and continued to work on more than twenty solo exhibitions both locally and internationally, participating in numerous group shows to-date. As a multidisciplinary artist his practice includes painting, installation, illustration, mixed media, sculpture and video art. Painting is one of this master artist’s dominant practices in which his unique sense of color as well as masterly abstractions on two-dimensional surfaces is strongly evident. He founded the Child Art Studio in 2000 and has conducted various art activities especially for children. Through the organization, funded mostly from Japan, he has organized several local and international workshops, international exhibitions, and local exhibitions. These activities have also included education programs for undergraduates, graduates and art teachers on child art education. Living in a country battered by a war for 30 years, Kingsley has addressed his social, political and cultural issues in his works. Recently, his ‘book art’ series presented antique books as visual objects representative of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. In this exhibition the artist returns to his work as an abstract painter, an art form that is strongly influenced by the time the artist has spent in Japan.