Kavan Balasuriya is an artist whose primary practice is drawing. Through his pictures, he investigates the inherent qualities of various materials and surfaces including walls and paper. His current experiments with ubiquitous, disposable materials such as aluminium foil developed from a personal interest in recycling. The tactile qualities of foil allow him to express both geometric and organic forms. Due to the fragile nature of the material, it produces its own textures when handled, which Kavan then deliberately traces and engraves. This process transforms the foil into a sculptural ‘field condition’, in turn revealing the interchangeable nature of light and shadow, fact and fiction, abstraction and realism. By exploring the spatial qualities of this inexpensive material, Kavan suggests how it could be seen as a valuable artefact.
Kavan is inspired by the work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh, and the use of vernacular and industrial materials in South and Southeast Asian architecture and urbanism. He is also interested in how spatial form and materiality interact with socio-economic realities.