Pakkiyarajah Pushpakanthan

Pushpakanthan Pakkiyarajah was born in  Batticaloa, Sri Lanka; his subject matter has been heavily influenced by the prolonged civil conflict that permeated his youth. His powerful, emotionally-raw and meticulously-executed drawings, paintings, video art, installations and performance engage with issues about which there has been mostly silence. The work speaks of physical and mental suffering, conditions he equates with both the deep pain his country experiences as it continues to emerge from decades of civil strife, and global suffering connected to questions of identity, agency, and gender. As an artist, Pushpakanthan expresses his generational outlook, a subtle feeling of being trapped by the burden of a tragic history, of being in search of reconciliation, and experiences of cultural in-betweenness. His work seeks to create a space for marginalized voices, for remembering and healing a silenced past, and for initiating honest discussions about what reconciliation means. Pushpakanthan studied at the Ramanathan academy of Fine Arts at the University of Jaffna, and is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual and Technological Arts at the Swami Vipulananda Institute for Aesthetic Studies, Eastern University, Sri Lanka. He has exhibited widely in Sri Lanka, India and the UK, and is represented by Saskia Fernando Gallery in Colombo. His work is in private collections in Sri Lanka, Europe and North America.