Nuwan Nalaka Sri Lankan , b. 1981


Nuwan Nalaka's work is informed by gender, politics, nature, spirituality and psychology. His practice is inspired by the techniques of folk art and traditional painting methods while the artist incorporates calligraphic poetry and bold brush strokes to contrast the minute detail with which he depicts the symbolism and imagery within his canvas and paper works. In the artist's more recent series he has immersed his thoughts within the microcosm of the lotus pond in order to reflect on the relationship between society and spirituality.  The artist presents a stark collection of largely monochromatic paintings while there is a relentless focus on the physical nature of his subject matter and the medium of paint. Nuwan develops the contradictions within his visual narrative through the presence of flora and fauna and continues to question the placement of humanity within his metaphorical landscape through his vibrant formalism.


Nuwan Nalaka was born in Sri Lanka and presented numerous solo exhibitions in Colombo, Galle and Kandy of his early watercolor paintings prior to his departure to India in 2003. The artist moved back after having completed his Masters in Fine Art at the Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, India. Of his time in India, Nalaka says, "This was an experience that was one of the most important for me to-date, moving from my native land to interact and understand modern Indian culture. Over the past decade I lived in an atmosphere where religion and culture differed greatly from Sri Lanka." These cross-boundary experiences have had a profound impact on his work. 


Following his return to Sri Lanka Nuwan Nalaka exhibited solo exhibitions of paintings at Paradise Road Galleries and later Saskia Fernando Gallery. Over this series of exhibitions the artist began exploring the technique he had acquired in India combined with his own passion for Sri Lankan culture and religion as a subject. His series 'Sutra' combines imagery of Buddhism, Hinduism and eroticism.