Hashan Cooray Sri Lanka , b. 1987
Hashan Cooray is a visual artist whose body of work engages his subjects beyond the stereotypical translation of portraiture. Gestural, intense and often dark subjects emerge from a raw canvas; notes scribbled in the background. Cooray is not a conventional artist, he began his work studying faces and people that he connected with as opposed to faces he admired. Hashan isolates and reshapes the messy textures that simultaneously suppress and promote the plethora of voices that inhabit the cityscape into something contemplative. Using an almost vigilante method of repurposing the oppressive communications of capital and government, he raises the possibility of moving towards a state of equilibrium. The result of this process is a body of work that engages his subject in an intrusive manner, exposing to the viewer all that lies beneath. Drawing, painting, digital art and mixed media collage combine to present an unfinished complete work that has the tactile nature of material present within it's composition.Cooray's subjects engage, disturb and grab the viewer; they are not there to please.
Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1987. Hashan Cooray pursued a career as a visual artist via unconventional means of both self-learning, courses in fine art and his experience as an Art Director in the advertising industry. His works are predominantly portraiture that depict a deeper, more profound insight into his subjects. Adverse to the 'pretty picture', Cooray's works are dark, intense and honest representations of the real world.
In 2008, Hashan Cooray completed a course in fine art practice at Art Way Institute Nugegoda.He began participating in the Nawakalakaruwo exhibitions organised by the Gorge Keyt Foundation in 2014 and continued to participate in the exhibition in 2015, 2017 and 2018. In 2016, he was invited by the Bennetton Collection to create a work to be featured in 'Re-Imagining Ceylon' for the Imago Mundi book project.
In 2017, Cooray presented his first solo exhibition at Art Space Sri Lanka (a sister platform established by SFG for emerging artists between the years 2016-2019) titled 'Lab Rats'. The exhibition included a series of small colourful pastel on paper works, the depictions veering towards what would be an evolved, mature, strengthened understanding of his subjects in his second solo show 'Parahumans' held in 2019, the first of his exhibitions as a represented artist of Saskia Fernando Gallery. Inspired by his avid reading and study of Sri Lankan intelligentsia, Hashan Cooray reflects on the interaction between economic systems and their effect on people.
In 2018 he participated in Embodying Power, an exhibition curated by Sandev Handy at the Sapumal Foundation as well as Island Mentality, a group show at SFG Colombo. In 2019, he participated in Nawa Kalukaruwo at the JDA Perera Gallery and curated the exhibition titled 'Leo Art' for Leo Burnett Advertising Agency at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery and in 2020 he presented his second solo exhibition at SFG titled Desire. He currently works as Art Director at Phoenix Ogilvy Advertising alongside his work as a visual artist. His works belong to private collections in Sri Lanka, Spain, USA, New Zealand and India.
STICK NO BILLSHashan Cooray 10 Mar - 10 Apr 2022In Stick No Bills, Hashan Cooray’s latest body of work, he focuses on a selection of posters stripped from the public walls of Colombo. The sourced images, taken from their...
DESIREHASHAN COORAY 19 Jun - 17 Jul 2020Saskia Fernando Gallery is pleased to announce the new online exhibition by Hashan Cooray titled ‘Desire’. The works, created over the past twelve months, feature drawings and painting across the themes of love, pain, desire and existentialism. The body of work is dominated by abstract self-portraits; an attempt at introspection. Incorporating words referring to God-like beings as well as lewd terminology, the images and writing aims to aggravate the senses leading to a further questioning of one’s own conformity.
ART in CURFEWCHANDRAGUPTHA THENUWARA, FABIENNE FRANCOTTE, FIRI RAHMAN, MUVINDU BINOY, NUWAN NALAKA AND PAKKIYARAJAH PUSHPAKANTHAN 1 - 30 Apr 2020ART in CURFEW is a series created in quarantine by SFG artists. These works are being processed in an enforced quietude and many are a response to the pandemic. Accompanying...
ParahumanHashan Cooray 5 Apr - 2 May 2019For decades, we have been classified under the genetic profile ‘Homo sapiens sapiens’. With the inheritance of prime essence from our ancestors, we have forged the world around us according...
Island MentalityMuvindu Binoy, Hashan Cooray, Pramith Geekiyange, Firi Rahman and Kanesh Thabendran 29 Jun - 14 Jul 2018Island mentality refers to the notion of isolated communities perceiving themselves as exceptional or superior to the rest of the world. This term does not directly refer to a geographically...
Lab RatsHashan Cooray 23 Nov - 6 Dec 2017The subject of social trauma stands inter-dependently with the subordinate entities of the society itself. We play the role of a lab rat in our day to day existence; at...