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.