Between the world and the word
are three small shapes,
the signs for ‘‘tree,’’ ‘‘escape,’’ and ‘‘sun.’’
I watch how the light leaks through them, casting a shade in both directions…
An extract from ‘Komorebi’ by Caitriona O’Reilly
Illustrating the word Komorebi, translated from Japanese as the light shining through the trees, Ruwan Prasanna paints with seemingly spontaneous brushstrokes in his boldest translation of nature. Time stands still in these multi paneled canvases, capturing the stages of the evening sunset when viewed from below the canopies. Luminous colours of the sky and ageing leaves in the tall, old trees of Colombo are the artist’s narrative and in a continuation of his Landscape series the essence of his work lies in his natural surroundings. The scale of Ruwan Prasanna’s paintings play a role in the story they tell, sequential from one to another with the harmony of light and form at their core.
It has been three years since Ruwan Prasanna’s last solo exhibition, a time in which the artist has become one of Sri Lanka’s most important abstract painters. In much the same time period the younger artist evolved from hiswork as a student to exhibit his Unknown Bird series; paintings inspired by the colors and forms of feathers and wings. His Landscape series, exhibited in 2015, were inspired by luscious paddy fields from the central province of the island. These works, resembling 19th century abstract impressionist painters, redefined his style. It is in this however, his most recent work, that the artist, loading his brush with colour, continues to prove his aptitude for the process of gestural abstract painting.