Lab Rats: Hashan Cooray

23 November - 6 December 2017

The 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 times, full filing the desires of a third party or rather fulfilling our own agendas.


We exist in a system that was engineered for us. Entangled in the voluptuous pleasures of the above-said system, we allow ourselves to be experimented, numerous times under numerous contexts. Thus, you and I are conclusions of a multitude of experiments; both positive and negative. And in our struggle, as we rejoice the destructive-glamour in it, we are left to relish these final words;


“The World’s a laboratory, and all the men and women merely lab-rats.”


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Press release

Lab Rats 

Hashan Cooray



Newcomer to the local art scene, Hashan Cooray, has in his first two years of

presenting works in group exhibitions and presentations, gained a following for his distinct style of abstract figurative work. The title of Hashan Cooray’s

exhibition highlights the corruption and scandal of the pharmaceutical industry

as an allegory of the behavioral patterns of modern society. Playing on the notion of the ‘rat race’ and socio cultural factors affecting lifestyle and values, his series of portraits, both monochrome and boldly coloured, aim to portray a deeper meaning and understanding of his subjects. Using pastel and charcoal, the latter presents itself as a source mimicking ash - a play on impermanence, against the contrast of his boldly coloured portraits embodying life and energy.


As a student Hashan was determined to pursue his interest in art and after being rejected from the Unviersity of Kelaniya he chose to follow a private course in art and build onto his knowledge by interacting with artists, visiting exhibitions religiously and creating a practice through which he consistently learnt and broke the rules of western art practices. He also began a career in the advertising industry, where he continues today, now as Art Director of Leo Burnett Sri Lanka, a profession he attributes to his ability to apply discipline to his art practice.


This is the first pop up show presented by Art Space Sri Lanka, an online gallery of art, in a new calendar of presentations and pop up exhibitions that will be presented both online and in physical spaces. ‘Lab Rats’ by Hashan Cooray will be available for viewing online as well as at Saskia Fernando Gallery 41 Horton Place, Colombo 7 from 24 November to 6 December 2017. The exhibition is free and open to the public daily. Please email for further