Kingsley Gunatillake is an award-winning senior Sri Lankan visual artist holding two NOMA Award from Japan and the award for illustration from the Biennale Bratislava, Slovakia. In 2001 he received the Bunka Award for visual arts for his exceptional work at the Temple of the Tooth world heritage site in Sri Lanka. The artist presented his first solo exhibition in 1981 and continued to work on more than twenty solo exhibitions both locally and internationally, participating in numerous group shows. As a multidisciplinary artist his practice includes painting, installation, illustration, mixed media, sculpture and video art. Painting is one of this master artist’s dominant practices in which his unique sense of color as well as masterly abstractions on two-dimensional surfaces is strongly evident. He founded the Child Art Studio in 2000 and has conducted various art activities especially for children. Through the organization, funded mostly from Japan, he has organized several local and international workshops, international exhibitions, and local exhibitions. These activities have also included education programs for undergraduates, graduates and art teachers on child art education. Living in a country battered by a war for 30 years, Kingsley has addressed his social, political and cultural issues in his works. Recently, his ‘book art’ series presented antique books as visual objects representative of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Born in Kandy in 1951, Kingsley Gunatillake is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is largely focused on abstract compositions on canvas and paper. His process involved the use of wooden blocks in the instinctive manipulation of paint with calligraphic movements.
In his exhibition ‘IN-BETWEEN I’, the artist returned to his work as an abstract painter, an art form that is strongly influenced by the time the artist has spent in Japan. His most recent works, presented in this exhibition titled In-Between II are a continuation of a series the artist began in 2019. In these new works the artist extends this narrative by allowing his subconscious to take control of the materials, further hindering his command by placing his work on the floor rather than on an easel. These works are a celebration of gestural abstraction, not intended to suit an overarching narrative and poised to be a reflection of art itself.
Kingsley Gunatillake's practice involves painting, drawing and installation. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Fine Art University of Colombo in 1979 and a Diploma in Environmental Education from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in 1994. He has had several solo exhibitions in Sri Lanka, the UK, the Philippines, Ireland, Scotland, India and Japan.
In-Between II will be open to the public from 15 July 2021 to 5 August 2021 at Paradise Road Galleries, The Gallery Café, 2 Alfred House Road, Colombo 3, 10 am to midnight.
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