Colombo Art Biennale


The Colombo Art Biennale’s second edition ‘Becoming’ follows on from the hugely successful 2009 Biennale ‘Imagining Peace’. CAB is the largest art manifestation in Sri Lanka and was created to build a platform upon which talented Sri Lankan artists would gain recognition both nationally and internationally. ‘Becoming’ will host over 25 Sri Lankan artists and about 15 international artists from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Australia and the US.

This February, CAB invites the nation to become part of the transformation of Colombo as the Biennale takes over Park Street Mews, JDA Perera Gallery and National Art Gallery to showcase a stunning variety of contemporary art. In addition CAB will host an array of fringe events around Colombo to include exhibitions, performances, workshops, video lounge, artist talks, artist dinners and the Colombo Art Biennale closing party.

The concept of ‘Becoming’ was chosen to highlight the potential for positive development in Sri Lanka since the end of the civil war. The theme not only accommodates the potential for artistic development but also the cultural and social changes within the country. For this reason, the theme will ensure a plethora of dynamic artistic interpretations encompassing all possible personal interpretations of the opportunity to ‘become’, thus making the Biennale the most dynamic exhibition held in Sri Lanka yet.

The CAB team would like to extend their gratitude to the Norwegian Embassy of Sri Lanka for funding the Sri Lankan artists, as well as the Mimeta Centre for Cultural Development, the Goethe Institute of Colombo and Austrian Cultural Forum New Delhi. CAB would also like to thank their main sponsor, Standard Chartered Bank without whom, this event would not be possible.

Annoushka Hempel and Jagath Weerasinghe, the Colombo Art Biennale Co-Founders, were delighted with the success of ‘Imagining Peace’ in 2009 and as the excitement builds for ‘Becoming’ this coming February, Colombo can look forward to an even more vibrant display of contemporary art.

Curating the upcoming Biennale, are two international curators Suresh Jayaram (Founder and Director of 1 Shanthi Road, Bangalore) and Roman Berka (Director of Museum in Progress, Vienna). This year the Colombo Art Biennale is delighted to announce a new Co-Director, Neil Butler, whose energetic approach and passion for culture will be perfectly matched to direct alongside CAB’s dynamic Director, Annoushka Hempel. Neil shares his time between Sri Lanka and Europe, where he has enjoyed 18 years of directing countless large cultural events. His experience, profound knowledge of the arts and infectious charisma makes Neil a welcome addition to the CAB team.

The Colombo Art Biennale 2012 team are proud to announce a list of Sri Lankan artists who will be participating in the Biennale: Anoli Perera (Colombo), Anomaa Rajakaruna (Panadura), Anura Krishanta (Matara), Bala Murugan (Jaffna), Bandu Manamperi (Bandaragama), Chandragupta Thenuwara (Galle), Dhanushka Amarasekara (Colombo), Dominic Sansoni (Colombo)

‘Fireflies’ featuring: Lakisha Fernando (Colombo/Kaluthara), Manori Jayasinghe (Colombo), Therica Miyanadeniya (Colombo/Matale-Kurunegala), Vijayalan Thujiba (Jaffna), Inoka De Silva (Kandy), Janany Cooray (Colombo), Krishanthi Sepalika (Ratnapura/Embilipitiya), Manori Gamarachchi (Colombo), H D Shamila (Anuradhapura), Niranjala Gunasekera (Colombo), Priyanthi Kumari (Colombo), Layla Gonaduwa (Colombo/Kandy), Jagath Weeresinghe (Colombo), Jananada Laksiri, Kannan Arunasalam (Jaffna), Koralegedara Pushpakumara (Kandy), Kusal Gunasekara (Wattala), Leo Pasqualge (Colombo), Malaka Dewapriya (Colombo), Manori Jayasinghe (Colombo), Maya Bastian (Jaffna), Menika van der Poorten (Colombo), Pala Pothupitiye (Deniyaya), Pradeep Chandrasiri (Kandy), Pradeep Thalawatte, Sanath Kalubadana (Ingiriya), Tisath Thoradeniya (Kandy), Vaidehi Rajasingham (Jaffna), Vimukkthi Jayasundara (Colombo)

These local artists will be exhibiting alongside acclaimed artistic names from the international spectrum: David Barbarino (Germany), Aaron Burton (Australia), Sujan Chitrakar (Nepal), Christian Eisenberger (Austria), Vibha Galhotra (India), Hanna Hollmann (Austria), Erik van Lieshout (Netherlands), Tayeba Lipi (Bangladesh), Maria McCavana (Scotland/Ireland), Martha Rosler (USA), Erik Pirolt (Norway), Jesper Nordahl (Sweden), Nigel Sense (Australia), Madiha Sikander (Pakistan), Hans Schabus (Austria), Tori Wraanes (Norway)

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