Celebrating Art, Architecture And Design In 2022

Jan 18 2022. views 137

Despite pandemic uncertainty, 2022 is gearing up to offer plenty to look forward to in a year of cultural highlights in art, architecture and design. Six of Sri Lanka’s leading art organisations are coming together to curate a celebration of the arts all year round with a series of art and architecture events taking place in Colombo featuring artists from across the country and internationally. The participating galleries and institutions; Colomboscope, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka (MMCA), the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, the John Keells Foundation in partnership with the George Keyt Foundation, Saskia Fernando Gallery and the Barefoot Gallery Colombo, are teaming up in a collaborative effort aimed at positioning Colombo as a must-see destination for local and international art. 

The first event of the calendar is the 7th edition of Colomboscope taking place from the 21st to 30th January 2022 at multiple locations. This edition of Colombscope: ‘Language is Migrant’ brings together over 50 Sri Lankan and international artists and fosters South Asian dialogue with exhibitions and events spread over six locations in Colombo; Colombo Public Library, Rio Complex, W A Silva Museum and Printing Press, Barefoot Gallery and Lakhmahal Community Library. “Colomboscope has had a long journey over the years and we have worked hard to be an independent entity that is free and open to all. This edition of Colomboscope is the largest yet and brings together artists from all over the world to exhibit their work in a series of events that are freely accessible to the public” shared Artistic Director, Colomboscope Natasha Ginwala at a press conference held at Barefoot Gallery.

Colomboscope will be followed by ‘It is Essential to be There’ by The Geoffrey Bawa Trust from the February 1st 2022 onwards and will be the first major exhibition to draw from the archives to look at Bawa’s practice. The exhibition is curated by The Geoffrey Bawa Trust’s curator Shayari de Silva and will include over 120 documents from the Bawa archives including some never before publicly shown works of Bawa as well as photographs and video works by Sebastian Posingis, Dominic Sansoni and Clara Kraft Isono. Though Bawa’s work has been exhibited at multiple venues in the UK, USA, Australia, India, Brazil, Singapore and Germany, this exhibition will the first on Bawa’s work to be shown in Sri Lanka.

The newest addition to Sri Lanka’s art scene, The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts (MMCA) which was launched in 2019, will host its second exhibition ‘Encounters’ from 11 February to 28 August 2022 at its new location at Crescat Boulevard. ‘Encounters’ will see 56 artworks from the collections of the George Keyt Foundation and John Keells Holdings as well as works from 18 modern and contemporary artists alongside a 6-month trilingual public programme that is free and open to all. “The MMCA is a new museum in the making with an intention to build a public space for people to engage with modern art and the museum also aims to engage with a broader general public with our focus on offering trilingual programmes and services” shared Sharmini Pereira, Chief Curator MMCA.

John Keells Foundation, the CSR entity of John Keells Group, returns with Kala Pola in August/September 2022 together with the George Keyt Foundation. Due to the pandemic, Kala Pola was successfully hosted online for the first time ever in 2021 and has over the years, provided a launchpad for over 300 artists to engage and network with art enthusiasts from around the world each year. “For John Keells Holdings, supporting the arts goes beyond a tourist attraction; we recognize it as supporting the budding and emerging artists and the art culture in Sri Lanka and it is a very important aspect of our CSR work” comments Head of Operations – CSR, John Keells Holdings PLC, Carmeline Jayasuriya.

The Saskia Fernando Gallery also unveiled their lineup for the first quarter of 2022, announcing the participation of Sri Lankan artists Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Saskia Pintelon in the upcoming Venice Biennale 2022, Italy. January 2022 will also see the launch of their A4A Production Fund aimed at support emerging contemporary Sri Lankan artists in the creation, exhibition and publication of their selected project.

A gallery of almost 30 years, The Barefoot Gallery will be reviving the area above the Gallery as ‘The Barefoot Loft’ to expand and showcase more artworks and other forms of artistic expressions in 2022. “We are delighted to be a part of the art culture and calendar for 2022” concluded Puja Srivastava, Manager of Barefoot Gallery Colombo. 

Pictures by Waruna Wanniarachi

To find out more on the celebration of arts in Colombo from January to August 2022, visit Colomboscope (www.colomboscope.lk),  The Geoffrey Bawa Trust (www.bawaexhibition.com), MMCA Sri Lanka (www.mmca-srilanka.org/new-home), Kala Pola – John Keells Foundation (www.srilankanartgallery.com), Saskia Fernando Gallery (www.saskiafernandogallery.com) and the Barefoot Gallery Colombo (www.barefootceylon.com/gallery/)


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