The art of Chandana Ranaweera:
Aloof and above to many artists, Chandana Ranaweera has opted to do
what he likes doing most. Throwing away his palette, he has picked up
simple black-nosed pen to create images that are interesting and
It is the free-flow of his fingers that set him apart from the rest.
His interest for abstract art disappeared which swiftly led to
non-figurative constructed art. It is impudence for me to call his
geometric forms suggestive to other forms of art artists put on palette
but rather to say that he has stamped his own identity.
Moonlit Sonata by Chandana Ranaweera (Pen on canvas)
Chandana takes me back to my childhood when I used to frolic on
smudge painting and I can recall drawing lines in all angles with wet
black crayon my mother used to put before me I used to smudge them
between folded paper.
Even as a child, black on white fascinated me over blobs of colour
other kids at my age indulged in. But Chandana is far removed from
smudge painting. It is like that he unwinds a ball of black thread on
white canvas, diagonally and horizontally to create his visions. Most of
them are mythological.
He also strokes them into scenes, sunset and moonlit sonatas. It is
the discerning art lover who will stop by to study his art and end up
being enthralled by its unique effect. His signature is the straight
line which he does in a free flow. One might say it is more difficult
than using a brush.
His art can be termed as an abbreviation to optical and play on the
human mind with geometrical precision. He makes the eye switch between
lines in order to grasp what is on his canvas. Not appealing as nature
studies or for that matter, portraiture, Chandana confines himself to
what he thinks is his own world of art. One must appreciate his courage
to stand up to other painters whose works go on exhibitions with more
Inspired by the modernity and the physical intervention of many
modes, he has confined himself to the depiction of his art. He attempts
to speak to the viewer through the lines and convey the beauty of a
Mythological Hindu God (Pen on canvas)
He defines humanity in terms of its relation to his own environment
and in stroking such visions, he moves over to monasteries, temples,
etc. to find inspiration in a tangle of strokes. His faith in his pen
and canvas is extraordinary and said that, I myself, find a mystery in
He does not aim at the collector in his medium but if I was to recall
the temple murals he painted earlier, he has incorporated those very
ideas in line drawing. Though his art lacks a visual imagination, he
dispels the myth that it is colour and only colour that makes up a piece
The typical talented Sri Lankan who dare to break away from
convention, Chandana has stood tall in his convictions. He is a part of
the Sri Lankan artistic heritage in his own terms and has played his
part in developing another mode of art.
Chandana Ranaweera hails from the picturesque Alauwwa and has held
many successful exhibitions in his home town as well as in Colombo.