Borrowing nature's exquisiteness
Prasanna Upajeewa's photographs showcased in Kandy:
You don't take a photograph. You ask,
quietly, to borrow it.
What is art? For this perilous question, nobody seems to be able to
come up with a satisfying and uniting answer in a context where the
notions like Beauty and Aesthetics do not have any clearly defined
boundaries. Instead, an Authority dictates, with varying results, what
is beauty is or what is Art.
Art hence has been reduced (or expanded, depending on one's point of
view), merely to what the
Authority calls 'Art' - authority being this (in)famous 'Circle of
Art': galleries, critics, museums, collectors, amateurs... In such a
context, the question itself - what is Art? - could well be obsolete.
Whatever may be the answer, art-lovers should have their own say on
what one desires to be labeled as art - at least in one's own
repertoire, in one's personal appreciation, one's 'Museum without
This invariably positions the notions like Beauty and Aesthetics
right in the centre of Appreciation -how perilous and subjective the
definitions of these notions could be. In the final analysis, what one
(read 'authority') cannot ignore is one's need to be touched or
concerned or, why not, blown away by a work of art, whatever be the
reason for this reaction.
Artiste : Prasanna
Date : From November 26
to December 6
Time : 6.30 pm
Chief Guest : Dr L P
Alliance française the Kandy, an establishment representing the
Circle of art in the region has let an artiste make a statement. He is
Prasanna Upajeewa. This young photographer is presenting us his own
definition of art through a series of photography. These pictures will
comfort some people in their own definition of appreciation while
defying some others prejudices. His exhibition is titled 'Kandy Alliance
For Prasanna, this self-taught photographer, art is above all a
monologue of his own - a means to establish a dialog with his
surroundings. His approach is serene, attentive and often meditative...
yet bold; his technique raw and spontaneous; his framing deliberate and
For Prasanna, a raw motif (before passing through his artistic
filter) is not descriptive but pictorial ie consisted of formal beauty.
It is an abstract form that he manipulates and ultimately tames, like
one would do with a wild animal. The use of light and framing allows him
to win the descriptiveness over, in order to make the motif what he
wants it to be. In that sense, Prasanna breaks free of the well-
established rules of the contemporary Sri Lankan photography - the
beauty of the subject matter (if only the 'beauty' could be defined!).
It's not the motif which is attractive in his work, but what he obtains
by exploiting the motif, the final result: the way he re-invents nature,
by interpreting it in his own way. And this is not insignificant, given
that photography, at least technically speaking, is all about mimesis ie
art of imitating the sensible world. Prasanna has the audacity not to
succumb to this easy way out. And, that definitely is "Art".