Daily News Online

Wednesday, 1 December 2010



Borrowing nature's exquisiteness

Prasanna Upajeewa's photographs showcased in Kandy:

You don't take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it.

Prasanna Upajeewa

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 walls'.

Upajeewa’s paintings

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.

Kandy Alliance Photo 2010

Artiste : Prasanna Upjeewa

Date : From November 26 to December 6

Time : 6.30 pm

Chief Guest : Dr L P Perera

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 Photo 2010'.

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 audacious.

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".



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