‘Challenging notions of foreignness’: ‘The Foreigners’ Exhibition at MMCA Sri Lanka in Colombo

PUBLISHED Jun 9, 2023

“The Foreigners” exhibition

The exhibition “The Foreigners” is currently underway at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka (89 Crescat Boulevard, Colombo-Galle Main Rd, Colombo 03) in Colombo.

The exhibition aims to challenge conventional notions of foreignness and highlight how individuals are labeled as strangers, outsiders, or transgressors. It brings together the works of 15 modern and contemporary artists based in Sri Lanka, the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, and other countries who explore the complexities of foreignness and how it shapes their identities.

The exhibition showcases a diverse range of artworks, including photographs, performances, video artworks, installations, drawings, and paintings. Participating artists include Arjuna Gunaratne, who works in a style that fuses traditional Eastern and Western art; Danushka Marasinghe, who expresses socio-political issues in his video works; Dinelka Liyanage, who explores a wide spectrum of sound using synthesizers and others; Hema Shironi, who inquires the concept of cultural identity through works combining embroidery and bricolage, and others.

The curator said, “We imagine this exhibition as a complicated cacophony of both local and diasporic voices coming together to testify to their experiences of place and displacement, inviting visitors to listen, tune in and parse through them.”

The exhibition is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (until 8:00 p.m. on Fridays) until October 22. Admission is free. The museum will offer various free public programs, including gallery talks, workshops, curator and exhibition tours, performances, and special events every week during the period (reservations required).

  • Entrance to the venue

  • "The Foreigners" exhibition

  • Exhibition tour