Solo exhibition ‘GANESHISM 5’ underway at Barefoot Gallery in Colombo

PUBLISHED Jun 15, 2023

Work on display at “GANESHISM 5”

Artist Mahen Chanmugam’s solo exhibition “GANESHISM 5” themed on Lord Ganesha is currently underway at Barefoot Gallery (Galle Road, Colombo 04), a contemporary art gallery in Bambalapitiya, Colombo.

Chanmugam, a former visual communicator who has worked in the publishing, advertising, and design industry in Hong Kong and Singapore, was drawn to the iconography and symbolism of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha and began studying in 1994 while living in Singapore. “He (Ganesha) poses for me in my mind, and the images he brings to me transcend convention, formality, dogma, and even gender,” says Chanmugam, who has devoted the past 30 years to creating artwork depicting Ganesha.

He is currently based at his home and gallery, Ganeshism Studio Gallery, in Nawala, a suburb of Colombo. He utilizes acrylics as his primary medium and paints on various materials, including canvas, wood, glass, mirrors, and even rice bags and industrial packing materials, and has held solo exhibitions of Ganeshism in Sri Lanka and Singapore.

The exhibition “GANESHISM 5” showcases approximately 50 paintings and is divided into five sections: Nature & Energy, God Within, the Female Form, Inner Worlds, and Spiritual Art Forms. Chanmugam thinks that Ganesha connects him to science and quantum physics. In this exhibition, the artist presents a contemporary reimagining of Ganesha’s iconography that transcends traditional religious perspectives and aims to explore themes such as the nature of consciousness, the interconnectedness of all things, and the emotions of love and joy through symbolism.

The exhibition is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. until June 24. Closed on Sundays.

  • Lotus themed work

  • Work incorporating elements of graphic art

  • Ganesha in female form