Exhibition ‘Delusion’ in Colombo commemorates Black July – Addressing political, social issues

PUBLISHED Aug 1, 2023

The exhibition “Delusion” by Chandraguptha Thenuwara

Chandraguptha Thenuwara’s solo exhibition “Delusion” is currently underway at the contemporary art gallery Saskia Fernando Gallery (41 Horton Pl, Colombo) in Colombo 07.

Thenuwara is a professor at the University of Visual & Performing Arts in Colombo. He is not only an artist but also an activist who pursues political transparency and social change. He creates a wide range of works, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, and installations, with themes revolving around political corruption and social issues. His art concept “Barrelism,” inspired by Sri Lanka’s civil war, has gained high acclaim, and his works are in the collections of museums in Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries.

Since 1997, Thenuwara has held an annual solo exhibition in July to commemorate the victims of the civil war. This year’s exhibition marks the 40th anniversary of the anti-Tamil pogrom, commonly referred to as Black July, and it introduces new works that explore and depict the current political situation in Sri Lanka. Through his works, Thenuwara delves into issues, such as militarism, religious extremism, conspiracy theories, Sinhala chauvinism, narrow-minded nationalism, anti-western agitation, and socialism.

Regarding the installations in the exhibition, Thenuwara commented, “We are delusional as a society. There is so much disorder and fake evidence; there is no reality. While there is no war going on and there is a so-called peace, many issues remain unresolved. I am also revisiting barrelism in different ways by adding a new yellow pole.”

The exhibition is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and closed on Sundays. It runs until August 23.

  • Installation at "Delusion"

  • Painting works at "Delusion"

  • Exhibition piece at "Delusion"