First solo exhibition of Kanesh Thabendran in Colombo: Themed on post-war nation and people

PUBLISHED Oct 19, 2023

Exhibition artwork

Visual artist Kanesh Thabendran’s first solo exhibition, “Unspoken,” is currently being held at the contemporary art gallery Saskia Fernando Gallery (41 Horton Pl, Colombo) in Colombo 07.

Thavendran has roots in the northern part of Sri Lanka, once a fierce battleground during the Sri Lankan Civil War. After graduating from the University of Jaffna with a bachelor’s degree in art and design, he pursued his vision of wanting to create personal narratives that resonate with people affected by the war in the north. He has previously exhibited his work in various group exhibitions both within Sri Lanka and internationally, including the Colombo Art Biennale.

Thabendran engages in creating artworks using a combination of photography, digital manipulation, photo-cutting, and collage techniques. Cutting out of photographs helps him come to terms with his reality. Many of his works revolve around the struggles faced by his family during and after the war as they tried to safeguard their household items and cope with the sense of loss. He uses the photo-cutting technique involving old photographs to excavate his memories from a bygone time, trying to envision a life that he could have experienced had the war not affected his life.

The exhibition “Unspoken” focuses on the changing political, social, and economic landscape since the end of the Civil War and the impact that the state intervention has had on the lives of the people in the north. Through his artworks, Thabendran attempts to provide an objective understanding of the relationship between the state and the people in the conflicted affected regions of Sri Lanka.

The exhibition is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. until October 30. Closed on Sundays.