TO BUILD AN ART VILLAGE
By The Sasaran International Arts Association
Through perceiving is how one embraces thought art is one of the many perspectives through which this is achieved. “To give a body and a perfect form to one’s thought, this—and only this—is to be an artist”, said Jacques-Louis David. The Sasaran International Arts Association constructs an idea: “to promote understanding of art to the public, cultural exchange between Malaysia and other countries, harmony between Malaysia’s various ethnic cultures, environmental conservation, as well as to inspire a new generation of artists – ultimately transforming Sasaran into a permanent ‘Art Village.’ ”
WHAT IS SASARAN INTERNATIONAL ARTS ASSOCIATION?
“I went to a workshop in Udaipur last December and that’s where I met the artists. They’d seen my work and were interested and invited Sanjaya and me for this exhibition”, says Vajira when asked about this intriguing collaboration.
Located north of the state of Selangor in Malaysia, and about 32 km from Klang is a small fishing village situated at the mouth of Bamboo River called Sasaran. The Sasaran International Arts Association is a collective group of artists who collaborate with artists all over the world with the intention of making this village an ‘Art village’. The Sasaran International Arts Association focuses not only on creating and exhibiting artists’ work but also on developing strong relationships between the international artists and the local community. Every year Sasaran Arts Association organize a group exhibition between Malaysia artists and international artists at a private gallery in Penang, an island located in the northern part of Malaysia, while its main city Georgetown is a UNESCO Heritage site. Located in an old heritage building is a private gallery, Galeri Seni Mutiara at Penang, right in the middle of Georgetown.
WHAT ABOUT THE EXHIBITION?
The exhibition, held so as to promote art to the public, build connections and evolve their village, will be for a duration of two weeks. This exhibition is a platform for cultural exchange and exists as a non-commercial event. The artists from around the world invited to showcase their works of art are, Mr Vinay Sharma, Dr Vidyasagar Upadhyay, and Mr Manish Sharma from India; Mr Oscar Ng Hwee Leng and Ms Ng Chai Kim from Singapore; Mr Vajira Gunawardena, and Mr Sanjaya Senavirathna from Sri Lanka; Mr Le Minh and Mr Le The Anh from Vietnam.
WHO ARE THE SRI LANKAN ARTISTS?
“My purpose is to create a multi-dimensional work treating both narrative and form as one. Here, the subjective aim is the start of penetrating reality through the sentiment of a single individual. I suggest that you identify the surface appearance of the art, which is built upon basic features such as human figures, abstract forms, bright tones, copied objects, spatial collections, symbols and imagery. This, I consider as a survey of a new language of art: treating the hypothetic nature and the insensitivity of chaotic reality as subjective aspects of the artwork’s internal form and putting together aesthetics which are opposing to each other. This is an artistic approach aiming at developing an aesthetic gap between art history and artwork.” – Vajira Gunawardena.
“My love for a work of art is an intimate affair, which is why I long to own the work so I can live with it- touch it, move it around, and have it as my own. When the work is abstract, there are endless reasons for my attraction. Abstract art is an abstraction. It does not represent anything. It is nonobjective. Instead of depicting what I recognize in the world of objects, people and nature, abstract art is concerned with colour, line, form, and texture. It is not reality-based but emotionally-
based. It is expressive and gestural. When an artist, I am driven to express what I see and feel.” - Sanjaya Senavirathna.
ARTRA is Sri Lanka’s Art Magazine exploring curated content on Sri Lanka’s visual art, performance art, applied art and written art. Launched in 2012, ARTRA Magazine is a compact monthly art read providing a comprehensive understanding on Sri Lankan artists, art events, monthly art calendars and the Sri Lankan design landscape. In sum, all you need to know about art in Sri Lanka.