A BOLD AND COLOURFUL IMPRINT
Jayantha Premachandra was an internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan artist who left an imprint through his artistic prowess. His paintings emanated the vivaciousness of life and depicted the intrinsic value of Asian culture and tradition. Premachandra’s repertoire expanded to include mosaics, batik motifs, murals and more, as he showcased his work across the globe, bridging connections with his audience who found the paintings relevant.
Educated at Carey College and a graduate from the University of Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo (originally known as the Heywood Institute of Art), he obtained a special Degree from the Art and Industry Institute of Moscow, Russia. He was an illustrator at M.D. Gunasena & Co and a journalist and illustrator at Times of Ceylon. He represented the Ceylon Creative Media organization at the first Youth Festival held in Helsinki, Finland where he displayed his paintings in a solo exhibition. He was a Chief Designer at Thulhiriya Textile Mills and was also an Art Teacher at Wesley College and Buddhist Ladies College in the 60’s & 70’s. He was the first Sri Lankan to hold a solo exhibition in both the National Museum of Modern Art in Baghdad, Iraq and in the Ksiazki Gallery in Ghuery Olsztyn, Poland. He has held over 35 solo exhibitions in countries belonging to the former U.S.S.R, West Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France and of course Sri Lanka. Being a great humanist, his paintings depict his burning desire to create a better understanding in the West, about the culture and artistic heritage of the East; and of his motherland in particular.
Jayantha Premachandra passed away on April 3rd 1988 in Paris, having suffered a stroke at the age of fifty three. The Jayantha Premachandra Foundation (JPF) was founded recently to revive the rich legacy he had left behind. The foundation, initiated by his only child Nilanka Premechandra Nilaweera, aims to serve the people of Sri Lanka in her father’s name through meaningful ventures that touch the core of who Jayantha Premachandra was as a person; a benevolent man who loved his motherland and its people. The Foundation, although still in its infancy, aims to not only revive his precious works but also give back to Sri Lanka by serving its people via various community development projects. The aims of the foundation are also to promote art, encourage young and upcoming artists, and to shed light on the works of the artists from Jayantha Premachandra’s era, whose creative brilliance may not have been recognized due to lack of support or opportunities to bring out their creations.
Several exhibitions featuring Jayantha Premachandra’s art works are planned along with a charity fund raiser, in collaboration with the French Embassy, early 2022, where a few of Jayantha Premachandra’s paintings will be auctioned, in aid of the neurological services of the Colombo National Hospital, in order to support Stoke patients.
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