As we look beyond the veneer of the picture post card view Sri Lanka projects. The post war situation in Lanka has many unanswered questions, reconciliation, rebuilding and establishing faith in the process that is inclusive. The tasks are challenging and will need a comprehensive strategy that is democratic. The artists of the country are addressing these issues through their representations, and share the anxiety of a nation in transition. They are confronting the insecurities and their identity in a period of a long civil war, by the separatist politics that rocked the island nation. The memory of violence has scarred minds and bodies, making the body a receptacle of tensions, anger, hopelessness and pain.
The issues of Tamils and their fight for a Tamil Eelam was evidently a force that questioned Sinhalese identity, and made violence a part of everyday reality. The Southern spate of violence that erupted was another concern; this obliviously had a decisive impact on the minds of people, who were caught in the crossfire of these tragic circumstances.
After the war, the moment is poised and poignant as the world watches in anticipation the efforts of the government. The situation in Colombo seems to be “normal” as we see barricades removed and the building activity that suggests a buoyant economy. The people of Sri Lanka are looking ahead with hope and aspiration.
We imaged peace during our inaugural event two year ago, and now The Colombo Art Biennale 2012 addresses these issues with a concept of ‘‘Becoming”.
This is a challenge for artists to reflect on issues that have confronted them, a time for contemplation to ask questions about the role art can play. What meaning it holds for people? Can artists be the catalyst for change?
This event will bring local and international artist under one roof for a period of five days with exhibitions, public art projects and art outreach programmes. The multiple venues of public and private galleries and venues will play host to a multi-media works by some of the best talented artists.
We look forward to your active support and participation for this event.