Standard Chartered Bank will be the main sponsor of the Colombo Art Biennale’s “Becoming” exhibition, to be held from the 15th – 19th of February 2012 at Park Street Mews. Standard Chartered has a reputation for being committed to the enduring development of the communities in which they operate and has been known to sponsor a wide range of “inspirational people, projects and events”. By sponsoring the Biennale, Standard Chartered becomes the first bank to seriously support contemporary art in Sri Lanka.

The Colombo Art Biennale (CAB) is not just a local event, but also an international art biennale in every sense of the word as it will showcase a plethora of artists from both the Sri Lankan and international gamut, with artists participating from South Asian regions such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, as well as from the Western regions, such as Austria, Norway, Australia, Sweden, Germany, the UK and USA. The theme of the upcoming Biennale will be “Becoming”, which can be seen as a space of “liminality” or even a space of transition, and can be interpreted in many ways on both local and global scales, as there are similar structures in every social system which leave us with thought-provoking insights into the different transitional states of “Becoming”.

The arts have significant value as the enhance individuals and the community as a whole, not just through the celebration of truth and beauty represented in art, but also by providing the means to question and discuss the place of the individual and society. Festivals such as the Colombo Art Biennale attract both national and international attention to the city and country in which they are located, drawing large numbers of tourists and providing a marketplace for both national and international artists as well as for discerning collectors who wish to invest.

The Colombo Art Biennale’s Co-Directors, Annoushka Hempel and Neil Butler, are proud to work alongside Standard Chartered Bank; the principle sponsor of the 2012 Colombo Art Biennale, to spotlight new and exciting works by both national and international artists at Park Street Mews. Annoushka and Neil, commenting on the partnership, expressed their delight with Standard Chartered Bank’s understanding of the concept and their gracious support of the exhibition. They also stated that through this sponsorship, Standard Chartered has the opportunity to bring contemporary art and an awareness of Sri Lanka as a whole to an international audience. This sponsorship is also an expression of Standard Chartered’s commitment to the diversity of Sri Lankan culture and contemporary art.

On view beginning February 15, 2012 through February 19, 2012, 40 established and emerging national and international artists will present their work in photography, painting, video, and other mixed media. At times ironic, satirical and even metaphorical, the exhibition includes video installations by Vimukthi Jayasundara and Kannan Arunasalam, paintings by David Barbarino and Leo Pasqualge, and mixed media works by Vaidehi Rajasingham and Anoli Perera amongst many others. “Becoming” reflects the myriad ways in which modern day artists explore traditional and innovative techniques. The Colombo Art Biennale is very honoured to have Roman Berka (of the Museum in Progess, Vienna) and Suresh Jayaram (of 1 Shanthi Road, Bangalore) as co-curators for Becoming 2012 and is delighted to have Standard Chartered Bank as their partner.

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