Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka : Exhibition first; Museum next | Sunday Observer

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka : Exhibition first; Museum next

22 December, 2019

Birds of the same feature formed and flocked together; as the passion-provoked and skilled, were all out to express and elevate art in starting what is called the “Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka.”

The museum’s short-term plan, an exhibition titled, “One-hundred-thousand small tales”, was inaugurated on Friday (13), at the Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT), Bambalapitiya.

This would be exhibited for three months, on three days of the week, Sharmini Pereira, the Chief Curator of the show, told the Sunday Observer. “The exhibition is only an initiative and will keep going. After this exhibition comes down there will be another. Subsequently, we will be researching for the next big exhibition, which would probably be in a year from now,” she said. This had taken-off in Dhaka in 2018 and has now found the footing in the Lankan land, where the origin lives. The above museum in the making, estimated to take three-years, would be the final destination.

“One-hundred -thousand small tales” is providing the platform for 43 Sri Lankan and foreign-based artists in Lanka to showcase their creative crafts.

It would take its visitors on a wide-ranging tour of the arts, in the seventeenth-storey of CIT.

“This would become a trend and repeated thrice-a-year,” she said of the blueprint, adding, “The different kinds of mediums that the museum will look at are; photography, paintings, sculpture, film, video, craft, design and architecture. We are looking at them in terms of a broad sculpt. We might specialize in photography in collection.”

Short-term show

The 90-day show, is an initiative to create the museum that would take three-to-five-years, and is one of many events that would happen over the next three years. “The next big exhibition we would do will be in a year’s. time,Between now and then, we will have lots of projects and events,”Pereira said. She felt, the Sri Lankan curriculum talks only about a solitary artist. “That is something that really needs to be looked at,” Pereira pointed out.

To address this, their biggest work will be to outreach, through which they will be touching schools, in due course.

Funding the event is the country’s top conglomerate, John Keells (JK), who for years have been offering their fair share of support in grooming and guiding arts and museums. This time too, it was no different, when Ajit Gunewardene, Chair of the project, was approached by a group of passionate enthusiasts and experts, many of them Sri Lankans working in museums all-around-the-world.

“Four-years-ago, when I was at John Keells (JK), and since retired, this group approached me asking, whether JK, as a corporate entity would be willing to support this,” thus he walked through the humble beginnings.

After some discussions and internal discussions as well, JK felt that a proper and a full-blown museum of modern and contemporary art is indeed something that Sri Lanka and any corporate should support. They said, children are being taught and let’s take the opportunity to talk about the rich, modern and contemporary art history that we have.