Born in 1972, Pothupitiye Acharige Somapla commonly known as Pala Pothupitiye, received his art education at the Visual and Performance Art University at Colombo. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree majoring in sculpture in 2002. Coming from a background of traditional craft artists and ritual specialists, he incorporates and reinterprets certain material and philosophical contents of traditional art in his work.
A thoughtful, sophisticated, subtly political artist, Pothupitiye has established himself as a vital exponent of ‘90s trend’ Sri Lankan art. He confronts the compelling political issues raised by the war in Sri Lanka and brings certain repressed questions to the canvas and art objects. He extends these issues, raising new, imperative questions – both by the content and form of his work. Questions like caste, which engage with a singularly Sri Lankan problem; and those like the distinction between art and craft, tradition and modernity, which should compel anyone committed to finishing the critique of eurocentrism.
Pothupitiye became the Best artist of the year and received the First Palace in Sculpture at the State Art Festival in Sri Lanka in 2003. In 2005 he participated in the 3rd Fukuoka Triennial at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museumin Japan. He is a visiting lecturer at the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka. Since 2002 he is associated to Theertha International Artists’ Collective in Sri Lanka. At present he is living and working in Mullegama, Colombo, and runs an art and craft workshop supporting a set of younger artists.