Cartography is an act of history-making. History is created, re-created, interpreted, re-interpreted, narrated and counter-narrated by the act of mapping. Pala Pothupitiye’s work features juxtaposing, overlapping and morphing portraits and maps that refer back to the past while evoking the present production of the history today.
Coming from a background of traditional craft artists and ritual specialists, he incorporates and reinterprets the material and philosophical content of traditional art in his work. Pothupitye received his art education at the Visual and Performance Art University at Colombo, graduating with a BFA in sculpture.
A subtly political artist, Pothupitiye confronts compelling political issues raised by the war in Sri Lanka and extends his inquiry questions of caste, the distinction between art and craft, tradition and modernity, as well as generating a critique of Euro-centrism.
Pothupitiye was named Best Artist of the Year and received First Place in Sculpture at the State Art Festival in Sri Lanka in 2003. In 2005 he was also selected to participate in the 3rd Fukuoka Triennial at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan, and in 2010 received the jury awarded 1st Prize in the Sovereign Art Asian Prize, Hong Kong.