Self-taught artist and photographer Poornima Jayasinghe is interested in the question of whether photography can offer the same freedom of expression to the artist as painting. Am I taking photographs of existing reality, or creating my own world? Or does each medium lend itself exclusively to the expression of different truths? To quote Lewis Hine, “If I could say it in words, I wouldn’t need to photograph.”

Many believe that an obviously manipulated image is a trick, but Jayasinghe thinks that shows a lack of understanding of the unique power of photography. The technical aspect of her photographs is her answer to the questions above. For the manipulated image, the question “Is it real?” does not arise because the medium has the power to go beyond reality and bring a thought or concept into concrete existence.

Her interactive artwork for the Biennale was created using photographs and live video projection. She creates an unpredictable narrative around the theme of “Making History”—which she sees as a therapeutic process—in order to engage in a dialogue with the audience.

Jayasinghe is currently working as head of art at the British School in Colombo. In addition to photography, her art practice includes paintings, graphic illustration, installation and interactive art.