Sujeewa Kumari was educated at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies at the University of Kelaniya, and completed her MFA at the Dutch Art Institute in the Netherlands, where she began explored her experimental spirit as a female contemporary artist. Within her early body of works the artist expresses her point of view as a woman in Sri Lanka, focusing on her female identity in the contemporary art scene and society based on her experiences, and her research on the concept of post-colonial identity discourse. In her most recent artworks Kumari comes to terms with de-realized memories derived by history, tradition and daily life reality, to formulate a compelling artistic synthesis of cultural images.
Her body of work varies from new media techniques as digital photograph collages, video installations and performance, however she is most recognised for her mixed media drawings. In every medium she is following a surrealist tradition to open her dreamy realistic cosmos to the viewer. The essence of her work is that she refuses an explanation in favor of an open strategy, not to “over-think” her compositions, as she puts it. In her subtle elegant style, Kumari combines thin lines and fluid ink washed clouds with detailed portraits, everyday objects and symbols, together they form dreamy light translucent layers and structures on the paper. Her use of color is very subtle but pointed. In favor of a magic realism, she evolves a distinct mystic appearance to refer to her memories, hidden desires and a spiritual self-discovery of historical constructed identities of “self” and “other”. The spectator is encouraged to discover these hybrid images, invoking an empathy with the presented contemplative strangers and think about one’s own place in Kumaris enchanting oeuvre.
Sujeewa Kumari has held solo shows in the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands.
Sponsored by The Embassy of Switzerland