Opening Night of the Colombo Art Biennale: Performances

‘Re: Encounters’ by Samson Ogiamien & Ceylon African Manja

Date and location: 2nd December, 6.30pm at Zmax Fairway Hotel, Rs.2000
followed by Video Jam

Stunning and vibrant music and dance from the Afro-Sri Lankan and Edo-Nigerian communities facilitated by CAB artist Samson Ogiamien.
The performance responds to this year’s theme ‘Conceiving Space’, re-affirming African cultural heritage in Sri Lanka that has survived for many centuries.

The collaborative performance is being created to enable an encounter with the visitors of the Colombo Art Bienniale sharing our cultures from different continents, performing songs and dances of Afro-Sri Lankans as well as Edo, Nigerian origin. Through a cooperative performance, we would like to bring people together, creating awareness as well as reaffirming African cultural heritage in Sri Lanka that has survived many centuries.
This Performance entitled “Re: Encounters” intermingles different eras, locations, traditions, cultures and media therefore reclaiming and regaining the past and thus bringing it through performance into the present. It reflects on questions of origin and destiny, questions of choice and blame trying to answer them by using the idea of “Discover to Recover” – discovering the long lost but familiar past, recovering it by passing on tradition in the “re:found” and “re:answered” present creating a common future. Therefore it encourages encounters of the Afro-Sri Lankans “African Past” and my “African Present” and creates a new conception of time and space reaffirming their as well as my roots.

Samson was a part of  ‘Moving Out’ – a CAB parallel artist residency programme which took place at Sura Medura International Artist Residency, presented by UZ Arts.

In collaboration with UZ Arts and Sura Medura


Samsun Performance

Video Jam

Video Jam




Specially curated by UK based curator Shereen Perera.  A performance of  short films with a variety of live musical accompaniments by UK based film/music collective Video Jam. Featuring award winning local Sri Lankan & international artists including Hetain Patel, Imaad Majeed, Alice Dunseath, Rowland Hill, Haruka Mitani,  Asvajit Boyle, Musicmatters, Nichola Scrutton, Martin Janicek, Cassie Machado, Vimukthi Jayasundara, Muvindu Binoy, Gayathri  Khemadasa and more.

Video Jam 2


One on One Performance Installation by Venuri Perera

at Prana Lounge, first floor

Timings of performances (each performance lasts 5 minutes):

Opening Night: 1st December 6.30-7.30pm
2nd December: 11-1pm, 3-6pm
3rd December: 11-1pm, 3-6pm
5th of December: 11am – 2pm
6th of December: 11am – 1pm
9th of December: 11am – 2pm
10th of December: 11am – 2pm

kesel maduwa 2


Agent. Alien. Appeal. Application. Appointment. Ban. Bank Statements. Biometrics. Blacklist. Body
Scan. Border Protection. Boundaries. Certificates. Checklist. Citizen. Citizenship. Claustrophobia. Class.
Colonisation. Country. Controls. Consular. Criminal History. Decision. Denial. Deport. DNA. Documents.
Enclosed Space. Eligible. Entry. Emigration. Employment History. Embassy. Evidence. Expat. Expedite.
Expire. Extend. Family History. Fees. Fingerprints. Freedom of Movement. Flash. Flight. Forms.
Government. Green Card. Granted. Guidelines. Heritage. Hierarchy. History. Holiday. Homeland
Security. Identification. Immigration. Immigrant. Income. Information. Interview. Interrogation. Intrusion.
Intimacy. Intimate Space. Invitation. Judgement. Laws. Long Stay. Medical History. Migration. Money.
Nationality. Nonrefundable. Other. Official. Officers. Passport. Patriotism. Personal History. Hybrid.
Photographs. Power. Private Space. Privilege. Processing time. Procedures. Proof. Public Space.
Questions. Queues. Qualifications. Relationships. Relations. Restriction of Movement. Records.
Refugee. Refusal. Requirements. Return. Safety. States. Status. Secrets. Security Check. Service.
Submit. Surveillance. Sponsor. Terrorist. Touch. Ticket. Tier. Tourist. Travel. Transit. Unequal. Visas. Visitor.
VFS. Wall. Wait. Waiver. Xenophobia.
Attics are inhospitable spaces, without ventilation or light and not easily accessible. In some cultures,
attics are know to be the place where things get accumulated, stored, hoarded. For this
performance installation the attics has been completely blackened to mask the identities of the
people entering the space and the nature of the space itself.
The inequality and undignified processes many have to face and rituals they have to perform before,
and during entering another country served as a trigger for the intimate encounters that will take
place inside.

‘Passport Blessing Ceremony’

A ritual performance by Venuri Perera

Date and location: Sunday, 4th of December at the Visual Arts Symposium 5pm, Nuga Gama, Cinnamon Grand

‘A Moment of Conceiving Space – Collective Conceiving Ritual’  by Eva Priyanka Wegener

Date and location: 3rd December 4.45pm in Slave Island

Eva-Priyanka-WegenerA collective ritual in which we explore the individual and collective sense of space using our body/mind and senses. We invite the notion and creation of individual and collective space and together we will create ‘A moment of conceiving space.’

Theertha Performance Platform (TPP) Workshops and Participatory Performances

Date and location: 9th – 10th December at the Slave Island Community Centre, free-of- charge

In keeping with the CAB2016 theme ‘Conceiving Space’, 18 local performance artists of the Theertha Performance Platform will team up with 3 international performance artists from India and Serbia to explore the concept of space and public participation through performance art.

The three day program led by Dr Godwin Constantine and Bandu Manamperi, both practicing performance artists, will consist of morning workshops on performance art techniques with participation of youths from the University of Jaffna, University of Batticaloa, Sri Palee Campus, University of Kelaniya, and University of Peradeniya.

These workshops will be held at the Slave Island Community Centre from the 9th – 10th December, and will be open, free-of- charge, to interested community members. Following the footsteps of their successful outdoor production ‘Borders and Lines’ in 2015, the evenings will feature impromptu participatory public performances, held in and around Slave Island. These performances will explore the themes of inclusion, exclusion and the exploration of surrounding space.

Theertha Performance Platform Symposium is a symposium organized by TPP and will aim to explore the new role of the spectator, bringing to question traditional views of spectators being mere observers of art. They will discuss the role of a performance art spectator as beyond a passive onlooker, and deliberate the manner in which this change is taking place especially in the context of public space performance.


Local performance artists


Lakni Prasanjali Kumarasiri

Lakni completed her  degree in performing Arts (Special) from the University  of Colombo  (Sripalee Campus) in 2013.  She is trained in both traditional and Indian Baratha Natyam., She participated in Theertha Performance Platform work shop and Colombo Dance Platform 2016 as a performance artist.


Kanakanayakam Pirakash

Pirakash graduated from the Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts, University of  Jaffna, Sri Lanka.  He has participated in group exhibitions and workshops.


Kasun Geethendra

He received BFA in Painting from the University of the Visual and Performing Arts (UVPA) Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has participated in several group exhibitions. He has participated in Performance art workshops conducted by the Theertha Performance Platform.


G.L.Chammika Jayawardena

Chammika graduated from the University of Visual and performing Art, Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2007. He has also completed a 4 year Certificate Course at Vibhavi Academy of Fine Atrs. At present he is a visiting lecturer at the Sri palee Campus, University of, Colombo. He has participated in several group exhibitions.


Janani Cooray

Janani Cooray obtained her B F A degree  from the  Institute of Aesthetic  studies , University of Kelaniya. She did her first performace work the “ Cage” at the  Theertha International Artist’s workshop 2003 at Lunuganga, Sri Lanka.


Priyanthi  Anusha 

Priyanthi completed her B.F.A (Special) Degree at the University of Visual & Performance Art, Sri Lanka in 2009. She did her first performance work at the Colombo Art Biennale in 2014.


Lakmali Weerasinge

Lakmali graduated from Sri Palee Campus, University of Colombo. She has participated in the Theertha Performance Platform work shop and few group exhibitions.


Nuthsara Rajapakse

Nuthsara graduated from the Sri Palee Campus, University of Colombo. She has participated in the Theertha Performance Platform work shop and few group exhibitions.


Chaya Kothalawala

Chaya Kothalawala was born in Colombo,Sri Lanka. She is a graduate of BA in Interior Architecture from the Limkokwing University, Malaysia. Chaya’s debut performance “Red on Red” was done at the Theertha Performance Platform Workshop 2016 in Borella,Sri Lanka.