The High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka H.E Gopal Baglay inaugurated Chitralekha – the first-ever art exhibition of Sri Lankan artists studied in India with the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs Somaratne Vidanapathirana at JDA Perera Art Gallery, Colombo.
The exhibition features seven legendary master artists of Sri Lanka namely Ananda Samarakoon, Somabandu Vidyapathi, Ven. L.T.P. Manjusri Thero, George Keyt, Harry Pieris, Upasena Gunawardena and Bernard Lokuge, who had a close connection with Indian art traditions. Five masterpieces were provided by the National Art Gallery of the Department of Cultural Affairs and others were collected from the collections of the families and Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre.
There is a total of 26 contemporary artists participated from all over Sri Lanka who studied in different universities of India including renowned artists like Winnie Hettigoda, Sarath Gunasiri Perera, S. Sivaruban, Susiripala Malimbada, Ramyawardena Podinilame, Rinuja Sivasangar and Dr. Manoranjana Herath. Most of them availed the scholarships of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations for their studies in India. A total of about 150 paintings are on display at the art exhibition, which is curated by Prof. Jagath Ravindra and Asanka Jayasinghe.
The cultural arm of the High Commission of India in Colombo, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre organised this exhibition commemorating the ongoing Year of India Alumni being celebrated by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, as well as marks the significant milestones of 75 years of diplomatic relations between India and Sri Lanka and 25 years of establishment of the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka.
The inauguration event was attended by artists, art enthusiasts and a host of dignitaries. The Director of SAARC Cultural Centre Renuka Ekanayake and the Vice Chancellor of the University Prof (Dr.) Rohana P Mahaliyanaarachchi also attended the inauguration. The exhibition will remain open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until October 12, 2023.