The Disappearance of Disappearances

Wed, 11/07/2018


An exhibition of drawings by Visiting Artist Pushapakanthan Pakkiyarajah


Runs through November 12, 2018 in the History of Art Gallery, Goldwin Smith Hall (Open Monday-Friday 9am - 4:30pm)

Artist Talk and Public Reception on Friday November 9 @ 4:30 pm

Free and open to the public. Please email with any questions. Organized by Kaitlin Emmanuel and Piragash Swargaloganathan with support from the South Asia Program and the History of Art and Visual Studies Department.


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Pushpakanthan Pakkiyarajah is an artist from Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, whose subject matter has been heavily influenced by the prolonged civil conflict that permeated his youth. His powerful, emotionally-raw and meticulously-executed drawings, paintings, video art, installations and performance engage with issues about which there has been mostly silence. The work speaks of physical and mental suffering, conditions he equates with both the deep pain his country experiences as it continues to emerge from decades of civil strife, and global suffering connected to questions of identity, agency, and gender. As an artist, Pushpakanthan expresses his generational outlook, a subtle feeling of being trapped by the burden of a tragic history, of being in search of reconciliation, and experiences of cultural in-betweenness. His work seeks to create a space for marginalized voices, for remembering and healing a silenced past, and for initiating honest discussions about what reconciliation means. Pushpakanthan studied at the Ramanathan academy of Fine Arts at the University of Jaffna, and is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual and Technological Arts at the Swami Vipulananda Institute for Aesthetic Studies, Eastern University, Sri Lanka. He has exhibited widely in Sri Lanka, India and the UK, and is represented by Saskia Fernando Gallery in Colombo. His work is in private collections in Sri Lanka, Europe and North America. He is a recipient of a South Asia Studies Fellowship at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he is currently a Fellow and Visiting Artist.

The Disappearance of Disappearances Pushapakanthan Pakkiyarajah