With roots in Sri Lanka, and wings that have carried him through Seoul, Milan, Luxembourg, Paris and Rome, DuminDa’s art is an expression of his formative life, his spiritual training, and his appreciation of Beauty in its omnipresent manifestations.
Born in Balapitiya – a village washed by the waters of both the Madu Ganga river and the Indian Ocean –, nurtured by ancestral energies and traditions, and ruled by Mother Nature, DuminDa grew up with very well-defined values, and a strong taste for adventure.
Swinging back and forth between the figurative and the free-style, with devotion and clear intention, DuminDa’s work evokes the delicate balance between dream and reality, magic and nature, east and west. With a découpage-collage technique of his own, DuminDa began assembling aesthetically-matching newspaper clippings with an exotic twist: the letters of the Sinhala alphabet and their intriguing symbolism.
In 2008, his first installation of newspaper figurines, Paper Moods, was showcased in the main entrance of the European Commission building in Luxembourg. Eclectic, taciturn, very much a visual poet, DuminDa creates spontaneously, unbound by any predefined scheme or system, producing tridimensional artwork inspired by sensations, vibrations, nuances and memories, states of mind, MOODS.
By serenely listening to the beat of his inner mystic music and to his deeply-rooted beliefs, DuminDa trained himself to model minimalistic shapes and shadows. Blending plaster, gold and fantasy, DuminDa created what would become his ‘logo’, a boat which is also a peace sign dedicated to people at sea, at large. This was followed by his ‘painted totems’ collection, a format he will revisit in future.
As of 2011, DuminDa attended the Trier Summer Academy and Beaux Arts, in Paris, travelled extensively in Europe and the U.S. Among his numerous favourite masters are Raphaël, Leonardo and Michelangelo; he also has a special affinity with Giacometti, whose work he discovered while visiting the Louisiana Museum (and got inspired by, long before, without even knowing him) and a strong fascination for Egon Schiele and his drawings, which he likes to reproduce on terracotta engravings. In his sculptures, DuminDa enjoys working with resins, newspapers, self-hardening natural eco-clay, plaster, and scotch-tape, with a constant quest for new materials. Using a technique that goes back some 1,600 years – the frescoes of Sigiriya, one of the most awe-inspiring sites of his beloved Sri Lanka -, Duminda has also experimented with patinas based on tea, berries and vegetables. As of October 2014, DuminDa had the privilege of studying in Paris with Professor Philippe Seené, a great lover of the Renaissance who soon became his mentor. After acquiring the necessary technical skills, DuminDa then started developing his own sculpting style: unpolished, unfinished surfaces, which he felt might best represent the human soul, and a palpable ‘saudade’ in most of his characters’ posture and glance.
As in a ‘Tangram’, in which thoughts, pigments and fragments of his past and present lives are restructured and reassembled, DuminDa depicts an imaginary world intertwined with reality. After practising the academic art of portraits and full bodies, he reverted to his favourite format of plaster totems and rich patina, turning the white, washed-out gips into a sophisticated mysterious material, mocking antique bronze, with a very unusual ‘wrinkled’ effect. An illusion that art-goers and experts fall for. “Is this bronze?” Sheer alchemy… Unconsciously inspired by the costumes of Kandy dancers and Sri Lanka's ancient Kings, DuminDa devised a stylised version of their bonnets, a semblance of a crown or aura above his sculptures' heads. DuminDa’s version of “slow art” is a meditative creative process, a simple and profound way of thinking, a passionate devotion.
“We laud the beauty of skills slowly acquired, and the deliberate art that reflects such skills.”
Slow Art Manifesto, New York, 2005.
What’s most enjoyable about DuminDa’s acclivitous voyage is his recapturing of an expressive freshness. A freshness, which, during the art world’s recent production of simply ‘pyrotechnic’ works, was partly put aside, and wrongly replaced by captious solutions, by gimmicks of deceptive charm, and by creations of ambiguous and misleading appeal.
This very talented sculptor of Sinhalese origin is clever enough to avoid the market-system trap and free enough to be himself by pursuing his own artistic syntax. He is rooted in a deep and well-sedimented humus, which coincides with a mature season of the spirit.
No artifices, no stratagems, no risky lexicon tossing and turning; a meditated, constant and gradual deepening of his own modus – increasingly unmistakable over time – prove a unique authenticity in his quest for a language free of narrow-minded academicism.
DuminDa brings to life all those ascendancies, which, in their vast forms’ repertory, suit him spiritually. One might also think tonally, within an intercultural and analytical dialogue with his land of origin.
He reinterprets and reuses this dialogue until it is his own, indissolubly fitting his homo faber craftsmanship.This process – which is not nostalgic, nor a cyclic ‘déjà vu’ – perfectly corresponds to ‘another’ dimension, one striving towards the absolute. It’s an entity of oniric transcendence, emerging more and more in DuminDa’s makeup, not only aesthetically but possibly also in contrast to his one-way chromatic investigation.In other words, it’s the discovery of the many aims pursued within his experience, in his most authentic constitution, in the most hidden spaces of his intellectual spirit: a voyage in time à rebours, looking for the perfect landing on the shores of the Madu Ganga river, dear to his childhood.
DuminDa lingers in this new, fascinating migration, on the edge of ‘knowing’, perfectly balancing meaning and reason; a remix of musical measures and chords in filigree (watermark), diluting into the chromatic idealism of his decoupage-assemblage paper sculptures and his prodigious casts, mocking alchemic bronze.There are also perfumes, scents and fragrances, triggering ‘Proustian perceptions’, olfactory memories, of that far-away place, his Sri Lanka.
He will never give up, renewed by western wonderment, both a tragic and a voluptuous spell, a ‘light and color’-intertwined nature.Hence, this is how an invisible thread ties back paramnesia and déjà vus, places and atmospheres, which come caressing towards you, while narrating the experience and maturity, past and fullness.
It’s a true memory, recovering an operation of extraordinary amarcord.Esthetic, we might say, in the context of a palette made of persuasive colors, of barely unveiled reverberations, in the intimate Vermeerian interior dimension, fostering prose and dialogue.
DuminDa's art is dusted with aching nostalgia- as in υόστος, return, and άλνος, pain-beautifully wrapped in lightness and mysticism. In short, this is an artist propelling us into another reality, into a register, at last detached from the hysteria of the “isms” and from the neurosis of classification at any cost.
This is perhaps the secret of Ajantha Duminda Jayasuriya’s attractive power, DuminDa’s, tout court… It’s difficult to know how deep an artist goes into his interior world. But DuminDa has come a long way, with the obstinate tenacity typical of his country's people. All along, he might have indulged in his experiences, from which to extrapolate landscapes, full of vital sparks and faces, emerging from the memory, with their hieratic fixity and their photographic cut.
– Massimo Rossi Ruben
“increasingly unmistakable over time”
“beautifully wrapped in lightness and mysticism”
“an artist propelling us into another reality”
European Commission Jean Monnet Building Luxemborg
« MAGIE D'UN JOUR »
European Commission, Jean Monnet Building - Luxembourg
2016, April 26th – Mai 1st
Atelier, portes ouvertes
13, rue des Bains - Luxemburg
2017 18-22 March
Collective, Bous - Lussemburgo
2018 15-25 June
Sculpures and 3D organic artwork,Solo exhibition, Cercle Münster - Luxemburg
2018 September 1st-4th
Grand Prix International, Human Rotary Créative - Château de Latour, Virton (Belgium)
2018 September 7th -12th
« Art in Garden » Private artshow with D.C.Giglio
2018 September 15th-22th
Collective « L'Anima, il Colore, la Materia »
Museo Crocetti - Rome
2018 October 20th -26th
Collective « Art Workers »RAW
Biblioteca Angelica - Rome
2018, December, 1st-9th
MOODS, Solo exhibition
Palazzo Ferrajoli - Rome
2019, October 13th
"Carte in Arte"
Central Institute for the Resturation and Conservation
of the Archives and Books' Patrimony-Italian Ministry
for cultural goods and activities and turism.
2020 27 April
"Vittoria's" Masks- virtual exhibition TWMFactory
Galleria Vittoria, Via Margutta 103, Roma
2020/ 26 November
2021 6 January
"Vittoria's Masks", Spallanzani Hospital, Rome
2020 28 October- 7 November
GENESIS vol.2, Collective
2020 Sulmona Prize
Polo museale civico diocesano - Sulmona
7 November - 5 December
2021 14 January- 6 February
B-JESUS Project, by Guillermo Mariotto
The Three Wise Men and the Dove"
Installation I Nicola Calipari Gardens, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II-Rome
2021 10 October ICPAL , "The Paper Sunday" Animalier( PAPER MOODS) Via Milano 76, Rome
2021 25 - 30 October "Meeting Point" , solo exhibition, "Meeting Point", via Giulia 187 a/b, Rome
2021 16-23 December "Xmas Open Studio", SPAZIO I DuminDa, via Giulia 187a/b, Rome
2022 18-28 May, SriLanding, When Art meets Nature
2022 10-11 September "Void and Space,a Voyage between East and West,Collective exhibition, Castellina de Miremont, Rignano Flaminio( Rome)
2022 8 September- 7 October, "It"s TIME" collective exhibition, Stoleczne Centrum Edukacji Kulturalnej, Warsaw
Events at Rome Art Week
Vernissage Thursday 27 Oct 2022 | 17:00-22:00
Vernissage Monday 25 Oct 2021 | 18:00-22:00
Event on reservation
Vernissage Monday 18 Oct 2021 | 15:00