DuminDa

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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.

 

DuminDa’s Art

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”



 

 

Exhibitions

 

2008, October-November           
PAPER MOODS           
Installation           
European Commission Jean Monnet Building           Luxemborg

2012, October           
« MAGIE D'UN JOUR »           
Collective artshow           
European Commission, Jean Monnet Building - Luxembourg

2016, April 26th – Mai 1st           
Solo presentation           
LuxExpo, Lussemburgo

2016-2017
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             
Collective
Grand Prix International, Human Rotary Créative - Château de Latour, Virton (Belgium)

2018 September 7th -12th             
« Art in Garden » Private artshow with D.C.Giglio
Belair-Luxemburg             

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

2020, Pas de Deux, the PAPER MOODS Collection, Sri Lanka newspaper cuts, assembled in a new harmony of signs, colors and meanings.
Sophie, the She Horse
Josephine, terracotta - 2015
Il Cavalier Felice, gesso - 2018

Events at Rome Art Week

24 Oct-12 Nov 2022
The Archetypes Game, act one
• Luisa Valeriani | The MAGICIAN • DuminDa | The INNOCENT • Ivo Cotani | The LOV
Free admission
Vernissage Thursday 27 Oct 2022 | 17:00-22:00
Exposition
Spazio | DuminDa
Via Giulia 187 a/b - Roma
25 Oct-01 Nov 2021
Meeting Point with DuminDa
Ajantha Duminda Jayasuriya's Solo show
Free admission
Vernissage Monday 25 Oct 2021 | 18:00-22:00
Exposition
Meeting Point
Via Giulia 187 - Roma
28 Oct 2021 | 18:00-22:00
Meeting Point with DuminDa
Mostra e aperitivo
Free admission
Event
Meeting Point
Via Giulia 187 - Roma
26-31 Oct 2020 | 15:00-20:00
DuminDa

Free admission
Open Studio
Studio DuminDa
Via Capo di Ferro, 25 - Roma
28 Oct-07 Nov 2020
Genesis vol. 2
Galleria Vittoria presents 10 artists with the exhibition "Genesis Vol.2"
Event on reservation
Vernissage Monday 18 Oct 2021 | 15:00
Exposition
Galleria Vittoria
Via Margutta, 103 - Roma
21-26 Oct 2019 | 12:00-21:00
DuminDa - AYUBOWAN! Live performance

Free admission
Open Studio
Studio DuminDa
Via Capo di Ferro, 25 - Roma
RAW2016 events have not yet been inserted in the new database