b. 1980, Sri Lanka

Ruwan Prasanna Biography

Ruwan Prasanna's post-impressionist landscapes depict his native Sri Lanka in vibrant colour and fluid brush strokes on large-scale canvases.

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Early Life

Born in Sri Lanka, Ruwan Prasanna studied Fine Arts at the University of Kelaniya in Colombo, before pursuing a career in advertising while continuing to paint. Prasanna's early influences include fellow Sri Lankan abstract painter Jagath Ravindra.

Prasanna held his first solo show at Paradise Road Galleries in 2010. Since 2015, the artist has been refining his style—a blend of saturated pigments applied in rhythmic strokes— emerging as one of the few abstract painters in Sri Lanka's contemporary art scene.

Ruwan Prasanna Artworks

Prasanna's paintings use colour to reflect the motion of light. The resulting paintings achieve a sense of depth through high contrast hues distributed in spontaneous arrangements.

Abstract Expressionism

Early acrylic-on-canvas works like Landscape XIII (2014) and Landscape XVIII (2015) show erupting bouquets assembled from primary colours, resembling the works of American painter Joan Mitchell, known for painting large-scale abstract works with the same intensity.

'Komorebi'

Prasanna's 'Komorebi' (2018) is a series of multi-panel paintings that capture the gradual stages of sunset as seen from below the canopy trees of Colombo, and borrows its title from the Japanese word meaning 'the light shining through the trees'.

In Komorebi XXIV (2018), an acrylic-on-canvas painting, bright yellow sits atop lush green foliage. Light spreads and emerges from beneath the vegetation, reflecting the richness of Sri Lanka's cityscapes and Prasanna's detailed observations.

'Twilight'

Prasanna's 'Twilight' (2019) series recovers his existing interest in landscape and flora to recreate the contrast in the sky as the sun sets below the horizon.

In Twilight III (2019), the transition from purple to orange and green to red using short brush strokes shows the city coming to life through complementary hues applied with rhythmic precision. While in Twilight I (2019), bright reds overtake dark splatters of purple and green, suggesting rather a scene inside the city, in which light not only refers to a point in time but the saturation from heat—an aggregation of bodies perhaps, intercepted up close.

Exhibition

Prasanna's work has been shown widely across Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Select solo exhibitions include Twilight, Paradise Road Galleries, Colombo (2019); Komorebi, Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo (2017); Landscapes, Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo (2013); and Ruwan Prasanna, Paradise Road Galleries, Colombo (2010).

Selected group exhibitions include Contemporary Landscapes, Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo (2013); Kala Pola, George Keyt Foundation (2011); Group Exhibition, Artway Gallery, Colombo (2009); State Festival Exhibition of Painting & Sculpture, National Art Gallery, Colombo (2008); Ogilvy 'Other side' exhibition, Barefoot Gallery, Colombo (2007); and Exhibition of Young Contemporaries, Harold and Peiris Gallery, Colombo (2004).

Elaine YJ Zheng | Ocula | 2021

Ruwan Prasanna Featured Artworks

View All (25)
Aluyama XXIII by Ruwan Prasanna contemporary artwork painting
Ruwan Prasanna Aluyama XXIII, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
123 x 92 cm
Saskia Fernando Gallery Contact Gallery
Aluyama XXII by Ruwan Prasanna contemporary artwork painting
Ruwan Prasanna Aluyama XXII, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
214 x 214 cm
Saskia Fernando Gallery Contact Gallery
Aluyama XXI (diptych) by Ruwan Prasanna contemporary artwork painting
Ruwan Prasanna Aluyama XXI (diptych), 2021 Acrylic on canvas
214 x 214 cm
Saskia Fernando Gallery Contact Gallery
Aluyama XX (diptych) by Ruwan Prasanna contemporary artwork painting
Ruwan Prasanna Aluyama XX (diptych), 2021 Acrylic on canvas
244 x 244 cm
Saskia Fernando Gallery Contact Gallery
Aluyama XVIII by Ruwan Prasanna contemporary artwork painting
Ruwan Prasanna Aluyama XVIII, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
71 x 71 cm
Saskia Fernando Gallery Contact Gallery
Aluyama XVII (diptych) by Ruwan Prasanna contemporary artwork painting
Ruwan Prasanna Aluyama XVII (diptych), 2021 Acrylic on canvas
184 x 184 cm
Saskia Fernando Gallery Contact Gallery
Aluyama XVI by Ruwan Prasanna contemporary artwork painting
Ruwan Prasanna Aluyama XVI, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
71 x 71 cm
Saskia Fernando Gallery Contact Gallery
Aluyama XV by Ruwan Prasanna contemporary artwork painting
Ruwan Prasanna Aluyama XV, 2021 Acrylic on canvas
71 x 71 cm
Saskia Fernando Gallery Contact Gallery

Ruwan Prasanna Recent Exhibitions

Ruwan Prasanna Represented By

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