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Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Book of Violence, Used Book and charcoal, 20.5 cm x 14 cm x 2 cm, 2016

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Bullet Book, Used Book and charcoal, 19 cm x 26 x 1.5 cm, 2019

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Democracy 2, Used Books, Padlocks, 26 cm x 15 cm x 1.5 cm, 2019

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Encyclopedia, Used book and Metal, 27 cm x 20 cm x 2.5 cm, 2013

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Face, Laser cut used Book, 18 cm x 24.5 cm x 2 cm, 2019

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Nail on Book, Used Book and Nails, 19 cm x 24.5 cm x 3 cm, 2018

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Security Checked, Used books and labels, 26 cm x 20 cm x 1.5 cm, 2013

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

War Text, Used Books and toy Soldiers, 21.5 cm x 29.5 cm x 2 cm

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

War Text, Used books and toy soldiers, 21.6 cm x 29.2 cm x 2.5 cm, 2019

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

War Text, Used Books and Toy Soldiers, 22 cm x 30 cm x 3.5 cm, 2015

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

War Text, Used Books and Toy Soldiers, 22 cm x 30 cm x 3.5 cm, 2015

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

In Between, Acrylic on paper, 101 cm x 76 cm, 2018

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

In Between, Acrylic on paper, 101 cm x 76 cm, 2018

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

In Between, Acrylic on paper, 101 cm x 76 cm, 2018

Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

In Between, Acrylic on paper, 101 cm x 76 cm, 2018

As one of the leading abstractionists of his country, Kingsley Guantilake’s has a dual practice - of his canvases and paperworks exploring forms and colour theories, and artist’ books, which focus on the long and terrorised history of Sri Lankan civil war that lasted for over three decades, leaving a trail of dead memories and empty bullets amidst promises of reconciliation by politicians in its wake. Gunatilake questions the aftermath of war, consequences of destruction and explosion, and the rationality left in their inheritance.

Be it his abstract paintings or his ‘wounded’ books, Kingsley’s works are sensory responses to the experience of violence, as well as the perpetration of acts of violence. His prolific methodology is quick and aggressive and consistently resisting statist, dominant narratives that exist in a post-war era. The spine of his book practice is inspired from the burning of the Jaffna Library in 1981, which is reiterated through a meditative practice of burning and cutting; an act of remembering and that of a witness.

Born in Wadduwa, Sri Lanka, Kingsley now works in his studio out of Kandy in his native country and in Colombo. Gunatilake received a Bachelor in Fine Art from Fine Art University, Colombo and a diploma in Environmental Education from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in 1994. His recent solo exhibitions include ‘Yen’ at the Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo (2020); and ‘Wounded Book’ at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2019); ‘In Between’ at the Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo (2019) and ‘Finding Space’ at at the Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo (2017). His group presentations include India Art Fair (2017-2020); 4th Jeju Art Exhibition, Korea (2020); ‘The Days we Screamed’ at Red Dot Art Gallery, Colombo (2019); ‘K K Exhibition’ at Fugentei Gallery, Kumamoto (2017); ‘Reading Room’ at The Winchester Gallery, Winchester (2016); and Colombo Art Biennale, Colombo (2014). He is the recipient of two NOMA Awards in Japan and the award for illustration from Biennale Bratislava, Slovakia. He has also received the Bunka award for his exceptional conservation work at the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy. Kingsley lives and works between Colombo and Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Kinglsey Gunatillake

Recent Solo exhibitions:

‘Yen’ at the Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo (2020)

Wounded Book’ at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2019)

‘In Between’ at the Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo (2019)


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Book of Violence, Used Book and charcoal, 20.5 cm x 14 cm x 2 cm, 2016

Kinglsey Gunatillake

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Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Bullet Book, Used Book and charcoal, 19 cm x 26 x 1.5 cm, 2019

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Democracy 2, Used Books, Padlocks, 26 cm x 15 cm x 1.5 cm, 2019

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Encyclopedia, Used book and Metal, 27 cm x 20 cm x 2.5 cm, 2013

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Face, Laser cut used Book, 18 cm x 24.5 cm x 2 cm, 2019

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Nail on Book, Used Book and Nails, 19 cm x 24.5 cm x 3 cm, 2018

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

Security Checked, Used books and labels, 26 cm x 20 cm x 1.5 cm, 2013

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

War Text, Used Books and toy Soldiers, 21.5 cm x 29.5 cm x 2 cm

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

War Text, Used books and toy soldiers, 21.6 cm x 29.2 cm x 2.5 cm, 2019

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

War Text, Used Books and Toy Soldiers, 22 cm x 30 cm x 3.5 cm, 2015

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

War Text, Used Books and Toy Soldiers, 22 cm x 30 cm x 3.5 cm, 2015

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

In Between, Acrylic on paper, 101 cm x 76 cm, 2018

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

In Between, Acrylic on paper, 101 cm x 76 cm, 2018

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

In Between, Acrylic on paper, 101 cm x 76 cm, 2018

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back


Kinglsey Gunatillake book art  contemporary south asian

In Between, Acrylic on paper, 101 cm x 76 cm, 2018

Kinglsey Gunatillake

< Back