Kanchana Arachchi

:: AGE

25

:: LOCATION

Chittagong, Bangladesh

:: MEDIUM

Paintings, Performance Art, Dance

:: IDENTIFIES AS

Heterosexual/ Sri Lankan

As a womxn or womxn of color, why do you think it is important to create?

Because that’s the most influential and powerful way to express our idea, thought, perception, identities and self.

What has been your proudest moment as an artist/creative?

I think the identity I earned as an artist is the best thing; I could sell around 87 paintings within  5 years, and completed my senior thesis on “women body representation and the gaze.” In 2014 I acted as a curator and organized an exhibition with women artists from 5 other countries (from Afghanistan, Nepal,India, Sri lanka, Bangladesh). Also had my solo exhibition in 2016 May in Bangladesh.

How do you define love?

I don’t know how I pick colors if I haven’t experienced love before; love allows me to figure out colors, shapes even the texture of my paintings. It’s all about how I feel it in the moment, when I’m broken because of love my colors are so dark, most of the time either black and blue or blackand red. When I’m complete in love my colors are yellow and orange red and very polychromatic. For me love is something which drives me to find myself.

What is the space like that you create in?

I found when I’m painting I need a very isolated space which means I don’t like distractions.  Even not human voices. Because I feel like I’m meditating. It’s very interpreting because when I explore performance art and dance I love to have my audience it’s very encouraging but for painting it’s totally different.

What do you like to listen to while you create?

Most of the time no music , because my body reacts to music I feel to move body or dance or I get sweats fast just listening to music.

How do you make time to create?

Usually I don’t exactly have any specific time, sometimes it depends on my emotions, I draw like people keep records in their journals, I draw when I’m angry to find how I feel it in lines, colors. So except night time I could be any time during the day (even during some lectures I doodle stuff).

What’s your earliest memory of making art?

My very first art certificate I earned from Japan when I was just five years, it was from Kanagava Art Competition. I earned a bronze medal that transformed my life.

Do you have any words of advice for young artist/creators out there?

I strongly believe in action or creating and continuing things. That is what makes your identity, if I’d have stopped my passion for art; today nobody recognizes my voice as an artist. No matter which profession you pick to be financially stable, stay close to art. Art has the healing power, it is unbelievably sensitive and If you have the strong passion to create art, you “must” continue it. You should share it and raise your voice through it.. Remember art could be anything and it has something to offer to the world around you!

What or who keeps you inspired?

Some amazing professors Margaret Kruszewska (former theater director), Karole Foreman (Broadway theatre actress LA), Peter Zokosky (chair Laguna Art College CA), Genevieve Gamache (Assistant Dean AUW, chair of Gender study and Fine arts) transformed my identity as an artist throughout my academic life.

Also all the historical artists from Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Khalo to contemporary artists Renee Cox are my inspirations. Also in the area of academic, Linda Nochlin , Laura Maulvey and all the feminist artists those who questioned, criticized and deconstructed the traditional gender stereotypes motivated me to be an artist with a voice.

How do you define art?

Art could be anything that allows us to experience the esthetic taste. It is a language itself and it could carry a certain meaning or a purpose but it doesn’t have to carry always. As we know in some cultures art’s been using practically in their daily life so we exercise art, we express art and we embrace art all the time.

What does art mean to you?

To me it’s my inner language, I believe I communicate my personal experiences through painting and also I explore and question and challenge some social political issues through colors , shapes, styles and my subject matter.

Thank you Kanchana for allowing us to step inside your powerful world. We are so inspired by your passion, vision, and artistic lens.