items on display at this exhibition
are a source of delight and inspiration
to all art lovers. We can relax
and refresh our mind by appreciating
creative works at exhibitions like
this. Such experience enriches our
inner self and adds quality to our
President Late Ranasinghe Premadasa-November
steeped in Sri Lankan history and
firmly rooted in Buddhist traditions
and teachings, Kalasuri Semage’s
paintings are not parochial and
introspective spiritual representations.
They are creative expressions of
central tents of Buddhism that urge
us to respect life in all its forms
and to act with compassion in all
paintings are very beautiful and easy
to understand when looked at. They
possess a tremendous amount of beauty
and emphasis on life and peace which
is so important these days when there
is so much violence and bloodshed
around us.” Dr.
Arzu Deuba First Lady in Nepal. December
influences has shaped Jayasiri’s
Colorful, tradition but modern style:
these include religion, images from
his village childhood and even Picasso.”
B. Haber. Renowned, Journalist, Bangkok..
and happiness are the unique characters
of Mr. Semage’s creations. Using subtle
colors in harmony with a mixture of traditional
motives and patterns he bridges many worlds.
For his creativeness and talent Mr.Semage
has been named as the Sri Lanka’s
- Pamela J.Deen - Ambassador of Sri Lanka
in Nepal. December 2001.
religious paintings are important in that
they take on the spirit of Buddhist art
of the Far East in general, at the same
time showing their indebtedness to the Ajantha
– Sigiri murals. Here, therefore,
is a master artist-craftsman who is deep-rooted
in his country’s tradition. The style
is also therefore traditional, albeit modern,
figurative, linearly defined and hence precise…”
Jumsai. - Architech, National Artist, Bangkok.2000.
Semage’s works are most versatile paintings of the
day which depict a cross section of the Sri Lankan heritage…”
W.J.E. Monhemius - Art Critic, The
feast for the senses! What a rich and beautiful art display.
What a gift, that you are so talented.”
Biggs.- Visitor to Art Exhibition held at UN Main Hall,
the warm and fluid paintings bring the sunshine and lush
vegetation of Sri Lanka into already wintry Nepal. Sometimes
the paintings are reminiscent of Picasso, other times
they remind one of the paintings of Indian artist Jamini
Roy. Semage’s paintings represent figures, mostly
women, intertwined with nature, and painted with such
exuberance and joy that one smiles as one views them”
Adams. - People’s Review, Nepal. December 2001.
Siddhartha Art Gallery is indeed privileged to host the
exhibitions of paintings by Jayasiri Semage, renowned
Artist from Sri Lanka – in collaboration with the
Sri Lankan Embassy in Nepal. This exhibition is the very
first by a Sri Lankan Artist in Nepal. This exhibition
marks a milestone in bridging cultural ties.”
Sangeeta Thapa. - Director-General,
iddhartha Art Gallery, Nepal. December 2001.
art is alive with both the rhythm and movement encapsulated
on his canvases. Some of the paintings were made up with
his characteristics curved strokes. Others were magically
built up from triangles, trapezoids and rectangles. All
were peaceful, happy and harmonious. They were simply
the beauty he sees in everyday Sri Lankan village life…”
M. Gamhewage. - Journalist, Geneva. March 2002.
from World Press.
a time when Nepal is facing a crisis bound by violence,
bloodshed and hatred, Jayasiri Semage has brought beauty,
love and happiness through his typically Sri Lankan
art, which without doubt reflects a longing for peace,
love and normalcy…”
‘Kathmandu post 01 December
has portrayed feminine characteristics meticulously…His
drawings have a kind of flow and brush strokes that
speak eloquently...the very colors and curves that his
handiwork has is an enhancement that enthralls an onlooker…”
‘The Himalayan Times’
11 December 2001.
is one of the most talented artists in Sri Lanka. His
works definitely represent a landmark in the Sri Lankan
‘Metro’ Stockholm. September
Sri Lankan artist Jayasiri Semage encompasses forms and
lines of traditional Sri Lankan art into his paintings….”
‘The Nation’ Bangkok.
18 May 2000.
with the palette and the brush”
“Semage – a painter of repute”
“Semage is still unique.”
“Semage’s paintings embossed with his identity”
“Semage bridges many worlds”
“Although some modern-day paintings are somewhat
mind boggling. Semage’s creations exude peace, beauty
and happiness. How ever, diverse influences have shaped
his colorful traditional but modern style. The Ajantha
and Sigiriya Murals, some of the best cave paintings in
South Asia, have had a tremendous influence on him. Therefore,
if any one criticizes his bosomy maidens as Western corruptions
should think twice before doing so.”
“Jayasiri Semage – A maestro who blends art
– Artist of rare talent”
– Master designer of Vesak Pandols”
“Semage – He modifies temple murals.”
Suri Jayasiri Semage is an artist of international
repute who is closely associated with
Sri Lankan art for many decades. He has
chosen to exhibit his paintings in Helsinki,
Finland this time following many successful
exhibitions he had held in Sweeden, Malayasia,
Singapore, Thailand and Nepal.
It gives me great pleasure to note that
he had chosen “Love and Peace”
as the theme of this exhibition. What
better medium to convey man’s love
for peace than through paintings. Scandinavian
art lovers have already been introduced
to Semage’s art. Now for the first
time in Finland, his art which is developed
on the Sigiri-Ajanta tradition of medieval
times, will make an indelible mark on
Finnish audiences. His themes are fusion
of East and west making his work particularly
appealing and popular among Western art
His effort conveys the oasis of peace
which prevails in his native land following
a prolonged period of war and conflict.
I wish his exhibition all success.
Former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
with a sense of appreciation that I send
this congratulatory message to Kala Suri
Jayasiri Semage, one of the most senior
artists in Sri Lanka. Having bagged many
International achievements in his career
as an artist of unique identity, Semage
is now extending his horizons to Finland.
His exhibition in Finland as a matter of
fact, gives every Sri Lankan art lover a
new sense of pride.
Semage started his career as a painter and
journalist. He drew mush inspiration from
ancient traditions of the East, while adopting
modern forms and techniques. This created
an extremely beautiful and romantic version
of paintings. These achievements won him
the titles of Kala Suri and Kala Bhushana.
I wish to congratulate him on his achievements
and wish him well with exhibitions that
are being organized in Scandinavian countries. Chandrika Bandaranayaka Kumarathunga
Former President of Sri Lanka