Pala Pothupitiye, born in 1972, obtained his BFA degree from the Visual and Performance Art University in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Raised in a family of traditional southern Sri Lankan craft-artists and ritualists, his work incorporates and reinterprets the material and philosophical content of traditional art.
Pothupitiye confronts issues such as colonialism, nationalism, religious extremism and militarism. He extends his inquiry to the questions of caste, the distinction between art and craft, tradition and modernity, as well as generating a critique of Euro-centrism in postcolonial situations.
In 2005, he was selected to participate in the third Fukuoka Triennial at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan, and in 2010 he won the jury award of the Sovereign Art Asian Prize, Hong Kong. He has participated in numerous art exhibitions and art events locally and internationally, which includes Colombo Scope 2013, Sri Lanka; Colombo Art Biennale 2012; Serendipity Art Festival 2015, Goa; Singapore Biennale 2016, Singapore; Inaugural Karachi Biennale 2017, Pakistan; and Museu d’Art Contemporanide Barcelona (MACBA), 2019, Spain. His work is scheduled to show at the Asian Triennale 2021 at Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Australia.
Pothupitiye was a founding member of Theertha International Artists Collective, a progressive artists-led initiative based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He also founded the MullegamaArt Centre, an art initiative located in Athurugiriya, a suburb of Colombo where he runs regular art workshops and an art school, supporting younger artists and schoolchildren. He works and lives in Athurugiriya, Sri Lanka.
Pothupitiye’s works are in the collection of Fukuoka Museum, World Culture Museum, Germany, Vina Museum, Austria, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain.