Prasad Hettiarcahi

Prasad Prasad, born in 1975 in Colombo, has lived and worked in the highly urban atmosphere of Rajagiriya in Colombo, his entire life. He had won numerous awards and participated in art workshops and projects in his high school days in early 90s. At this time, one of his works was selected to be held at the 1994 Art Exhibition in France at the UNESCO Center by the Sri Lanka Cultural, Social and Educational Association of France. However, to date, Prasad does not possess a formal certificate in visual art. Nevertheless, he was fortunate to get selected to follow and complete a course in archaeology at the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology in 2011. Since early 2000s Prasad has played a role as an artist in an active leftist political party in Sri Lanka, doing calligraphy, posters, huge stage designs, etc. He earns his living working as a freelance artist, doing graphic design and various visual works. In this series, he continues his work on the theme ‘An Unbelievable Taste!’ Here he incorporate visuals of traditional Sri Lankan rock and wall paintings, colonial heritage, urban life and the main motive is the betel sellers or the ‘saravita karaya’ of the very lower strata of society, and their decorative ‘saravita box’. ‘Saravita’ which could be called a contemporary tradition, is tasty substance for some and unpleasant for others. It is chewed to freshen your mouth but is also a main cause of oral cancer in Sri Lanka. The taste symbolically speaks about the visual taste generated by ‘development’ work in Sri Lanka that is also imbued with grave financial and social issues—an unbelievable taste! –

Lalith Manage