Working shapes and colours to create ingenious visionary pieces, Chathuranga Biyagama, a contemporary artist and Managing Director of Gallery Four Life (Pvt) Ltd, has signified his presence as a unique paragon in the industry. With his distinctive stroke of creativity, Chathuranga has produced many artworks that stand to signify cultural epitome and individualistic portrayal.
Holding on to his childhood passion for art, Chathuranga has foreshadowed his brilliance even as an aspiring talent by winning many local and international awards as a student. He received an excellency award in the National State Awards in Art in 2002, allowing him his first international exposure by qualifying him to participate in the 11th Asian Art Biennale held in Dhaka in 2003. Chathuranga has an impressive portfolio of higher education, having obtained a Bachelor’s in Business Management specializing in Strategic Management from the University of Bangalore, India (2003-2007), as well as an LLB from the Open University of Sri Lanka.
Chathuranga’s deep talent and yearning to reach the creative skies of the world could not be stifled by the mere comfort of the corporate chair. Despite his background in finance and banking, he returned to the creative path because he couldn’t find the ethical freedom he sought as a true artist within restrictive systematic structures. Thus, Chathuranga took the huge risk of taking his chance in the art world. Engaging in unique self-practice artistry he hoped of achieving the change he desired to experience both personally and professionally.
Taking this risk transformed Chathuranga into the creative explosion that now inspires many aspiring artists all over the world. After receiving a Taiwanese art award in 2014, Chathuranga was quickly included in the list of the world’s best 60 artists. His name and work followed the international expansion, as they were selected for the 16th Asian Art Biennale in 2014, the 17th Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka in 2016, and the 18th Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka in 2018, placing his name among the impressive concession of renowned world artists while also allowing him exposure around the world, providing further inspiration for his artwork. Chathuranga stands as one of the most prestigious contemporary artists in Sri Lanka who has exhibited his work in Oxford, UK in 2017, and following this career highlight, Gallery Four Life was instated in the same year following his participation in the Amsterdam International Art Exhibition.
“My Art gallery concept was my platform in creating and organizing various art events & exhibitions worldwide. 2020 I launched the Art Gallery in Colombo, Sri Lanka and we are well established and performing in the Sri Lankan Art scene presently.”
Chathuranga, a pioneering figure in the Sri Lankan art scene, stands out for his ability to balance fine art within a commercialized presence and environment without losing creative integrity. Chathuranga describes himself as an art curator who wants to promote ‘Artpreneurship’ as a career. Noticing a lack of involvement in the art industry, both locally and internationally, he was determined to create a platform that would allow him to collaborate with the global and local talent, develop himself as a professional, and eventually achieve success as an entrepreneur in this field.
“As I studied completely different fields, I realized our society’s system wants to create doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, etc. Our society was blind in creating Artists, Singers, Actors, Writers, Fashion designers and aesthetic based professions. The society I grew up and lived in believed that you can’t make a better living through Art. So became the role model and the example for that question.”
Chathuranga has clearly achieved his determined goals as an Artpreneur and hopes to continue on contributing to further this unique concept, allowing the potential of the many unidentified talents in the field to be identified. As Chathuranga recognizes that the journey as an artist and a gallerist requires a tremendous amount of sacrifice and effort, Gallery Four Life was founded to overcome the industry’s direct challenges.
“Running an art gallery and an aesthetic base business during a global pandemic is nearly impossible. It was difficult to combine marketing and aesthetics. It was hard to establish and develop an aesthetic creation during an overwhelmingly challenging period. But I, with my team, overcame all these challenges. In my life’s journey as a gallerist and as a curator, every day was and is a milestone. Every day was and is precious to us, and we never let go of any day lightly as we strive to establish Gallery Four Life as an art gallery that you cannot neglect in the Sri Lankan art industry.”
With the fuel of passion of his creative team and Chathuranga’s visionary outlook, Gallery Four Life stands as an art gallery functioning to create an art culture in Sri Lanka as well as build a career platform for artists in the country. The gallery is open beyond borders, amplifying, employing, and showcasing unidentified as well as well-known talent while promoting upcoming and performing artists in the Sri Lankan art scene and building markets and platforms for art and art-based talents. Apart from the paintings and unique artwork, the gallery also provides interior design and professional framing services as well. A combination of several subsidiaries operating on art gallery services and aesthetic-based products and services, Gallery Four Life stands out from the competition, providing an established space for creative expression as well as creative merchandise. Chathuranga, the pioneering personality of Artpreneurship in Sri Lanka, stands as the backbone of this creative structure and revolutionary concept as he provides inspiration to the many aspiring creative dreamers out there.
“Creativity should not be limited to society’s perspective; it must be enriched by knowledge, courage, passion, and uniqueness. These qualities should be developed by each and everyone who steps into the aesthetic world, where talent and creativity must be focused above all.”
As Chathuranga vows and preaches the true meaning of professional contentment and the creative satisfaction attached to it, he aspires to further break the stereotypes of the industry. As he encourages society to determine success beyond the bounds of materialism, it is his true belief that success is a highly individualistic and personal concept that cannot be limited to the few professions that have been highlighted by society for generations. There are new paths and fields far beyond our understanding, and a society without the perfect creative and analytical balance cannot survive in the long run. Thus, Chathuranga Biyagama will continue to spread his creative wings, empowering the many aspiring talents while soaring through the creative skies of Gallery Four Life.