The Booming Simplicity of an Artist – Indika Wijewardena

Upholding the incorporation of creative structuring and interior designing within the simple elements of architectural structures, Indika Wijewardana strongly believes in the creative expansion of interior designing by incorporating creative artwork and its exponential growth in Sri Lanka. He maintains that interior design is the hand that fits in the glove of architecture. One cannot talk about one without referring to the other. The art or the science of architecture will always be an evolving study, which is evident in most modernist structures in Colombo and its urban and suburban surroundings. Today, these dwellings and office spaces, together with the interior settings within, have changed dramatically.

Indika, a graduate in Mathematics and Statistics from the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, has mastered his creative art on his own. Focusing on hyper-realism and precise detailing, he stands on par with global contemporary artists and is appreciated as a highly noted portrait artist in Sri Lanka. Initiating his artwork in a public exhibition named “passion” for the first time in 2012, he showcased 22 of his most delicate artwork in the international exhibition “The winning post” held in Dubai in 2017.

In the early 1970’s Sri Lankan architecture and the Colombo cityscape was transformed by a group of architects headed by the renowned Geoffrey Bawa. Architecture using materials that could be turned out locally with the minimum glazing and cross ventilation was the guiding principle behind it. People liked the concept, and Colombo embraced the vernacular architecture.

The interior of these homes and offices had a very minimalist setting concerning furniture and fittings. The art gracing these walls was generally commissioned or sold by the ‘43 group who either had exposure to western art or studied fine art abroad. The ‘43 group was composed of versatile painters such as Keyt, Wendt, Belling, Ivan Pieris, Amarasekera, Justin Pieris etc., always painted subjects related to local culture but with a contemporary flair. Indika states that this is why these paintings are highly sought after and work well with contemporary interiors. Indika likes to diversify and work on variable theme-based interiors, be it zen, minimalism, contemporary modern, rustic, industrial, baroque or renaissance. From furniture and fabrics to artworks and accessories, the themes are made sure to fit his clients’ expectations. 

Indika upholds his belief in giving value to local talent by working with young emerging Sri Lankan painters. With the digital age, the local talent has gotten quite familiar with trends in the West and the Far East. Cultures, traditions and social values are always depicted in paintings. It is a window into the soul of a nation. The artist lays out his emotions on the canvas. Wars, natural disasters, famine, poverty, destruction, hope it’s all laid bare on an easel for the world to witness. The current crop of talent coming out of the universities and other art schools are remarkably promising.

With modern architectural marvels dotted along the Colombo skyline, it is evident that people prefer to live in apartments in high rises than individual homes. The ease of maintenance, round the clock security and commuter-friendly locations seems to sell this trend amongst the young and the elderly. However, the amenities that are provided in these apartments are solely dependent on energy. One cannot survive an hour without power in these glass-enclosed cubicles. Indika believes that if the interior designing industry does not collectively acknowledge and push forward the changes, we might have to revert to cross ventilation and dwellings with open spaces.

Moreover, as an overcrowded city already bursting at its seams where energy consumption is concerned, Indika believes that we must evaluate the most practical way forward for the nation and the environment. Indika’s persistent vision of hope is that science and technology would evolve and produce an energy source that is sustainable, environmentally friendly and affordable in another decade. Integrating the new age changes will always take the marvels from the past and give it a modern twist in the future.

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