Art of Troubling Realities

Art of Troubling Realities

Priyantha Udagedara’s art through the years has been marked by the socio-political reality of conflict, violence, invasion, plunder, occupation, uppression and civil unrest.

He juxtaposes the troubling realities of our existence with aesthetically pleasing motifs.agedara is currently a senior lecturer of the Department of History and Art Theory, University of the Visual and Performing Arts.

He graduated from the University of Visual and Performing Arts in 2006. He then received the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies in art, at Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, which afforded Udagedara a critical distance from his home.

Udagedara has exhibited widely in Sri Lanka and internationally, in solo shows as well as group exhibitions, including in London, Sydney, Los Angeles, New York, New Delhi, Lisbon and Du

Artistic Expression of Troubling Realities with Aesthetic Appeal

Art has long been a powerful medium for conveying messages, and renowned artists have often used their talents to shed light on troubling realities in aesthetically pleasing ways. Through their work, they provoke thought, inspire change, and challenge societal norms.

Udagedaras art reminds of some other known examples that provides for Artistic Expression of Troubling Realities with Aesthetic Appeal :

Banksy’s Street Art:
Banksy, an anonymous street artist, is famous for his politically charged murals. One of his most iconic pieces, “Girl with Balloon,” depicts a girl reaching for a red heart-shaped balloon. While seemingly innocent, the piece carries a deeper message about love and loss in a consumerist society. Banksy’s use of vibrant colors and whimsical imagery draws viewers in, allowing them to engage with the underlying commentary on societal values.

Ai Weiwei’s Installation Art:
Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist and activist, often tackles issues such as government censorship and human rights abuses in his work. In his installation “Sunflower Seeds,” he filled the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with millions of hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds. On the surface, the installation appears visually striking and harmonious. However, it serves as a metaphor for the collective voice of the oppressed in China, where individuality is suppressed by the state.


“Sunflower Seeds,”

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms:
Yayoi Kusama, known for her immersive infinity rooms, addresses themes of mental health and existentialism in her art. In her installation “Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away,” visitors are surrounded by an infinite expanse of twinkling LED lights. The mesmerizing experience symbolizes the vastness of the universe and the interconnectedness of all beings, offering a sense of solace amidst existential uncertainties.


Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms



These examples demonstrate how world-renowned artists effectively expose troubling realities through their art while captivating audiences with aesthetic appeal. By blending creativity with social commentary, they inspire meaningful dialogue and foster greater awareness of pressing issues in society.



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