Visual artist T. Shanaathanan’s  work explores the meaning of home in the context of displacement and migration. Through his researched-based work, often manifested in the form of texts and drawings, he examines complex issues related to Sri Lanka’s civil war that also have global relevance.

His work has been exhibited at Lahore Biennale (2018); Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2018); Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2016); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016); Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2016); Barefoot Gallery, Colombo (2011);  Lionel Wendt & Harold Peiris Gallery, Colombo (2010); Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, Canada (2010); Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2010); South Asian Visual Arts Centre, Toronto (2009); Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi (2009) and Paradise Road Galleries, Colombo (2006). Shanaathanan’s work has been acquired by the Presidential Collection of the Government of Sri Lanka, Paradise Road Gallery, Colombo and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi as part of their permanent collections.

He was the recipient of a Bunka Award, Japan Foundation (2015) and the title of Kalasuri, Government of Sri Lanka (2007). He has completed residencies at the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2009) and Usher Gallery, Lincoln, UK (2004).

Shanaathanan is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He is the co-founder of the Sri Lankan Archive for Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design, Jaffna and a member of the Sri Lanka Art Council and the Advisory Board for School Curriculum on Art, National Institute of Education, Sri Lanka.

He holds both a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Delhi (1997 and 2000, respectively), and he received a PhD in Art History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2011).

He was born in 1968 in Jaffna, where he continues to live and work.

SAF participation:
Sharjah Biennial 14

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Shanaathanan, T.

T. Shanaathanan: Various Works (2009–2019)

T. Shanaathanan’s practice grapples with realities of displacement and a familial desire to piece together experiences born out of violent fragmentation, particularly through an examination of Sri Lanka’s civil war (1978–2009).