VPV : My name is V.P.Vasuhan, I was
born and brought up in Alaveddy North, and grew up in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I
lived in Cyprus (Nicosia, Ayia napa, Larnaca) and then I moved to France
I am the eldest child and have two
sisters Sathyabama and Niththila. My father’s name is Mr.Velupillai
Poopalasingham, and my mother Thevhi.
I studied at
Thelipalai - Colombo
Sri Lanka, and I finished my studies in the Center of Higher Studies (Casa
college) , Nicosia ,
I have always participated in art
events and exhibitions throughout my studies. My first show on large canvas, was
in 1997 - at the Melina Mercuri Hall, Nicosia, Cyprus, with five Cypriot and one
British artists. I also worked as an Assistant for my art teacher Mr.Glyn
Hughes. My first Solo exhibition was in 2004 - Bayadere, Paris, France.
I am still on my path with colours...
VPV : I am
currently involved in many different artistic experiences; acting, photography,
music (DJ), dance and poetry, but these all came as later experiences, whereas I
have always painted. Since I was a small child, I have always been interested in
painting, especially in colour. Even now, if I sometimes forget drawing and
colour, they won’t let me forget them. As soon as I was attracted to colours, I
felt that I had to draw, I started with my father, Mr. V. Poopalasingham, who
also bought me good materials to start with. I continued at kindergarten with
Mrs. Indra, then at the Mahajana College, with my first art teacher Thiyagaraja
Master, and later in Colombo at the Hindu College with my art teachers Lalitha
Nadaraja and Mr. Thayabaran. Under their guidance, I participated in all art
exhibitions and events organised during my school years. I continued my higher
studies in Cyprus, where I fortunately met Mr Glyn Hughes, with whom I took part
in my first group exhibition in November 1997. Working with him made me feel
like an artist for the first time, even though I was quite scared about being an
artist at first. I held my first solo exhibition in Paris, in June 2004, the
second one in the same year, and since then I have held one show every year with
new material. I am still continuing today.
started calling me an artist, I didn’t really feel like an artist at first, but
I liked showing my work to my friends, and now I feel that I can call myself an
artist, even if I still need to keep on working. Time will give me the answer
whether I am truly an artist.
VPV : Yes, and all
my teachers taught me many things, but the most valuable training for me was
especially my time with Mr Glyn Hughes, working with him in his own studio for
nearly four years.
VPV : Like
everyone, I really love nature, which has always been my first admiration. I
can’t say that I admire a painter, it depends more on the theme of their
painting than on the individual person. Of course I love the great landscape
painters, Van Gogh, Monet...
VPV : I take my
inspiration from nature, which is everywhere, and from my friends, which are
everywhere. I have lived in three countries, with different atmospheres,
languages and cultures in each one, which give me new ideas for my paintings,
but of course I can’t forget my country, my motherland, with its green nature. I
still work on many paintings with that in my mind. Cyprus, to me, is a blue
island, with the sea always around you. Paris has given me the chance to see
many great masterpieces and France also has a lot of inspiring atmospheres.
VPV : As I said, I
love colours and painting, and I have to paint whenever I get the feeling to do
it. After I finish working, it feel like I have given birth to a child. I am
mostly really attracted to nature; landscapes, birds, butterflies, fish,
animals,... After growing up, I realised that even when I am angry I love to
throw colours on canvas to calm down. Some paintings I work on deal with the
problems in the world and how people are fighting to survive, like the civil war
in Sri Lanka. I am especially affected by the suffering of students and of
VPV : After
studying in Cyprus, I went back home and I wanted to find a country where I
could best continue my career, so I deeply thought about which country would be
the better place to continue my painting.
VPV : The first and
second World Wars really wiped out the country, but still, many well-known
artists lived in France, and many artists from abroad moved to France. People
here are open to different forms of art and expression, and also from the
comments I receive in the visitors’ books of my exhibitions and on my website, I
can see the feelings of different people from different countries and cultures
who are happy with my art, so it’s not difficult for me to be a Sri Lankan
artist in France. All this makes me still feel that I can go forward. This is
what really makes me feel like an artist.
VPV : You are
right, there has been a civil war for nearly 50 years in our country, which in
recent times is being encouraged by the worldwide military powers to test their
weapons (like the situation in parts of Africa for example) and which is
particularly affecting the young generations and students in Sri Lanka. Somehow
it has to end, people are tired of suffering and many are dying every day. I
hope it will end soon.
VPV : Of course I know that
there are Tamil people in Reunion island and also Mauritius, as well as in
the Caribbean and even in Eastern Asia. Today, after the beginning of the
civil war, there are many Tamil people all around the world, especially in
Europe, Canada and Australia. There is even a new generation of Tamils who
have been born there. Coming back to Reunion, obviously I would love to have
an exhibition there, but it is difficult to arrange from so far away.
Actually, one of my favourite paintings, “Apsara 5”, is in a private
collection in Reunion. I also have a plan to have an exhibition in
Guadeloupe with Jean S. Sahai.
VPV : Somehow, I am
lucky to be busy with art always, and I feel that I can go on walking still
further on that path.
article by J.S. Sahaï about V.P. Vasuhan.