'Survival of the Fragile' | Sunday Observer

'Survival of the Fragile'

19 June, 2022

‘Survival of the Fragile’, an exhibition of two new bodies of work by multi-disciplinary Sri Lankan artist Muvindu Binoy opened at the Saskia Fernando Gallery on June 17, 2022.

Completed during Muvindu Binoy’s artist residency in Paris with the Cité Internationale des Arts in 2021 and running alongside the French Embassy’s Annual Spring Festival, Survival of the Fragile includes twenty-six digital collage pieces.

These span from small, intense pieces to expansive works that invite viewers in to observe every obscure detail from a cracked egg with yolk oozing out to a threatening crown of thorns wrought from barbed wire.

In places, Muvindu Binoy swells the human body to a monumental scale, embodying its existential strength.

The undulating forms of these figures find a counterpoint in the sharp edges of the cement blocks that ensnare them and attempt to weigh them down.

Elsewhere, he depicts humanity’s weakest moments, the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks and the Sri Lankan Government’s questionable response.

Muvindu Binoy’s 'Survival of the Fragile' bears witness to a significant shift in the relationship between Sri Lanka’s politicians and the people they govern.

Icons wrested from both the ‘high’ art realms of Parisian museums and the ‘low’ art world of photography, graffiti, and stickers pile up in this body of work as vessels for questioning the false equation of fragility with weakness.

Blood red Anthuriums, Gargoyles, Gaia-esque bodies, and polished sculptures from antiquity form part of a slowly expanding cast of characters deployed within Muvindu’s works.

Muvindu seems to be borrowing less from pop culture sources and more from his visual experience of Paris, scrubbing the city rather than the internet for content.

The opening of 'Survival of the Fragile' included the in-person debut of 'Protest in Colour', a monumental series of stirring AIgenerated works depicting scenes from Gota-Go-Gama.

In an age of ceaseless image saturation, Muvindu eternalises photographs from GotaGoGama, solidifying them as historical moments.

This is Muvindu Binoy’s (b. 1989, Sri Lanka) fifth solo exhibition at the Saskia Fernando Gallery. Muvindu has also exhibited internationally, including being featured in a 2021 group show at the Copeland Gallery in London curated by Common Ground and amp; and in ‘Ellipsis,’ a group exhibition at the Jawahar Kala Kendra Art Centre in Jaipur in 2019 curated by Rahaab Allana.