Reconciliation is a complicated, popular, mythical, repulsive, opportunistic, tragic, absurd and
critical indication. At the same time it is the dream of the suppressed, the political armor and on
which the scholars survive and the livelihood of the opportunists.
War is the most reckless and the ruthlessly plainest process pursued in order to reconcile or
repress an ethnic, extremist, racial or a terrorist conflict. Yet, the repercussion of such
reconciliation process too would be complex and conflict-ridden. The resulted social
environment of a post-war condition is an arena, dark and still. It is again a cold and silent war;
an invisible performance gazed at by many, thoughtlessly. The actors act but nothing is
performed. The plot thickens once the war simply ends and then it is not either tragic or comic
but obscurely tragicomic.
It’s now nearly a decade since the ethnic conflict was put to an end in Sri Lanka but its ghostly
shadow still lingers. Apart from the ethnicity, all the Sri Lankans are culprits as well as
complainants of war and the government constantly attends to reconcile their conflicts. Through
many social institutions such as education, politics, law and economy, this reconciliation process
is activated, theoretically as well as practically.
The military personnel, general public, religious leadership and the political leadership were at
focus of the ethnic conflict scenario than the other social institutions for the past three decades in
Sri Lanka and at present, the post-war condition is absolutely portrayed through the reconciled
conflict between them, I observe. The social structure, cultural environment, values and
prospects, expectations, and the issues related to power give birth to conflict in the reconciliation
process, among them. This situation equals to the dialect of Hegal which reconciliation again
create conflict with time and space.
Art is an exclusively humane creation which nourishes from the social institutions and vanishes
in the same. Once a conflict resolving tool and then a device of destruction, art is an amazing
expression of aesthetical potential.
In the contemporary practice, the visual form is prominent among the sturdy genres of art,
strongly engaging in conflict reconciliation process, generating lexis and narratives at different
spaces. “Painting” has gone far beyond the work of a wall decoration and it is the wording of
social and personal expression, by now. The formal definitions of day to day objects have been
concealed by the underlined aesthetical qualities, expanding the margins of visual art expression.
The trend today is to provide multiple interpretations to visual expressions which built upon the
structures of rationality.
We experience the displacement and the isolation of social reconciliation in the conflict between
Capitalistic Marxism and Marxist Capitalism by now. The individuals are in a constant struggle
with and against their mentality which resulted by being subjected to the conflict between
religion, law, education, politics, ethics and the reconciliation process,
, being unable either to accept the consequences or to refuseparticipation. “Reconciliation” is an expressionof the above mentioned struggle,in the visual form of art. The focus of this art workcollection is the contract and the functions of the different narratives of such contract between art and the other social institutions.
Department of Fine Arts
Faculty of Arts
University of Peradeniya