The Gift: Installation Series

Lunuganga was created by Geoffrey Bawa over a period of 40 years and is considered to be a seminal expression of his practice, a place where much of Bawa’s architectural thinking was explored and expressed through a series of built structures and the creation of a garden. Bawa always invited artists, including Laki Senananyake, Lidia Duchini, Fiona Hall, Jimmy Ong and Michael Ondaatje to make work on site or be inspired by it. Lunuganga has been and continues to be a quiet source of generosity for those interested to draw from this gift.

In his seminal book on the subject of gifts, Lewis Hyde remarks “When we are moved by art we are grateful that the artist lived, grateful that he laboured in the service of his gifts. If a work of art is the emanation of its maker’s gift and if it is received by its audience as a gift, then is it, too, a gift?” These questions are key to how we perceive Lunuganga and how we continue to engage with it today. Hyde also speaks of gifts as agents of change, and we look to the garden which is both ever-changing and ever-constant as we reflect on the concepts of time and change.

This year, as part of the artistic programme commemorating Geoffrey Bawa’s 100th birthday, Lunuganga will reconnect with this energy to host a programme of installations by artists and makers from Sri Lanka and abroad, in a series where the garden is explored as a site of hospitality and a place of encounter. Themes of nurture, shelter, labour, journey, generosity, perception and reflection will offer each artist a unique opportunity to respond to the work of Bawa and his garden.

The artists invited for this project are: architect Kengo Kuma, artist Lee Mingwei, and Chandragupta Thenuwara and photographers Dayanita Singh and Dominic Sansoni. All five have had a long interest in the work of Bawa. The centenary celebration offers the Trust a vehicle to bring to Sri Lanka a programme that positions Bawa’s work and the Trust’s mission within the wider contemporary discourse which spans across multiple regions and disciplines.

View the works of:
Kengo Kuma
Lee Mingwei
Dominic Sansoni
Dayanita Singh
Chandragupta Thenuwara

Download guide

The first launch of The Gift installation Series:

5 January 2020

Venue: Lunuganga

The Gift: Chandragupta Thenuwara and Dayanita Singh

6 September 2020

Venue: Lunuganga

The Gift: Closing Conversation
29 August 2021
10 a.m.
On Zoom

View The Gift:
Open Sundays Programme

THE GIFT, press release
December 2019

The Gift
Public opening of Chandragupta Thenuwara & Dayanita Singh

September 6, 2020

The Gift
Public opening of Dominic Sansoni, Kengo Kuma and Lee Mingwei

January 5, 2020