Raking Leaves invites you to the opening of Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture & Design
Saturday 25 January 2014
Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture & Design
199 Temple Road


Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture & Design is a public archive dedicated to collecting materials, in English, Sinhala and Tamil, related to the development and study of visual culture in Sri Lanka. Access to the Archive is free to all.

The Archive is the first physical space of its kind in the country and aspires to provide not only an invaluable resource, but also a space to browse, study, converse and meet. The collection is growing and currently shelves over 400 donated items. These include books, exhibition catalogues, periodicals, monographs and more. Featured Talks, Books, ExhibitionsScreenings and Words connected with the Archive will appear as part of a regular program of public activities.

Talk #1 C. Anjalendran

Anjalendran, and an architecture for everyday life

English with Tamil translation

4.30 pm
Born into a family of Jaffna Tamils and a student of the prolific and influential architect Geoffrey Bawa, Chelvadurai Anjalendran is one of Sri Lanka’s most accomplished architects living and working today. The Archive's inaugural Talk invites Anjalendran to speak about his practise, influences and the story behind his architectural restoration of the courtyard house in which the Archive now resides.

Book #1 Anjalendran: Architect of Sri Lanka

The opening of the Archive highlights one of the few scholarly publications on a living Sri Lankan architect, Anjalendran: Architect of Sri Lanka by David Robson published in 2009. David first met Anjalendran when he was a first year student at the Colombo School of Architecture in 1971. He writes with passion and detail about his former student, shedding light on the career of one of the most colourful personas in the field of architecture today. Working from home without a mobile phone, bank account or contracts with neither client nor contractor, and never employing more than four or so student assistants, Anjalendran’s process of working is as uncommon as his vision.

"Over the past two decades Anjalendran has established himself as one of Sri Lanka's leading architects and his work has attracted interest across the entire Indian subcontinent. His buildings have a simple directness and serve as a welcome antidote to the anonymous global architecture which is sprouting up in the region's burgeoning cities. Although totally modern in spirit it nonetheless acknowledges the rich vernacular traditions of Sri Lanka, traditions which Anjalendran has studied and painstakingly recorded with his students and assistants."
David Robson, Anjalendran: Architect of Sri Lanka (Singapore: Tuttle Publishing, 2009)

Find out more

Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture & Design is a flagship project of Raking Leaves, a non-profit organisation that commissions and publishes contemporary art projects.

The Archive was conceived in 2013 as part of a collaboration with Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong through their Open Edit: Mobile Library project, a traveling archive of contemporary art books that brings a selection of their materials to different cities in Asia.


Supported by the Commaraswamy family, Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development and those funders whom wish to remain anonymous. Donations of books have been gratefully gifted by many of Sri Lanka’s leading galleries, organisations and by many supportive individuals. We wish to express our immense thanks to the following donors:

C. Anjalendran

Barefoot Gallery

Channa Daswatte

Department of Fine Arts, University of Jaffna

Shanth Fernando
Sharmini Pereira

Raking Leaves

Barbara Sansoni

Dominic Sansoni

Saskia Fernando Gallery

T. Shanaathanan

Theertha International Artists Collective

Chandraguptha Thenuwara

Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts

Jagath Weerasinghe

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