Canadian artist Pavitra Wickramasinghe, who has a Sri Lankan background, is interested in the changes in meaning engendered by the movement of images. This work was inspired by a Thai perfumed oil jar dating from the sixteenth century, an object that was first sent to Japan to become a container for powdered tea, and was later to enter the collection of Sir William Van Horne, then Montreal’s leading Japanophile. This installation explores the many changes related to the migrations of objects. Wickramasinghe works at dematerializing them through the interplay of shadow and light. As the objects rotate, their
shadows are transformed, embodying for the artist a change in values and purpose. The circular displays on which the vases are shown are reminiscent of islands, inviting us to think about the concept of insularity. Living on the island of Montreal and having been born on the island of Sri Lanka, the artist is sensitive to the particular character of island peoples and their creative exchanges with the outside world.