EDUCATION

B.F.A. 2011 in Drawing & Painting, OCAD University

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2017 Migrating The Margins, Art Gallery of York University (Group), Toronto

2017 Colombo Art Biennale Showcase: Return In Search Of Stillness, Summerhall (Group), Edinburgh, U.K.

2017 HEAT, OTA Fine Arts (Group), Tokyo, Japan

2017 Controller, Superchief Gallery (Duo, with Reginald Pean), Brooklyn, New York

2016 Colombo Art Biennale, Colombo (Participating Artist), Sri Lanka

2016 Surreal Body, Saskia Fernando Gallery (Solo), Colombo, Sri Lanka

2016 Scope Art Fair, The Public House Of Art (Group), Basel, Switzerland,

2016 Identity Kit, The Public House Of Art (Group), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2016 Art Dubai, Saskia Fernando Gallery (Group) Booth F6, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE

2015 True Mirage – Printed works by Todd Westendorp (Curatorial), HUNTCLUB, Toronto, ON

2015 The Embellished Lens, Saskia Fernando Gallery (Solo), Colombo, Sri Lanka

2015 Object Manipulating Economy/Economy Manipulating Object (Group), August Frohls, Mönchengladbach, Germany

2014 Afrika Galaktika, Art League Houston (Solo), Houston, Texas

2014 Third Culture, OCADU Student Gallery (Group) Toronto, ON

2014 FUTURESCAPE, OCADU Student Gallery (Curatorial) Toronto,ON

2013 Illuminated Mythologies, Mark Christopher Gallery (Solo) Toronto,ON

2013 With Pleasure, HUNTCLUB (Group) Toronto,ON

2012 Art With Heart, National Auction by Casey House Toronto,ON

2012 Margin of Errors (Group) Gladstone Gallery, Toronto, ON

2011 You Worship Us, Katzman Kamen Gallery (Solo) Toronto, ON

2011 The New Archeology/The New Ethnography,Gallery 129 (Solo) Toronto, ON

AWARDS & GRANTS

Medal for Drawing and Painting, OCAD University 2011

Nora E. Vaughan Award, OCAD University 2011

First Capital Realty, Imagination Zone Award 2011

CUE Artists on the Margins Grant 2012

Toronto Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant 2013, 2016

Ontario Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant 2013, 2015

Canada Arts Council Travel Grant, 2016

TALKS & SEMINARS

Artist Talk in conjunction with South Asian Film Week, University of Waterloo 2011

HustleHard Art Works, Drake Hotel, Toronto 2014

Alumni Series Artist Talk, OCAD University 2014, 2015, 2016

Sunday Scene Speaker Series, Powerplant Gallery, Toronto 2016

RESIDENCIES

AGYU Artist Residency York University Art Gallery, Toronto 2017

FFS Artist in Residence Toronto 2017

Fusion of Art and Culture Residency OCAD University in conjunction with the International Federation on Ageing (Canada) and Gallery Soyut – Ankara (Istanbul) 2014

Synbiota Lab Artist Residency Toronto 2014

PUBLICATIONS / PRESS

Video: In The Studio with Rajni Perera, Canadian Art Online, May 2017

Interview: Meet Rajni Perera, The Canadian Artist Taking on the Global Market by Rea Macnamara, THE FADER, May 26 2016

Interview: Rajni Perera's Stunning Sci-fi Neo-Amazonians by Amanda Parris, CBC Arts, February 24 2016

Interview: WORN Fashion Journal, The New Ethnography, Final Double-Issue 19/20, December 2014

Interview: Kyoorius.com, Dialogue: Rajni Perera by Preksha Sharma, March 13th 2014

Interview: Hazlitt Magazine Online: Visual Collages in Immigrant Art by Anupa Mistry, July 5th 2013

Featured: BLINK Photography Magazine, RAJNI PERERA, Holiday 2013 Issue #30

Review: The National Post, At the Galleries: A Plethora of Paintings by Leah Sandals, Sept 23, 2011

RAJNI PERERA
Lives and works in Toronto, Canada
b. 1985
 

I explore issues of hybridity, sacrilege, irreverence, the indexical sciences, ethnography, gender, sexuality, popular culture, deities, monsters and dream worlds. All of these themes marry in a newly objectified realm of mythical symbioses. They are flattened on the medium and made to act as my personal record of impossible discoveries.

My approach to the deconstruction of the non-European, female body image, delving into the miniaturist aesthetic as in “The New Ethnology”, “The New Archaeology” and the “Yogini” series, manifests itself in the form of re-appropriated religious icons. Leveraging embellished photographic portraiture as in “Maharajas” and “Maharanis” challenges contemporary notions of masculinity viewed through the non-European, female lens.By painting these object-beings, I am engaging in a discussion with the viewing audience about the aesthetic treatment of gender and the non-European sacred and secular body in a popular culture context.

These saccharine women and stoic men, flaunting their blood, breasts and armor around and throughout the stretched paper surface, conceal violent stories and ideologies; a complex dichotomy that is not explored or discussed in internationally (or more particularly Western) circulated imagery of Hindu and Tantric gods and goddesses. It is much the same for the ethnic body image, as represented in print media and online or screen culture. The semiology becomes reduced, simplified and pared down to suit a blander ideological palette.

In my work, I seek to open and reveal the dynamism of these icons, both scripturally existent, self-invented and externally defined. I am creating a subversive aesthetic that counteracts antiquated, oppressive discourse, and acts as a restorative force through which people can move outdated, repressive modes of being towards reclaiming their power.

Negarra Akili Kudumu