Christopher Kulendran Thomas

b. 1979, London, UK

Lives and works in London and Berlin

Christopher Kulendran Thomas
2017

Installation view, New Galerie, Paris

from the ongoing work ‘When Platitudes Become Form’,
2017

Acrylic on canvas with wooden frame, netting and ‘Couple with Mandolin’ (2015) by Jayantha Pushpakumara (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

from the ongoing work ‘When Platitudes Become Form’,
2017

Acrylic on canvas with wooden frame, netting and ‘Landscape II’ (2015) by Kasun Chamara (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

Christopher Kulendran Thomas
2017

Installation view, New Galerie, Paris

from the ongoing work ‘When Platitudes Become Form’,
2017

Acrylic on canvas with wooden frame, netting and ‘Sedkid’ (2014) by Muvindu Binoy (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

from the ongoing work ‘When Platitudes Become Form’,
2017

Acrylic on canvas with wooden frame, netting and ‘Sedkid’ (2014) by Muvindu Binoy (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

Christopher Kulendran Thomas
2017

Installation view, New Galerie, Paris

Christopher Kulendran Thomas
2017

Installation view, New Galerie, Paris

from the ongoing work ‘When Platitudes Become Form’,
2017

Acrylic on canvas with wooden frame, netting and ‘Untitled V’ by Nuwan Nalaka (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

New Eelam
2017

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Experience suite with aquaponic farming system, straw bale walls, lightboxes, VR model and ‘60 million Americans can’t be wrong’ (HD video, 30 min)

Installation view, ‘moving is in every direction’, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin


in collaboration with The Mycological Twist; featuring works by Juliette Bonneviot, Muvindu Binoy, Simon Denny and Mirak Jamal

 

© Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, SMB / Photo: Jan Windszus

 

 

New Eelam is a long-term artwork in the form of a startup. This real estate technology company has been founded by the artist - in collaboration with curator Annika Kuhlmann - to develop a flexible global housing subscription that aims to make homes as streamable as music or movies. The subscription-based model for a distributed housing system will offer global citizens flexible access to high-quality apartments around the world, while the trading of the revolving property portfolio can, over time, progressively subsidise the cost of the subscription. Basing the business plan on collective ownership rather than private property, New Eelam proposes a long-term strategy for how a new economic model could evolve out of the present system – through the luxury of communalism rather than of individual ownership.
 

Christopher Kulendran Thomas’ family is from a place that no longer exists. For three decades during the Sri Lankan civil war, Eelam was self-governed as an autonomous state led by a neo-Marxist revolution. But the Tamil people’s independence movement was crushed brutally in 2009 by an authoritarian government protected by the cloak of national sovereignty. Now, charting an alternative trajectory from one of the darkest chapters of the recent history of globalisation, Thomas asks what a new Eelam could be if it was reimagined as a distributed network rather than a territorially-bounded nation – a new Eelam for all, where citizenship could be a choice, not a hereditary privilege.
 

Christopher Kulendran Thomas works through the structural operations of art, by which art’s circulation and distribution produces reality. His ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form (ongoing since 2013) features original artworks by some of Sri Lanka’s foremost young contemporary artists, purchased in the island’s current ‘peacetime’ economic boom and then reconfigured for international circulation within Thomas’ own compositions. This process translates what counts as contemporary across the global contours of power by which the ‘contemporary’ itself is conditioned.

New Eelam
2017

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Experience suite with aquaponic farming system, straw bale walls, lightboxes, VR model and ‘60 million Americans can’t be wrong’ (HD video, 30 min)

Installation view, ‘moving is in every direction’, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin


in collaboration with The Mycological Twist; featuring works by Juliette Bonneviot, Muvindu Binoy, Simon Denny and Mirak Jamal

 

© Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, SMB / Photo: Jan Windszus

New Eelam
2017

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Experience suite with aquaponic farming system, straw bale walls, lightboxes, VR model and ‘60 million Americans can’t be wrong’ (HD video, 30 min)

Installation view, ‘moving is in every direction’, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin


in collaboration with The Mycological Twist; featuring works by Juliette Bonneviot, Muvindu Binoy, Simon Denny and Mirak Jamal

 

© Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, SMB / Photo: Jan Windszus

New Eelam
2017

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Left: Detail view, ‘moving is in every direction’, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin.

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Acrylic on canvas, wooden frame, netting and ‘Father’ (2014) by Muvindu Binoy (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

 

Images: Joseph Kadow

New Eelam
2017

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Left: from the ongoing work New Eelam, 2017 Aluminium frame and printed tension fabric; Design: Manuel Bürger & Jan Gieseking, Photography: Joseph Kadow, Creative Direction: Annika Kuhlmann

 

Right: Detail view, ‘moving is in every direction’, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, featuring DECEMBER lamp by NEW TENDENCY

 

Images: Joseph Kadow

New Eelam
2017

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Left: Detail view, ‘moving is in every direction’, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin.

 

Right: from the ongoing work New Eelam, 2017
Aluminium frame and printed tension fabric; Design: Manuel Bürger & Jan Gieseking, Photography: Joseph Kadow, Creative Direction: Annika Kuhlmann

 

Images: Joseph Kadow

New Eelam
2017

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Experience suite with aquaponic farming system, straw bale walls, lightboxes, VR model and ‘60 million Americans can’t be wrong’ (HD video, 30 min)

Installation view, ‘moving is in every direction’, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin


in collaboration with The Mycological Twist; featuring works by Juliette Bonneviot, Muvindu Binoy, Simon Denny and Mirak Jamal

 

© Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, SMB / Photo: Jan Windszus

New Eelam
2016

from the ongoing work New Eelam, 2016

Acrylic on canvas, concrete shelf, LEDs, plant and ‘New Eelam’ lm (HD, 14:06 min); featuring ATLAS bar stool by NEW TENDENCY

 

Image: Laura Fiorio

New Eelam
2016

Left: from the ongoing work New Eelam, 2016 Concrete, one-way mirrored glass, biosphere, LED, fridge, bottled water, lea ets and 45s silent lift from New Eelam promotional film

 

Right: New Eelam, 2016, in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann, featuring THRONE chair by NEW TENDENCY

Detail view, 9th Berlin Biennale, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, curated by DIS

 

Images: Laura Fiorio / Joseph Kadow

New Eelam
2016

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann
HD video, 14:06 min

Installation view, 9th Berlin Biennale, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, curated by DIS

 

Image: Laura Fiorio

New Eelam
2016

Left: New Eelam, 2016, in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Detail view, 9th Berlin Biennale, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, curated by DIS

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Acrylic on canvas with wooden frame, netting and ‘Bi-Fiction’ by Muvindu Binoy and ‘Untitled VI’ by Nuwan Nalaka (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

 

Images: Joseph Kadow / Laura Fiorio

New Eelam
2016

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Acrylic on canvas with wooden frame, netting and ‘Humans are Spiritually Confused’ by Muvindu Binoy (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

 

Right: New Eelam, 2016, in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann; featuring THRONE chair by NEW TENDENCY

Detail view, 9th Berlin Biennale, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, curated by DIS

 

Images: Laura Fiorio / Joseph Kadow

New Eelam
2016

Left: New Eelam, 2016, in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Installation view, 9th Berlin Biennale, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, curated by DIS

 

Right: from the ongoing work New Eelam, 2016

Aluminum, printed banner

Detail view, 9th Berlin Biennale
Design: Manuel Bürger & Jan Gieseking, Photography: Joseph Kadow, Creative Direction: Annika Kuhlmann

 

Images: Laura Fiorio

New Eelam
2016

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann; featuring ‘Skin Deep I’ by Asela Gunasekara (purchased from Artspace Sri Lanka)

Installation view, 9th Berlin Biennale, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, curated by DIS

 

Image: Laura Fiorio

60 million Americans can’t be wrong
2016

Installation view, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, curated by Annika Kuhlmann

 

Image: Michael Pfisterer

60 million Americans can’t be wrong
2016

Installation view, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, curated by Annika Kuhlmann

 

Image: Michael Pfisterer

60 million Americans can’t be wrong
2016

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form x New Eelam, 2016
Sand blasted one-way mirrored vitrine, concrete, steel and remote- phosphor LED panel featuring ‘Lovina’ (2013) by Asela Gunasekara (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Acrylic on canvas, wooden frame, netting and ‘Lord Ganesh’ (2011) by Dennis Muthuthanthri (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

 

Images: Michael Pfisterer

60 million Americans can’t be wrong
2016

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Acrylic on canvas, wooden frame, netting and ‘Prosthetics I' (2014) by Muvindu Binoy (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

 

Right: Installation view, 60 Million Americans can’t be wrong, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, curated by Annika Kuhlmann

 

Images: Michael Pfisterer / AKK

60 million Americans can’t be wrong
2016

Installation view

from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form x New Eelam, 2016

Sand blasted one-way mirrored vitrine, concrete, steel and remote-phosphor LED panel featuring ‘Coral’ (2014) by Prageeth Manohansa (purchased from Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

 

Image: Michael Pfisterer

60 million Americans can’t be wrong
2016

Installation view, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, curated by Annika Kuhlmann

 

Image: AKK

New Eelam
2016

in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

 

Installation view, 11th Gwangju Biennale, Asia Culture Center, curated by Maria Lind

 

Image: Annika Kuhlmann

New Eelam
2016

from the ongoing work New Eelam, 2016

Aluminium frame and printed tension fabric featuring ‘Mask’ (2016) by Sanjaya Geekiyanage (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka
Design: Manuel Bürger & Jan-Peter Gieseking, Photography: Joseph Kadow Creative Direction: Annika Kuhlmann

Installation view, 11th Gwangju Biennale, Asia Culture Center, curated by Maria Lind

 

Image: AKK

New Eelam
2016

from the ongoing work New Eelam, 2016

Aluminium frame, printed tension fabric, ‘New Eelam’ flim (HD, 14:06) and ‘New Eelam’ silent lift (HD, 1:15)

Installation view, 11th Gwangju Biennale, Asia Culture Center, curated by Maria Lind

Design: Manuel Bürger & Jan Gieseking; Photography: Joseph Kadow; Creative Direction: Annika Kuhlmann

 

Image: AKK

New Eelam
2016

Left: from the ongoing work New Eelam x When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Aluminium frame and printed tension fabric featuring ‘Vessel II’ (2016) by Asela Gunasekara (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

Design: Manuel Bürger & Jan-Peter Gieseking, Photography: Joseph Kadow, Creative Direction: Annika Kuhlmann

 

Right: from the ongoing work New Eelam, 2016
Aluminium frame and printed tension fabric; Design: Manuel Bürger &
Jan Gieseking, Photography: Joseph Kadow, Creative Direction: Annika Kuhlmann

 

Image: AKK

New Eelam
2016

Installation view, 11th Gwangju Biennale, Asia Culture Center, curated by Maria Lind

 

Image: AKK

New Eelam
2016

 in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

 

Left: from the ongoing work New Eelam x When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Aluminium frame and printed tension fabric featuring ‘Vessel III’ (2016) by Asela Gunasekara (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka)

Design: Manuel Bürger & Jan-Peter Gieseking, Photography: Joseph Kadow, Creative Direction: Annika Kuhlmann

 

Right: Installation view, 11th Gwangju Biennale, Asia Culture Center, curated by Maria Lind

 

Image: AKK

When Platitudes Become Form
2016

Installation view, Dhaka Art Summit 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh

 

Image: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2016

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Wood, acrylic, ‘Awake III’ (2014) by Kavinda Silva (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka) and green Nike Dri-Fit Contour running shirt

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Wood, acrylic, ‘Awake V’ (2014) by Kavinda Silva (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka) and blue Nike Pro Hypercool shirt

 

Image: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2016

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Sculpture (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka) on shelf with various items such as pigment, exhibition guides and diffuser with bespoke fragrance

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Wood, acrylic, ‘Portrait V’ (2014) by Kavinda Silva (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka) and grey Nike Ultimate Dry training top

 

Image: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2016

from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016

Installation view, Dhaka Art Summit 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh

 

Image: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2016

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Wood, acrylic, ‘Lion & Buffalo’ (2014) by Prageeth Manohansa (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka) and red Nike Court Premier Challenger tank top

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2016
Wood, acrylic, ‘Portrait VI’ (2014) by Kavinda Silva (purchased from Art Space Sri Lanka) and black Nike Fractual running vest

 

Image: CKT

Co-Workers
2015

Installation view, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (FR)

Image: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2015

From the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015, Detail view, at Co-Workers, Musée d’Art Moderne,
Paris (FR): bespoke screen featuring ‘Eye With Girl I’ (2014) by Jayantha Pushpakumara; background: ‘FX Tridacna series’ (2015) and ‘Rehabilitated Scribble’ (2012) by Aude Pariset

 

Image: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2015

Left: Christopher Kulendran Thomas, from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015, Detail view, at Co-Workers, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (FR): bespoke screen featuring ‘Untitled 1’ (2014) by Yohan Medhanka; background: Last Spring/Summer IV by Aude Pariset and Juliette Bonneviot

 

Right: Christopher Kulendran Thomas, from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015
Digital print on acrylic with bespoke gradient effect, lighting stands, Manfrotto super clamps, sand bags and three original artworks, ‘Untitled 1’ and ‘Untitled II’ by Yohan Medhanka and ‘Eye With Girl I’ by Jayantha Pushpakumara (all purchased from Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

 

Images: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2015

from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015, Detail view at Co-Workers, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (FR): bespoke screen featuring ‘Untitled I’ (2013) by Mika Tenekoon; background: ‘The Struggle’ (2012) by Timur Si-Qin

 

Image: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2015

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015

Detail view, at Co-Workers, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (FR): bespoke screen featuring ‘Untitled I’ (2013) by Mika Tenekoon; background: ‘I-Be Area’ (2007) by Ryan Trecartin

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015
Digital print on acrylic with bespoke gradient, lighting stands, Manfrotto super clamps, sand bags and two original artworks by Mika Tennekoon, 'Body and Soul I' and 'Body and Soul IV' (both purchased from Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

 

Images: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2012 / 2015

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2012 / 2015

Digital printed two-way mirrored vitrine, uorescent lighting, steel and sculpture acquired from a private collection in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with added custom base.

Installation view, ‘When Platitudes Become Form’, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (DE)

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015

Digital print on acrylic with bespoke gradient, light stands, Manfrotto super clamps, sand bags and two original artworks by Yohan Medhanka, ‘Beautiful Melancholy 1’ and ‘Beautiful Melancholy 2’ (both purchased from Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Installation view, ‘Rehearsals in Instability’, Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna (AT)

 

Images: CKT

When Platitudes Become Form
2015

Left: Installation view, Yves Klein Archives, Paris

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015
Oil on canvas, wooden frame, netting and ‘Curfew Babies II’ (2015) and ‘Moon Men’ (2014) by Muvindu Binoy, both purchased from Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka

 

Images: Aurélien Mole

When Platitudes Become Form
2015

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015
Oil on canvas, wooden frame, netting and ‘Untitled XII’ (2013) by Prageeth Manohansa and ‘My Future And My Present II’ (2015) by Krishnapriya Tharmakrishna, both purchased from Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka

 

Right: Installation view, Yves Klein Archives, Paris

 

Images: Aurélien Mole

When Platitudes Become Form
2015

Left: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015
Oil on canvas, wooden frame, netting and ‘Figment Of The Internet’ (2015) by Muvindu Binoy (purchased from Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

 

Right: from the ongoing work When Platitudes Become Form, 2015
Oil on canvas, wooden frame, netting and ‘Bubble’ (2012) by Prageeth Manohansa and ‘Mother’ (2014) by Muvindu Binoy, both purchased from Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka

 

Images: Aurélien Mole