Colourful Buddhist calendar for Vesak
The calendars issued during the previous years depicted wall
paintings of temples created by Sri Lankan painters. However, the
calendar issued this year features four paintings highlighting
certain aspects of the Buddha's life. The paintings are created by
Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage, a local artist of international repute.
The four paintings that adorn the Vesak calendar will depict the
birth of Prince Siddhartha, the Great Renunciation, Sujatha's
presentation of milk-rice and the Enlightenment. The water colour
paintings carefully done following his traditional style were
presented recently for the President's approval.
Out of the four paintings, the Enlightenment stands out as a unique
creation. The traditional paintings of the Enlightenment have
followed one set pattern. For instance, they show how the Buddha
sits under the Bodhi tree while gods worship Him from above.
However, Semage has deviated from this style. His painting shows how
the Buddha lights up the whole world with His Enlightenment. Even
birds, such as peacocks, trees and creepers turn towards the Buddha
paying their homage.
The calendar will be valid from the month of Vesak this year up to
that of the next year. The paintings will be printed in colour on
art paper making them suitable for framing.
Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage has earned reputation for being a Buddhist
painter. About ten years he constructed a pandal depicting the then
President's Dasaraja Dharma. For nine consecutive years he put up a
pandal in front of the Temple Trees during President R. Premadasa's
A few years ago he was picked to put up a giant Buddhist pandal in
Japan. In addition, he is credited with the creation of Buddhist
murals at Mangala Vihara in Singapore.
He also created a large picture of Borobudur to mark Vesak in
Singapore. Once Semage was engaged in a painting depicting the
Buddha's Dhammadesana to his five pupils to be deposited at
Man-fat-Lam Chinese temple in Singapore.
It was an oil on canvas painting. He also drew all the important
events of the Buddha's life for a book on Buddhism.