Name: Asia
Occupation: Visual Artist
Hometown: Galle

Asia is a home-grown French-Sri Lankan visual artist who displays her colourful works of art at her family owned store Exotic Roots, in the historic Galle Fort.

01. When did you start painting?
I grew up watching my mum paint and create art since I was baby and I have always painted but I was 15 when I took it up seriously. My mum’s store Exotic Roots was already established, so we decided to display a few of my paintings and posters there, and I received a good response. It started off very small but now it has taken a different dimension altogether, in a good way.

02. Tell us a little about your painting process?
I paint when I want to, I don’t like being pressured into it or doing it under a deadline. I simply paint whatever I like whenever I like.

03. From where do you draw your inspiration?
My mother’s work inspires me a lot and I also draw inspiration form the German artist, Hundertwasser. I admire his bold use of colour and the refusal to use straight lines in his paintings.

04. How would you describe your style?
My mum describes it as a very colourful and naïve style but I honestly can’t describe what my style is. I paint whatever I like in whatever way the subject crosses my mind. I feel it is better not to be restricted to one style but to be able to explore whatever mediums we feel like exploring.

05. What’s your favourite piece so far?
The pink elephant because there is so much of positivity and joy that spills out.

06. What’s the concept behind your family’s store?
Well right now Exotic Roots is a mix of a cafe, an art gallery and a store and we are hoping to expand it to become a platform for other artists to exhibit their work.

07. What do you like about Sri Lanka?
I like the fact that it’s very relaxed. I love the laid- back island charm and that I am free to live my life the way I want.

08. What do you dislike about Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka can be a bit challenging to live in sometimes. People can be a bit close-minded.

09. What’s your favourite Sri Lankan food and drink?
I love Pol Roti and Hoppers. And as for a drink, it would have to be King Coconut water.