Presented as part of the French Spring Festival 2015 and hosted by the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Alliance Francaise de KOTTE, ‘Nostalgie05 – The Streets of Paris’ is free of charge and open to the public on July 11 and 12 from 10 am to 7 pm at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery.

Well-known media personality Kumar de Silva is back again, this time with the fifth edition of his annual series of black and white photographic exhibitions – ‘Nostalgie05’ which brings the streets of Paris to life in a trillion shades of gray as part of the current French Spring Festival 2015.

Chief Guest at the gala opening on July 10(Friday) will be State Minister of Defense  Ruwan Wijewardene while guest of honor will be cinema legend Irangani Serasinghe whose 1950 portrait by Ivan Alwis once adorned the galleries of the Petit-Palais in Paris.

All profits from the sale of photographs will go to the Scholarship Fund of the children of the award-winning The Nation/Rivira press photographer, the late Rukshan Abeywansha.
Nostalgie05 is partnered by DIC Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd, Lionel Wendt Arts Centre, Lou Ching Wong, Menaka de Fonseka Sahabandu, Neidra Williams, Nuran Gomez, Seya Colour Kalubowila, Softwave Printing and Packaging Pvt Ltd, The Film Team, Theme Resorts and Spas, Tiesh and Vitte Software Solutions.

“This year’s theme has been inspired by one of my very strange hobbies which are – observing human behavioral patterns. The streets of Paris constitute a gigantic and living open-air art gallery with its little microcosms of performance art. There are its conscious performers whom people watch, look at, applaud and recompense, or even totally ignore and walk away. There are also those unconscious ones whose performances are more spontaneous and refreshingly unpredictable. They are there … all over. You only have to stop and look … as they unfold beneath your eyes in a multi-dimensional real-life performance”.

General Delegate of the Paris-based Foundation Alliance Francaise and Director of the Alliance Francaise de KOTTE Alexandre Martinez said, “The famous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once said that photographing is putting on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart. This quote totally fits Kumar de Silva’s approach and work, and I should add, all of this together with humor and tenderness.

Modestly describing himself as “an absolutely amateur photographer”, de Silva goes on to say, “Camera in hand, I enjoy walking around, mainly alone and undisturbed, be it in Paris or anywhere else in France, leaning against a lamp-post or a garbage bin, sitting on the pavement and recording diverse scenes from day-to-day life.

Kumar De Silva has had a long association with France spanning three decades. In recognition of his efforts in promoting the awareness and enrichment of France’s cultural heritage, he was bestowed with the title – “Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters” – by the French Government. His previous exhibitions are online at
Situated at 11, Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo , the “Alliance Française de Kotte” is France’s ONLY French language and cultural center in the Colombo City and the Greater Colombo areas. There are no other such branches in Colombo.

With increasing numbers of students every term, it has become the preferred choice of all Sri Lankans, both young and adults, who wish to learn the French language, with certification and diplomas fully recognised by France.

The Alliance Française de KOTTE is fully affiliated to the Fondation Alliance Française in Paris and enjoys the total patronage of the Government of France and the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka.

Lionel Wendt (2) Lionel Wendt (3)