‘The Truth is Unbelievable’ art exhibition

Lanka Daily News, Aug 20, 2007

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- The Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka in collaboration with Sri Sambodhi Vihara is holding ‘The Truth is Unbelievable’, an art exhibition of original paintings, film and installation on the life work of Bhikkhu Sumedha, curated by Cora de Lang, from Tuesday, August 21 at 6 p.m. at Sri Sambodhi Vihara (opp. Goethe-Institut). The exhibition will remain open until September 21. The opening hours: Sunday-Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

<< Painting by Ven. Bhikkhu Sumedha Thera

The Buddhist monk Bhikkhu Sumedha, born in Switzerland, holder of a German passport has lived the last decades of his life in Sri Lanka, more than 25 of his last years in a cave Manapadassana Lena in Dulvala, near Kandy. On December 21st he passed away at the age of 75 years.

Aja Iskander Schmidlin, as his name appeared in his passport, didn’t want to be remembered neither as German nor as Swiss, but simply as a Sri Lankan monk, even writing a letter with this request to the President of Sri Lanka.

As he got to know at a later stage, his name ‘Aja’ means in Pali and in Sanskrit ‘the Unborn’, a synonym for Nibbana. In his last days, Ven. Mettavihari, the artist Cora de Lang (whom he wanted as the curator of this exhibition) and Richard Lang

visited him in his cave, made interviews, recorded image and sound, viewed his installation in the cave and promised him to organise an exhibition on Bhikkhu Sumedha - the artist, the painter who visualised the Dhamma, but who dived also theoretically in the depths of Theravada thought.

Knowing of this upcoming exhibition, he gave plenty of suggestions including the title of the exhibition - and he was very much aware that he wouldn’t be present physically at the inauguration.