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On Thursday, the Saskia Fernando Gallery previewed an exhibition of photography that definitely trod off the beaten path. Abdul Halik Azeez, a photographer who made his name on the social network Instagram, transitioned his work for the first time into a physical form. “This exhibition is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka,” said gallery owner Saskia Fernando Hammoud, “coincidentally timed, Abdul Halik Azeez presents his journalistic and personal outlook on life in Sri Lanka. This is an exhibition of photography, but also of Halik’s unique way of presenting a personal view of his surroundings within hidden layers that lie in the writings and journeys that precede each photo”. Better known as ‘Colombedouin’ on the platform, Abdul Halik’s work reflects a strong journalistic sense in its keen observation and insightful commentary of Sri Lanka’s socio-political context, while also encompassing a spiritual and at times surreal dimension. His unconventional subjects are presented with a knack for minimally-strong compositions, certainly one of the contributing reasons for why he now has over 20,000 followers online. “I am still getting used to seeing my work up on a real wall as opposed to a virtual one,” said Halik “I originally joined Instagram to have a platform to casually and quickly share my photographs and the messages I wanted to convey through them, and I am overwhelmed by the response my work has received”. The exhibition will be open for public viewing until 23 November at the Saskia Fernando Gallery, 41, Horton Place, Colombo 7, daily until 7 p.m.  

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