With what is, the horizontal, fragmented construction of the world’s tallest statue, the project embarks on an investigation and critique of the transcendence of institutions (namely faith , military and government) and their insidious, mythical grip over land in Sri Lanka's capital city, Colombo.

Over 200m tall, weighing a near 2000 tonnes of recycled steel and forged out of almost 100 armoured vehicles, a national colossus is being born out of the Sri Lankan Military. Laying like a dismembered corpse, a fallen soldier or an anonymous god, each provincial area is assigned its own body part.

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, govern the immense logistical task of constructing this monument. All amidst amidst the nation’s emergence from a bloody civil war and transition into an era of seeming peace, and rapid development.

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Breaking News: Introducing Project Colossus

At the 67th Independence Day Parade, Sri Lanka's newly elected president announces Project Colossus: A symbolic undertaking by the Ministry of Defence to logistically manage the construction of the world's tallest statue in fragments under which the nation is symbolically united in peace after the end of a a three-decade-long civil war.

The face of a nation

In this wonderland of spaces abstraction versus personal perception make each journey to differ from the last; each person becomes his own hero inside his own colossus.

The model here alludes to such explorations and the literal architectural/spatial manifestation of a nation’s subconscious mind as a stage and spectacle where certain participants become protagonists in their self-constructed narratives. The myth grants an insidious power over land beyond legislative deeds of ownership or practical laws imposed by institutions.

Who designs identity? Is it through the personal individual bodies interacting with the building…or the architect, intruding into local perception with his own attempts to grasp the insidious nature of foreign territorial ownership?

Insidious Colossus • Slicing through a fragment

Inside a fragment of the colossal body various activities co-exist. Workers dangling from the superstructure help deliver pieces of skin from forgeries built within re-appropriated buildings; once the headquarters of the Ministry of Defence. The process is in direct view of the public, able to access different colossal body parts via vertical shafts.

Colombo • Terror City

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence and Urban Development is found at the epicentre of reconstructing the capital Colombo. As the nation emerges from a bloody era of destruction and terrorist attacks, seen in the map and corresponding timeline, the ministry is gradually moving its war-time headquarters west of the city centre. By doing so it is eradicating the memory of its role in the city's violent past.
It is on the site of its old headquarters where the Colossus will be born, during the Ministry's own gradual removal from its traditional grounds.

Insidious Wonderland

The drawing investigates a wider topic of Insidious Wonderlands, whereby land is saturated with systems of regulation. By using London as a base, fragments of the real city are included along with an institution of planners infinitely fragmenting the city creating a circle with no centre. Meanwhile, distorted wonderlands with dis-proportionate objects/buildings are formed under an individual hero’s narrative, unfolding insidiously amongst it all.

Translating Drawing into Object

By translating the drawing into an object, this arduino prototype maps the city info-graphically into layers using sound inputs and light outputs. A map on screen features a real-time manipulation of the actual city map, while the object produces unique long-exposure shots, providing differing visual outputs and ways of reading land.

The performance of the prototype and translation of this experience using music as an input can be viewed in a film in the following link:

Translating Land into Body

Drawing from the arduino prototype and the Insidious Wonderland studies what is implemented into the colossus is the idea of translating Sri Lankan territory into body fragments. Each fragment corresponding to a provincial territory and built with both symbolic and functional purposes in mind.

Where architecture was once regulated by the proportions of the human body, the colossus has inverted the relationship by turning it’s body into an Architecture. An example of designing a shaft based on the north central province is depicted with temples placed within the torso.

Forging the Torso

The perspective section alludes to the activities witnessed on site, the forgery in detail, the gantry crane above as well as the creation of publicly accessible spaces incorporated within the wonderland of an ongoing construction site.

Dissection • The carcass of a nation

A pilgrimage into the colossus unveils a wonderland of shafts. The temples are found beating prayers from the heart. An amphitheatre is uncoiled somewhere in the scalp.
Large water bags as storage silos and venting out vapour over the permanently rusting skin: a sweating body cooling down the furnaces in the adjacent building. Grand-stand seating, loom over a vast canyon facing west. From this cavernous ridge soldiers and armoured vehicles line up and pour out of the giant’s innards into the city during annual victory parades.

Circulatory System

A pedestrian walkway allows pilgrims to gradually ascend into the construction site through the southern, partially demolished building, now an access ramp. Parades and personnel march in and out from the central axis. The northern building, once the main Ministry's HQ, accommodates the forgery while the old routes host an influx and outflow of material with trucks delivering armoured vehicles to be processed into the colossus' skin.

Faith • Military • Politics

Glimpse inside the colossus depict how visitors would be experiencing the wonderland of shafts. A look at the temples unifying faiths under prayer and offering, the military marching out of the body and finally the politician’s or actor’s stage. These form a final exploration into mediums of representing the project, by combining the hand drawing with digital renders as well as images from a physical model along with collage.