Born from a chance encounter, Galleri Amai brings the warmth and colour of Sri Lankan art to the cold North.

Galleri Amai began with a backpacking trip. In 2022 Simen Rotabakk was travelling in Sri Lanka and visited the town of Hikkaduwa. There, he met Theekshana who ran a local art gallery with his brother Dileepa, the gallery’s resident artist. Buying paintings to send home to his family, Rotabakk joked about setting up a collaboration to sell art in Norway. Theekshana was immediately interested. From this chance encounter, Galleri Amai was born.

Galleri Amai – Bringing The warmth of Sri Lanka to Scandinavia

Abstract paintings are some of the most popular pieces of art Galleri Amai sells.

The word ‘amai’ means turtle in Tamil, one of the main languages of Sri Lanka. The animal symbolises the values upon which Rotabakk founded the gallery – the appreciation of nature and an interest in longevity. Two years after opening, the gallery is thriving. “We’ve sold art to dozens of homes in Norway, and the feedback is very positive,” says Rotabakk. “Our customers appreciate the quality of the art and the affordable prices.”

Galleri Amai – Bringing The warmth of Sri Lanka to Scandinavia

This painting from Galleri Amai helps to create a vibrant setting in this cosy living room.

Abstract paintings featuring strong colours and fascinating shapes are the most popular. “This is not surprising considering the need to add colour on Norway’s cold, grey winter days,” Rotabakk thinks. “Equally, paintings that contrast with the Nordic landscape and give a warm feeling of the exotic are also in demand.”
Galleri Amai also specialises in bespoke paintings. “Images of special people, animals, or moments are often chosen,” says Rotabakk. “It’s wonderful to create something that reflects a customer’s own experiences and feelings.”



And, Rotabakk has more plans for the gallery. “We’ve only just begun our journey. We want to create an even larger market. Our main customer base is in Scandinavia, but we also deliver to the rest of Europe. Although we have no plans to open a physical store, we are working on showing the paintings in various public places such as cafes and restaurants, public buildings and pop-up exhibitions.”

Galleri Amai – Bringing The warmth of Sri Lanka to Scandinavia

Paintings of colourful tropical fish fit in perfectly next to a real aquarium.

Galleri Amai also hopes to become a leader in digital art sales and to host the works of other artists. “At the moment, we only offer the paintings of a single artist, but we hope to open for more, even this year. We want to be the gallery where everyone can find original, high-quality art at affordable prices,” says Rotabakk.



He is also proud to support the creative community in Sri Lanka and donate to animal welfare. For every purchase made, Gallery Amai donates 100 NOK to a local dog care clinic.

Galleri Amai – Bringing The warmth of Sri Lanka to Scandinavia

Galleri Amai’s paintings fit with a variety of rooms.

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