Co-founding the Upside Space, Lisa Ray talks about her latest venture in creating a curator-led online arts oriented
platform that is meant to evolve art from the traditional space
Words: Tiranya Yalindee Ranasinghe Photographs: Manoj Ratnayake
In a challenging economy, Lisa hopes for the Upside Space to be an inclusive art ecosystem that provides visibility and representation to
artists who are still operating in the traditional art space. Expanding her portfolio of many occupations such as acting and writing, Lisa now
dons an entrepreneurial suit in which she aims to represent the new future of art through the Upside Space.
Could you give us a brief introduction as to what the Upside Space is?
The Upside Space is a curator led arts digital platform. We are all about inclusivity, community and opportunity for discovery in
discourse, and even though we are powered by innovative tech in the form of NFTs, a new delivery system for art and extension of
artistic practices. In its core, our vision and mission is to put artists back in the driving seat and also to create a lot more global visibility,
representation and access for artists from all these regions who we feel are overlooked. We are about very strong digital artistic
Our curators help the artists exhibit their story-telling by putting their work together and they help the audience come and understand
How was the process of creating the Upside Space?
Even I’m shocked sometimes! I met my co-founder, Ayesha Khan in Singapore just before Covid. She is an art patron and she has been
dealing with antiques. She is also an expat, one of the many things we have in common. I wanted to open a gallery but I realised that we
have an opportunity to be the future of art. Aisha and I decided to open the Upside Space, and we have an incredible team. We have teams
placed in various countries, from Singapore to Dubai and our curators are drawn from all these regions. We have taken a long time to
launch, collecting excellent curators and whose values will deliver through this.
I feel like Sri Lanka keeps drawing me back, and now I am back in Colombo celebrating Sri Lankan artists, giving a voice to them and
hoping to amplify their talent to a global audience and allow them to monetize their art in a way that is not dependent on the local