LOS ANGELES, Calif. — “A Body Is a Bridge, A Body Is Water” is an exhibition that celebrates the connection between artists Natalia Ira Sookias and Shriya Samavai Manian’s respective Eastern heritage and their lives and artistic practices in the West.
The collection will be on display this weekend (March 25-27) at the Heavy Manners Library at 1200 North Alvarado Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026, from 11am-7pm.Opening reception on Thursday, March 24th, 7-9pm
The Heavy Manners Library will be transformed into an Armenian and Indian cosy and traditional space, showcasing Sooki Studio’s handmade ceramics and SAMAVAI’s sarees. As diaspora individuals, Sookias and Samavai Manian draw on memories of the time they spent with their grandparents and cherished family in tradition to build a bridge across the ocean between then and now. This duo invites you to think about the objects in your home and how they relate to those before and after you. Products from Sooki Studio and SAMAVAI are ritual-inspired and built for you and those you love to keep using them.
The body is the bridge, the body is the water
The body is a bridge,
Uṭal oru pālam, marminy ՝ jur
Thatha left for nine years / Papik left for two years
Large, soft palms, slender fingers, arms stretched out like bridges
Paati will fill the container with water / Tatik will be heated on the stove
The body is decorated with gold ornaments, the crotch is wrapped in cotton silk, and the face is as warm as jade
We put stones on the way from there to here. Jump from stone to stone.
Between heaven and earth. From their hearts to ours. Aditya to Pasadena.artsach
SAMAVAI is a brand founded by Shriya Samavai Manian and headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Shriya is interested in exploring how heritage and history can be passed on through textiles. All garments are made from vintage sarees and other South Asian textiles, cut and sewn in India and the United States.
Sooki Studio is part production and part education space run by Armenian artist and educator Natalia Sookias. Her ceramics are a tool to connect with her ancestors and create quality merchandise for her community. Her work is intended to be passed down through the generations.