Photo credit: Carolina Hidalgo
Sukanya Mani is a St. Louis-based, Indian born interdisciplinary artist. Mani studied science in college and started as a painter but quickly tired of traditional painting. She was determined to establish a new kind of art and a cognitive framework for a new understanding of science. In 2008, she discovered cutting paper which introduced her to reconfigure the material into additional dimensions. This action allowed her to integrate parameters like space, light, gravity and time within her work. Paper cutting permitted the process of the work to be evident, while the warped, random configurations of the material itself invested it with cosmological connotations. This combination is particularly evident in her installation Micro and Macro 2019 and in her later series The space between and This time it will be different (2021). The relationship between space, light, gravity and time is at the root of Mani’s exploration, which is crucial to the development of her art and her search for more expansive categories of knowledge. Her theories fuse physics and philosophy with the visual language of art. Her artwork can be described as imagined abstractions using papercut Tyvek informed by materials, location and the installation process. Mani also creates large scale outdoor sculptural pieces. For future works, Mani envisions utilizing the same interplays of negative space, light, and shadow, with a progression away from the figurative, and toward the abstract. Her work can be found nationally and has been given both permanent and transient homes in the City of Poplar Bluff, Lee’s Summit, Ballwin, Manchester, Chesterfield, Ellisville and Brentwood.