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  • Manju Sadarangani

Aman I & II

Aman I & II

अमन I & II

12" x 12" (framed)

Mixed Media (Kintsugi on Canvas)

October, 2020

Aman is peace. Aman shares its root with the Amen of Christianity, the Ameen of Islam. These two pieces borrow from the ancient Japanese art of Kintsukuroi, golden joinery. For centuries, Kintsugi artists in Japan have been repairing cracks in pottery with gold. The long painstaking process highlights the scar within the piece rather than hurrying to conceal the break. Practicing Kintsugi is deeply meditative and humbling, allowing me to slow down and fall into the flow of healing, inculcating a discipline to see the beauty in the scar, distilling the survival of trauma from blame and shame.

These pieces are both the moment of shattering, when we are pulled apart, and the moment of healing, when we began to connect. I created these pieces at the height of the pandemic, capturing those moments when hope that life would return to normal “soon” was fading fast, replaced by dread of the fast-approaching winter. For most people, it was a time of extremes – 2020 was either the worst year ever, filled with loss, highlighting schisms in our relationships, our politics, our values, our health. Or it was a year of accelerated healing, creativity, a rediscovery of life’s simple pleasures. For many, it was both - simultaneously a confusing time of extremes.

The colors reflect a collective exhaustion with politics, which often seemed like a ridiculous sideshow while the world burned. I used shards of heavy red stoneware pottery, complimented by shards of delicate Winkle colonial blue and white porcelain for these pieces.

I love the hearing how this piece is perceived. Where does it land for you? Moment of hope? Or rage? A permanent break with the past, or coming together for a brighter collective future? Or something else entirely?

(On display at Arc Gallery in San Francisco California from July 10 through August 7, 2021.)

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