Saroop Soofi

Migratory Metamorphosis

March 3 – 19, 2023

Distance from her homeland, along with her status as an immigrant, have brought a sense of identification with the different ethnic communities that make up the Punjabi diaspora here in British Columbia.

The “Wrinkles in Time” series is inspired by the first generation immigrant women in Canada from Punjab and its rich and colourful textile history. It is to honour and celebrate the struggles, resilience and strength of these women who despite racial and gender discrimination within and outside of their community did not give up on their dreams of a brighter tomorrow. The repeated and rather crazed manner in which the soldering iron creates non-conventional patterns forced onto the soft silk fabric, is a comment on the economic disparity of immigrant women, highlighting the experiences of first generation immigrant women.

Her fascination with burning the mediums—pure silks and hand torched steel sculptures—lies more in the act of dissecting and removing the undesired elements, and then stitching them and welding them back again. There is a sense of controlled violence in the process. It is about conforming, modification, time, longing, grief, loss, mortality, her own vulnerability in negotiating the world, her own fallibility and limitations as an artist, despite grandiose aspirations, and the emotional fluctuation between the past and the present.

Concerned with the complexities of Otherness, and with cultural violences, she attempts to enrich her body of work by reflecting on Punjabi cultural forms, and the dynamics of its sociocultural and political relationships which are of great importance to women in British Columbia’s Punjabi-Canadian community.

About the Artist

Saroop Soofi is a visual artist, researcher, and an art educationist based in Canada. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia (UBC) on the unceded Musqueam territory in 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from the National College of Arts (Lahore, Pakistan), 2009. 

Soofi’s art practice takes the form of public performances, stemming from her training in theatrical performances, fabric and metal sculptures, digital illustrations and photography. Her current research integrates ideas of displacement, identity politics, questions and complexities of Otherness and Punjabi diaspora into contemporary art practice.

Soofi’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada including the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (Vancouver), USA, and Pakistan. She has received the following awards: Faculty of Arts Graduate Award 2014, B.C. Binning Memorial Fellowship 2015, International Student Award in 2016, and Best Young Artists of Pakistan Award by Alhamrah Arts Council in 2012.

Soofi has taught Visual Arts at the University of British Columbia, Kinnaird College for Women, and the National College of Arts. 

She has recently moved from Vancouver to Victoria, British Columbia and continues her research and studio practice from Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Opening night:

Friday, March 3 from 7 – 9 pm

Gallery hours:

Every weekend from Saturday, March 4 until Sunday, March 19 from 11 am – 4 pm

Xchanges gratefully acknowledges the support of the Province of British Columbia and the Capital Regional District for our gallery programs.

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