Sooriya’s life journey has been on a pilgrimage uniting the path of the healer and traditional visual arts with the spiritual path of the heart.
Muthukumaru Sooriyakumar (Sooriya) was born in 1949 in a small village to a traditional family in Sri Lanka.
When he was young, he recalls being drawn to the rhythmic, tapping sounds of the temple artists working on stone. In the 1960s and 1970s his pilgrimages began. He walked with holy men throughout India, Sri Lanka, and the Himalayas of Nepal. He made eight round trips overland from Sri Lanka through Persia to Europe experiencing people from different cultures, religions, and regions (many no longer accessible to travelers).
After many years of travel and exploration he settled in Wai’anai in 1984. In Wai’anae, Sooriya continued his journey of life and art, and he has achieved prominence as a world-renowned copper artist. He has lived a humble life for the last 35 years on the Wai’anae coast of Oahu working and sharing.
Over the last 50 years he has developed artwork that graces the entrances and walls of healing centers, temples, homes, and community buildings around the world. His work celebrates the nature and the heart, Oneness and Compassion – universal themes that speak to people of all faiths. His artwork can be seen in countries from Australia and New Zealand to Japan, India and Sri Lanka to Germany and through North America.
In Hawaii, Sooriya has been blessed to work directly with Native Hawaiians who have graciously shared their traditional ways, culture, and protocols with him. He has been honored to receive formal recognition as a Living Treasure of Hawaii.
He founded Mouna Arts and Cultural Village in the Wai’anae Valley in 2014.
Sooriya creates art that touches the heart of people by reconnecting them to themselves, to each other and to their surroundings. Mouna Arts & Cultural Village provides this opportunity for all, in particular the children of Hawaii. Here they experience the creative process and joy in making art while being connected to nature and connecting more deeply to themselves.
“Art created with heart speaks to other hearts;
through this language of the heart,
union is achieved.”
Special Projects for Unity & Peace
- Ho’olokahi: The Mouna Bowl of Harmony
- Sri Lankan Temple of Oneness
- Koholā Ola Whale Project Uniting all through Art
- Yatra – Sacred Pilgrimages through the Jungles of Sri Lanka
- Mouna Tree Foundation: Sharing the message of Oneness through the planting of trees throughout the world
- Humanitarian Projects in Sri Lanka, including spiritual & community centers, an organic farm and the serving and feeding of the local people
Awards & Honors
- 2017 Honored as a Peace Maker by the UHA-HI and the Love Peace Harmony Organization
- 2016 Honored as a Living Treasure of Hawaii
- 2016 Recognized by the Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City and County of Honolulu
- 2016 Recognized by Governor David Ige and State of Hawaii
- 2016 Recognized by the Consulate of Sri Lanka in Hawaii
- 2016 Recognized by the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States
- 2015 Inducted into the Hawaiian Council of Elders
- 2014 Participating Dignitary in the Lantern Floating Hawaii
- 2013 Featured in The Hawaii Primary Care Association’s film “OLA”
- 2013 Knighted by the Orthodox Order of St John Russian Grand Priory
- 2012 Forgiveness Hero, Hawaii Forgiveness Project, Honolulu, Hawaii
- 2011 Founded Mouna Farm Arts and Cultural Village in Wai‛anae
Documentaries about Sooriya
- Eddie Kamae featured Sooriya in one of his documentaries
- The Hawaii Primary Care Association’s film “OLA” features Sooriya and his Mouna Farm Arts andCultural Village located in Wai‛anae. It has been shown at the HIFF and has gone abroad, even to other countries like Australia and Japan. It is still currently being shown across the state.
- He is helping the community of Wai‛anae and the people of Hawai‛i spread Aloha and Care through his Kohola Ola project which will be taken around the world through a documentary.
- “Yatra: Sacred Journey” is a documentary in the works that features Sooriya and the Pada Yatra pilgrimage through the jungles of Sri Lanka.
Special Artwork Created by Sooriya
- Coat of Arms for His Majesty King Tuheitia, Maori King of the Waikato Tribe New Zealand given on behalf of the Hawaiian people to the King
- Copper Bowl Honoring Senator Daniel Kakukina Akaka at his Retirement Reception
- Healing Center Sculpture Honoring Dr. Agnes Kalaniho‛okaha Cope
- Copper Panel Honoring the Dolphins and Mountain Range of Wai‛anaefor Princess Abigail Kawanankoa
- Artwork for Tony Guerrero, Board Chairman of the Wai‛anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
- Artwork for Rich Bettini, CEO and President of the Wai‛anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
- Sculptured Surfboard honoring Buffalo Keaulana
Artist in Residence
- 2005 – Present Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
- 2010 – Present Mouna Arts and Cultural Village
- 1985 – 2005 Kahumana Organic Farm, Café and Retreat
- 2013 Sacred Art by Sooriya, Still and Moving Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i
- 2005-present Permanent Exhibit, Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center Grounds, Trails and Buildings