The Artists

CETI Lab is a project that consists of an artists’ residency, an exhibition, and an event week. The pop up exhibition, which will take place from September 16-27, features works that were produced as the result of the August 2017 CETI Lab residency, with additional works by international artists.

Our artists in residence were: Sona Manukyan, Karen Mirzoyan, Samvel Saghatelian, Manan Torosian, VHSound, and Arto Vaun. For one week, this diverse group of artists lived on the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory campus where they met with on-site researchers, and visited the facilities, archives, and telescopes.

In addition, CETI lab features for the first time in Armenia projects by artists Lvis Mejía (Berlin, Germany) and Tina Chakarian (Boston, USA). HAYP is also happy to collaborate for the second time with Gorod Oustinov, an art collective from Izhevsk, Russia.  Lvis Mejía’s site-specific installation at the Herouni Radio Active Telescope in Orgov (a 10 minute drive from the Observatory) is based off of the principal of acoustic feedback. An internationally recognized sound-artist, we are also proud to announce that we will be debuting Lvis Mejía’s latest album, “Anthropology of Amnesia” on Sunday, September 17 at 17:00 at the Herouni Telescope.

The Artists


Sona Manukyan, Photographer & Architect
(Born 1983 in Yerevan, Armenia)

Sona studied architecture and design at Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction in 2006. She has worked for Storaket Architectural Studios from its start in 2007 until now in architecture and interior design. Manukyan independently works in furniture restoration and recuperation, and her artwork often brings together elements of design, artisanal craft, and conceptual art through installation and construction. Photography is another passion of hers which she has consistently developed over the past few years.

Karen Mirzoyan, Photographer
(Born 1981 in Tbilisi, Georgia)

Moved to Armenia in 1992. Received a diploma of excellence in 2005 from World Press Photo, and continued studying with Panos Pictures Agency, and World Press Photo in Amsterdam. In 2009, Mirzoyan was the winner of the Open Society Institute Production Grant, and continued onto win several awards from Magnum Foundation. In 2010, studied at New York University’s Magnum Foundation of Photography and Human Rights Program for documentary photography. Karen currently lives and in Armenia, and works internationally. He opened the Mirzoyan Library in 2014, a Photography book library, gallery, and cafe which also hosts educational courses and seminars in photography.

Manan Torosyan, Sculptor & Visual Artist
(Born 1984 in Yerevan, Armenia)

Manan graduated in 2007 from Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts’ Sculpture Department. She has effected several artists’ residency programs in Tbilisi, Georgia and Dusseldorf Germany. Torosian has participated in several exhibitions since 2004 in Armenia and Russia including: the Armenian Center for Contemporary Art (ACCEA – NPAK), the Albert Tove Boyajyan Gallery, the Artists’ Union, The Cafesjian Center of the Arts, the Galentz Museum, and the Moscow Center for Contemporary Art.

Samvel Saghatelian, Painter & Architect
(Born 1958 in Yerevan, Armenia)

Samvel Saghatelian graduated from Yerevan Institute of Architecture and pursued a career in architecture.  In 1988, at the brink of the collapse of USSR and Armenia’s independence, he started his journey as an artist. In 2001 his works were  represented at the Armenian Pavilion in the 49th Venice Biennale in Italy, Plateau of Humankind.  In 2002, he was awarded a Fellowship from Arts Link (New York) for a residency program at Vermont Studio Center in Vermont, United States. From 2005-2009 Saghatelian was the head curator at the Black Maria Gallery in Los Angeles. Samvel has had several one-man shows in the United States and Armenia and he currently lives and works in Armenia.

VHSOUND, Sound Artist
(Born 1987 in Yerevan, Armenia)

Composer, pianist, sound artist. Vartan graduated from the Sayat-Nova music school (Yerevan) in 2003 with a concentration in piano. In 2009 graduated at Yerevan Komitas Conservatory (composition class – Vardan Adjemyan). From 2010, he started to compose electronic music with the incorporation of field recordings and experimental sound art. Vartan Also participated as a pianist and author in several music bands in Armenia (Oaksenham, Daeron (Uneasthetic), Lighthouse New Jazz Project). In 2011, he was involved in several international collaborations, including with German sound artist Marcus Beuter, French video artists Agathe Lepoutre and Antoine Janot, and filmmaker Nanor Petrosyan. In 2012 he was a part of several performances and electro-acoustic projects featured at the ACCEA, Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art, including an improvisation that was made together with performers from the pantomime theatre. Vartan has participated in several international cultural conferences and exchanges, including “Connected by the Border” in Tbilisi (Georgia) in 2013, and “Borderland 2013” in Zittau-Dresden (Germany). Vartan continues to perform regularly, designing collaborative, inter-disciplinary performances and composing original music for electronic and acoustic instruments.

Arto Vaun, Poet
(Born in Boston, USA)

Arto Vaun is a poet & musician originally from Boston. His first book, Capillarity, was published by Carcanet in 2009. His poems & essays have appeared in various anthologies & magazines, & he’s been interviewed twice on the BBC about his work. As a musician, Vaun has shared bills with artists like Rufus Wainwright, Daniel Johnston, Ben Kweller, Kimya Dawson, Mark Eitzel, & the War on Drugs. Currently, he lives in Yerevan, Armenia, where he is the founder/director of the Center for Creative Writing at the American University of Armenia. He is also the founding editor of Locomotive. In 2014, Vaun was awarded the Tololyan Prize in Literature.


Tina Chakarian, Visual Artist
(Born in Boston, USA)

Tina Chakarian is a visual artist and designer based in Boston, MA, USA. She received a BFA in visual arts and design from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Post Baccalaureate from Tufts University/School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. Her works in installation, sculpture, and photography have been exhibited in Boston, MA. She has taught at Mount Ida Chamberlayne School of Design (Newton, MA), the Boston Architectural Center, Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston, MA) and worked as an interior and lighting designer in the greater Boston, MA area and New York, NY (Robert Henry Architects/John Sahag). Fluent in four languages and active within the Armenian diasporic community, Tina Chakarian is currently developing a body of work in sculpture and installation for upcoming exhibitions in Los Angeles, Boston, Yerevan, and Berlin in 2017-18.

Lvis Mejía, Audio Artist
(Born in Mexico, lives and works in Berlin)

Lvis is a contemporary artist and musician. His oeuvre takes on multiple forms and expressions. Intermedia art covering the scope of audiovisual performance, electro-acoustic and symphonic music, conceptual art, installation as well as film. Writing is an essential part of his artistic output. Focussing on the recurrent “Why” behind the mediums, his discourse is triggered by the most essential contiguity where thoughts, emotions and aesthetics converge and blossom. Lvis understands art as an autopoietic instance that brings together the simple and the complex through an all-embracing process. His education is in Time based Media from HfbK Hamburg, and has carried out various research grants at MIT, Berklee College of Music and the SMFA Boston. Mejía has exhibited internationally in major artistic hubs like Berlin, Paris, London, Vienna, as well as Mexico City, and Singapore. In 2012 his work was featured at dOCUMENTA 13.

Gorod Ustinov, Artist Collective
(Izhevsk, Russia)

Gorod Ustinov is a group of artists born in the former city of Ustinov before it was renamed Izhevsk. The City Ustinov lasted only 900 days (1984 to 1987). As a place on a map Ustinov does not exist, yet it remains in the passports of people who were born in this period. Participants of the art group were born then and associate their artwork with this place. They are trying to create their own place of birth, time and space, which once began for them in the city (“gorod” in Russian) of Ustinov.