Situated near the majestic UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi in Southern India, Hampi Art Labs emerges as a beacon of artistic creativity. Encompassing a sprawling 9-acre landscape, this visionary art centre offers a sanctuary for artists, providing state-of-the-art facilities tailored for contemporary art-making.
The building structure is inspired by the landscape, art and architecture of ancient Hampi city, where the Vijayanagar Empire once ruled from the 14th century to the 16th century. Designed by acclaimed architect, Samdeep Pandora and his studio sP+a, the centre is going to provide a creative space for art residents. Mirroring the ethos of its surroundings, the centre's design seamlessly integrates with the natural landscape, utilizing locally sourced materials to create an organic, immersive environment.
A brainchild of the esteemed JSW Foundation, Hampi Art Labs represents a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, fostering an environment where creativity flourishes. Rooted in a rich legacy of supporting art and heritage for over three decades, the art lab is a vision of Sangita Jindal and her daughter, Tarini Jindal Handa. As an initiative of the JSW Group, one of India's leading business conglomerates, the centre embodies a commitment to nurturing arts.
"Hampi Art Labs marks JSW Foundation’s ambition to continue growing India’s arts ecosystem. After supporting artistic initiatives in the region and the restoration of Hampi’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Hampi Art Labs provides the right setting to invite artists to experiment with the production of contemporary art. Symbolising a new beginning, Right Foot First is the start of an exciting and positive journey for both our artists in residence as well as Hampi Art Labs’ dedicated team," says Sangita Jindal, Founder of Hampi Art Labs.
Premises of Hampi Art Labs inspired by the natural landscape of Hampi
The centre boasts a diverse array of facilities, including exhibition spaces, studios, and residential apartments for artists-in-residence. From workshops for printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics, to cutting-edge new media labs, artists are provided with the tools and resources to push the boundaries of their craft.
The inaugural exhibition, "Right Foot First," curated from the Jindal Collection, serves as a testament to the centre's ethos of interdisciplinary exploration. Featuring works by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Ai Weiwei, and Bharti Kher, the exhibition traces the evolution of Indian contemporary art while inviting visitors to embark on a journey of discovery through the fluid, evocative spaces of the centre. "Right Foot First" is on at the Hampi Art Labs from February 6 to May 31, 2024.
Talking with The Logical Indian, Meera Curam, Director at Hampi Art Labs says, "The art residents will be provided with all the facilities to nurture their creative process and we've just started with the first cohort. At present, we have 5 residents and we don't expect them to create something by the end of their residency. We envision providing a space for contemporary artists to practice their craft and also encourage them to participate in the local outreach programs."
An artist at the Hampi Art Labs with paintings at display
With five art residents in place, for now, the artists for the next cohort starting in April, are selected through an open call. The jury behind the selection process ensures that there's diversity among the selected artists. The first residency cycle started in April and includes five artists- Anirudh Shaktawat, Bhasha Chakrabarti, Madhavi Gore, Promiti Hossain and Sharbendu De.
Central to Hampi Art Labs' mission is its commitment to community engagement and global cultural exchange. Through educational programs tailored for local schools and initiatives aimed at fostering connections across the Global South, the centre seeks to create a dynamic platform for dialogue and collaboration.
"The proximity of the centre allows us to move around easily, learn and observe more about the art and architecture of Hampi. Additionally, I plan to engage with local weavers, gaining insights into the region's traditional craft techniques. With its unparalleled facilities, including expansive studio spaces and workshops, Hampi Art Labs offers a conducive environment for delving deeper into my creative endeavours," shares Bhasha Chakrabarti, a resident artist with The Logical Indian.
As Hampi Art Labs prepares to embark on its journey, it stands as a testament to the transformative power of art and culture, inviting artists and audiences to embrace creativity, explore new horizons, and embark on a journey of discovery.
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