Artist Residencies in the Indian Subcontinent

Artist residencies are coming up all over South-East Asia. They provide artists with the opportunity to interact with various other artisans and live in a new home and find new muses and inspirations to channel into their works. The increasing number of art residencies and art residency programs is indicative of art appreciation spreading among the masses.



These art residencies can either be self-funded or funded by an organization. There are many organizations offering residency scholarships for artists. For instance, the Samdani Art Foundation in Bangladesh offers young Bangladeshi artists a three-month residency at Delfina Foundation. Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation in India also gives opportunities to artists in residency programs. The Gasworks International Residency has a program through which they offer non-UK based artists residency programs in the UK. The Fullbright Program, The Charles Wallace India Trust, Sanat Residency in Pakistan, Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre in Nepal, are some of the artist residencies that provide grants or funded residency opportunities to artists.



We have tried to compile a small list of artist residencies for young artists to explore!



INDIA



Zorba the Buddha, New Delhi



This artist residency program aims at providing a spiritual atmosphere for the creative growth and inner exploration of individuals on an artistic journey. This residency is unique in the sense that it provides a spiritual ambience to these artists in residence programs. The artist residency is based in New Delhi and is open to all artists albeit visual, literary, performing, design, or otherwise. The eligible age to apply is 18. They offer artist residency programs for a month or even two for special projects. They charge USD 50 per day inclusive of the accommodation, meals (only vegetarian) and studio costs. They receive applications throughout the year and the artists can start anytime they feel convenient.



Art Castle, Trivandrum



Art Castle is a non-profit organization, which works as an artist residency for the promotion of contemporary arts. Its artist residency program is open to artists of all media including visual artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, etc. and the attempt is to provide creative and professional support services to emerging and mid-career artists. It is based in South India, in the city of Trivandrum. The artists in the residency program get accommodation and studio space and trips for sightseeing. They will be doing five artists residencies in 2021, each lasting for about 40 days. Among their many facilities, the artists in residency program conduct an exhibition at the end of the residency, where the residence artists showcase their work.



Carpediem Residency, Shimla and Kumarakom



Designed to provide a space to artists, writers, and filmmakers a social environment away from daily routine and domestic obligations, this artist residency program also opens up possibilities of reflecting on his/her body of work in conversation and interaction within a community of artists. This organization offers artist residencies, both in Shimla in North India and Kumarakom, Kerala in South India. Artists of all media are welcomed. The artist residency also offers a two-week photography camp for visual artists, wherein the artists in residence programs would travel and stay in Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh.



Art Ichol, Khajuraho and Bandhavgarh



This artist residency aims at providing a platform for artists to develop their existing skills, meet and be inspired by other artists, having a more global and transnational experience. This residency is based in the central part of India, between Khajuraho and the tiger reserve, Bandhavgarh. The minimum period of stay is one week and can go up to sixteen weeks. The artists in residence programs get various facilities creating art with various materials like ceramic, metal, fibreglass, and stone sculpting. Artists of all mediums are welcome. Art Ichol also offers a separate writer’s residency, not far off from the main residency site.



NEPAL



Bikalpa Art Center, Kathmandu



The centre offers two sessions in a year. Each artist residency program lasts about three months and the artists in this residence program get an opportunity to showcase their work at the end of it. The artist residency constantly engages their artists in various workshops, activities, presentations, and the like. Their residency is open to artists of all mediums. The studio space is provided free of cost. They do not offer accommodation but do have a sister organization that can be contacted to make accommodations. The artists in this residence program can fix up their accommodations too. They will soon start operating an exchange program too for artists.



Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre



They rent out studio space to international artists. The money proceeds from this artist residency program go directly towards supporting Nepali artists with studio space, scholarships and other opportunities. Through the Nepali Scholarship Programme, they award recent Nepali art graduates with studio residencies for four to six months. In this artist residency program, the Nepali scholarship artists get to work side by side with international artists. The studio also offers mentoring, individual support and various other opportunities.



SRI LANKA



Sura Medura, Hikkaduwa



This centre is based in Hikkaduwa, on the south coast of the country. This residency can accommodate up to 10 people and can last for a minimum period of four weeks to three months. The centre claims to be well connected with local and national artists. The residents will get an opportunity to exhibit their work at the end of the residency both in Sri Lanka and Scotland. Sura Medura is funded by IN SITU and Creative Scotland. Artists can also apply to them to get funding for the residency.



BANGLADESH



Porapara, Chittagong City



Porapara Space for Artists is an artist-based initiative aimed at providing a platform to young and emerging artists. The institute offers a unique artist residency program, which involves a cohesive interaction between the artist and the local community and a global community of artists. This artist residency is located in the southern part of Chittagong city. The artists willing to join this residency program need to apply two months before their arrival. This artist residency is meant for visual artists of all fields and art curators and researchers. The artists in the residency program get an opportunity to showcase their work at the city hall.



PAKISTAN



Sanat, Karachi



Based on the ideals of interaction between modern and contemporary art, this artist residency aims at providing artists with a space to interact with their environment and experience in context, and to conduct research. This residency is based in Karachi and artists in residency program spend about four weeks here. They provide two artists residency programs in a year. Accommodation, stipend, airfare/ train-fare/coach-fare into Karachi are provided by them. The artists are required to bear the cost of the materials and local transport during the residency. This opportunity is only for Pakistani artists and is open to various medium artists who are graduates. A group exhibition is held at the end of the residency.



Many of the residencies offer the artists in the residency programme a chance to interact with the locals by holding workshops and presentations for them. Most residencies also give their artist a chance to showcase their work at the end of their stay. Artist residencies are an excellent way for artists who want to breathe in a different world than theirs and wish to explore more.