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Hampi Art Labs: A New Hub for Contemporary Arts in the Heart of History

Hampi Art Labs: Offering World-Class Facilities for Indian Artists

Hampi Art Labs is scheduled to open its doors in February 2024. This art centre stands as a testament to the convergence of contemporary art, heritage, and nature. Nestled near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi, this 18-acre arts centre is set to become a cultural landmark. It offers a unique space for artistic expression and collaboration.

Hampi: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Hampi Art Labs
Stone chariot at Hampi (Image courtesy: Wikipedia)

The presence of the Tungabhadra River, rugged hill ranges, and expansive plains characterise the remarkable landscape of Hampi. The sophistication of diverse urban, royal, and sacred systems is evident in over 1600 surviving structures. These include forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, Mandapas, memorial structures, gateways, defence check posts, stables, water structures, and more.

Noteworthy examples include the Krishna temple complex, Narasimha, Ganesa, Hemakuta group of temples, Achyutaraya temple complex, Vitthala temple complex, Pattabhirama temple complex, and Lotus Mahal complex.

Hampi Art Labs: An Architectural Marvel by Sameep Padora

Hampi Art Labs
(Image credits: Arts and Culture Magazine)

The acclaimed Mumbai-based architect Sameep Padora and his studio sP+a designed this art centre. Hampi Art Labs boasts a flowing and organic structure that harmonises with its natural surroundings. It was constructed using locally sourced materials such as soil, stone, and steel. In this manner, the building pays homage to the austere yet grandiose environment of Hampi.

The centre, an initiative of the JSW Foundation, promises world-class facilities for contemporary art creation. Set across 18 acres of landscape, it encompasses exhibition spaces, studios, apartments for residencies, gardens, and a café. Production facilities include workshops for printmaking, stone and metal sculpture, ceramics, and new media. These offerings give artists a platform to engage with the cultural and contemporary arts and crafts of the region.

An Inclusive and Cross-Disciplinary Approach To Artistic Support

Sangita Jindal (Image courtesy: Authindia)

Sangita Jindal and her daughter Tarini Jindal Handa founded Hampi Art Labs. It marks the next chapter in the JSW Foundation’s legacy of supporting the arts ecosystem in India. Sangita Jindal, the chairperson of the JSW Foundation, expressed her excitement about connecting contemporary art with heritage and nature. She stated that the centre drew inspiration from her affinity for the ancient city of Hampi.

Hampi Art Labs positions itself as an inclusive artist-first centre, fostering a cross-disciplinary approach to art-making. Tarini Jindal Handa, Managing Director of JSW Realty, emphasised the centre’s commitment to driving engagement with the region’s heritage and artisanal legacy alongside India’s contemporary arts scene.

Inaugural Exhibition: Right Foot First

The Right Foot First exhibition and an inaugural residency cycle will mark the opening of Hampi Art Labs in February 2024. It will showcase works from the Jindal Collection spanning 1998 to 2023 in the “Right Foot First” exhibition. The exhibition, focusing on interdisciplinary connections between artists across time periods and movements, sets the tone for future exhibitions that will feature new commissions and loans.

Hampi Art Labs: Cultural Links Across the Global South

Hampi Art Labs
(Image courtesy: ioArch)

Hampi Art Labs aims to create cultural links across the Global South through its residencies, programming, and collaborations with like-minded institutions. The education program will actively engage the local community and international visitors, offering learning activities and workshops for schools in the area.

As we eagerly await the unveiling of this groundbreaking arts centre, Hampi Art Labs stands poised to become a cultural destination, bridging the gap between the rich history of Hampi and the vibrant future of contemporary art in India.

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