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  • Jan 19, 2024

Weekly News Roundup: January 19, 2024

From left to right: portrait of MANU PAREK, MADVHI PAREKH, and KARISHMA SWALI in conversation at the artists’ studio, 2023. Courtesy Chanakya Foundation.

Plans for a “Cosmic Garden” in Venice

The Mumbai-based nonprofit Chanakya Foundation will stage the exhibition “Cosmic Garden” at the 60th Venice Biennale in April, marking Chanakya’s first presentation in Venice. The exhibition will feature paintings and sculptures by New Delhi-based artists Madvhi Parekh and Manu Parek, both of whom take inspiration from Indian myths and ancestry. With the support of Chanakya creative director Karishma Swali and 320 artisans from the institution she cofounded, Chanakya School of Craft, the artists will also exhibit hand-embroidered artworks that reimagine their paintings and sculptures through traditional, three-dimensional textiles. In doing so, the exhibition interrogates hierarchical divisions between art and craft, forging a new artistic language that celebrates India’s rich cultural history and artisanal legacy. Curated by Rome-based art historian and curator Maria Alicata and Paola Ugolini, a curator at the In Between Art Film Foundation in Rome, “Cosmic Garden” is one of the first projects of the official Collateral Events program to be selected for the Venice Biennale. The exhibition will be held at Salone Verde – Art & Social Club and run from April 20 to November 24, 2024.

Left to right: UMEDA TETSUYA, photo by Tanaka Chihiro, and OH HAJI, photo by Kioku Keizo. Courtesy Tokyo Arts and Space.

Tokyo Contemporary Art Award Announces Winners 

On January 18, Tokyo Arts and Space (TOKAS) named Japanese performance-installation artist Umeda Tetsuya and Zainichi-Korean textile artist Oh Haji as winners of the fifth Tokyo Contemporary Art Award (TCAA), which provides an initial USD 20,200 stipend, as well as up to USD 13,500 to support artists’ international pursuits over a period of three years. The selection committee chose Umeda for his “poetic and lyrical” multidisciplinary work, which incorporates “meticulously crafted, intimate mechanisms” that allow audiences to easily connect with the exhibition space. Oh was selected for her “intersectional approach,” which interweaves individual stories “often overlooked in grand historical narratives” to forge complex, research-based tapestries. Established by TOKAS and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2018, the TCAA aims to bolster midcareer artists based in Japan over several years. Along with monetary support, an award exhibition will be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) at the end of the second year, while a monograph will be published at the end of the third. An awards ceremony and symposium will be held on February 17 at MOT. 

Deep Space Future venue at the West Bund Museum in Shanghai, 2023. Courtesy Ars Electronica. 

Deep Space Future Opens in Shanghai

Ars Electronica Solutions, an Austrian company related to the media arts group Ars Electronica and specializing in developing interactive and multisensory experiences for temporary and permanent event spaces, opened a new Deep Space venue at the West Bund Museum in Shanghai on December 23, 2023. Deep Space Future is a showroom that features wall and floor projections, adorned with eight high-resolution laser projectors, and offers more than ten applications in dazzling 8K resolution. The space will enhance traditional mediums such as music, theater, and painting through the use of cutting-edge technologies to create a venue where users can experience, as managing director of Ars Electronica Solutions Michael Mondria stated: "Gliding through the universe with ease or playfully wandering through a world of colors and shapes—Deep Space is a place with soul and for all the senses.” Ars Electronica’s Deep Space is also present in other countries, including at Cubo Negro in Mexico and the multimedia hall in the Das Morgen hotel in Switzerland. Deep Space’s opening in Shanghai marks its third venue and since its China debut it has welcomed 15,000 visitors in the first three weeks.

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