Designed as an annual art writer’s award, an eminent, rotating jury consisting of art critics and curators is assigned the task of choosing an applicant who has demonstrated sustained commitment to research, conceptual frameworks and art history in their writing practice, as the recipient of the award. Applications are received via open call as opposed to nominations to ensure equal opportunity.

The chosen writer is awarded an international curatorial residency in partnership with our various collaborators around the world in order to help them demonstrate their critical acumen in curatorial research. This is part of PRAF’s emphasis on encouraging research, criticality and innovation within curatorial narratives especially among young/emerging curators.

This year, the recipient will be awarded a one month residency at Chateau La Napoule, the residency space of the La Napoule Art Foundation. Their research and writing during this time will ultimately lead to an exhibition curated by them in New Delhi. Residency costs including flights to France, accommodation, visa expenses and per diem will be covered on behalf of the resident.

We are have also initiated a partnership with Institut Francais to organize the Art Scribes Award.


1. Indian citizens under the age of 40 as on 31st May 2021 are eligible for consideration.
 
2. Work experience of at least 2 years in their respective fields.
 
3. The writer can only apply if he/she can attend a 30-day residency at La Napoule Foundation in March 2022.
 
4. The last date for receipt of submissions is 30th September 2021. Applications received after this date will not be considered. The organizers shall not be liable for failure or delay in receipt of entries. The entries should be electronically submitted to info@praf.in

The following supporting material must accompany every application:

1. a) Self attested photocopy/digital scan of passport.

  b) Writer’s bio-data.

  c) One color photo of the applicant, 2 x 2 inches or larger.

2. A PDF File containing the answers of the application questions and relevant documents is mandatory. This needs to be e-mailed to info@praf.in. An acknowledgement of receipt of entry will be sent to the email address of the applicant.

3. The Jury will decide the successful application.

4. The winner will be informed by e-mail or phone and his/her name shall be published on the website within a week of the announcement.

5. There is no participation fee.

6. The majority decisions of the Judges, and of the advisory committee on the interpretation of all rules and regulations of the prize, shall be final and legally binding. Reasons will not be given for any such decision and the jury and/or advisory committee will not enter into any correspondence regarding the merits of any decision.

7. At any time after an entry is accepted or after the award has been granted to any entry, if a majority of judges determine that the entry did not comply with the conditions of entry or eligibility, the award may be withdrawn from the writer.

8. Once the recipient has been declared it is mandatory for him or her to attend the residency for a 30-day period during the selected month.

9. Due to any circumstances if the recipient is unable to attend the residency the runner up will be eligible.

10. The recipient agrees to contribute to PRAF programming with a curatorial project developed from the exhibition proposal submitted as part of the application; the same will be in the form of a curatorial exhibition in New Delhi, a year after the residency. PRAF will cover exhibition costs amounting to rupees one lakh.

Partners

LA NAPOULE ART FOUNDATION

Marie Clews founded La Napoule Art Foundation in 1951 in memory of her husband, a prolific sculptor. It was her dream to create an international center for the arts at the Château that would promote cultural exchange and understanding. For over sixty years, LNAF has hosted performances, residencies and exhibitions at the Château de La Napoule by artists the world over. La Napoule Art Foundation offers time and space for creative minds to engage in cultural interchange and meaningful work that impacts the world of the common good.

www.lnaf.org

FRENCH INSTITUTE IN INDIA

French Institute in India as an institutional partner collaborates with the Art Scribes award by helping the award develop partnerships internationally and advice's the residency program based on the research interests of the recipient of the award.

www.institutfrancais.com

SHRINE EMPIRE

Anahita Taneja and Shefali Somani founded Shrine Empire in 2008. Since its inception, Shrine Empire has consistently focused on promoting artists from the South Asian region whose practices emphasize process, research, and conceptual use of media and material. The gallery’s programming has created a unique identity for the space through curated exhibitions and propositions, as well as commissioned projects which explore crossings between aesthetics and social/political concerns of its immediate context.

www.shrineempiregallery.com/

https://www.shrineempiregallery.com/

AMBASSADE DE FRANCE EN INDE

ART SCRIBES AWARD

ZEENAT NAGREE | LA NAPOULE ART FOUNDATION 2020

Zeenat Nagree winner of Pramya Art Foundation’s Art Scribes Award 2019-20, is an independent writer and curator. She studied art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus on the circulation of the concepts of indigenism and internationalism in India from the 1960s to 1980s. Nagree regularly contributes to Art India and Artforum among other publications and writes essays for exhibitions. She has recently curated projects at Mumbai Art Room, Clark House Initiative, and Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai. Nagree's practice is centred on the idea of writing with art rather than about art. She divides her time between Bombay and Montreal.

 

LA NAPOULE ART FOUNDATION

Marie Clews founded La Napoule Art Foundation in 1951 in memory of her husband, a prolific sculptor. It was her dream to create an international center for the arts at the Château that would promote cultural exchange and understanding. For over sixty years, LNAF has hosted performances, residencies and exhibitions at the Château de La Napoule by artists the world over. La Napoule Art Foundation offers time and space for creative minds to engage in cultural interchange and meaningful work that impacts the world of the common good.

For more information on the residency, visit: www.lnaf.org

SHAUNAK MAHUBANI | LA NAPOULE ART FOUNDATION 2019

Shaunak Mahbubani (they/them) is the winner of Pramya Art Foundation’s Art Scribes Award 2018-19. They are a curator and arts organizer, currently living in New Delhi. They primarily pursue projects under the series 'Allies for the Uncertain Futures’ initiated in 2016. This exhibition series is focused on exploring the possibilities of socio-political, ecological and techno-evolutionary futures through the lens of non-duality. They are interested in complicating boundaries between artwork and the viewer through participatory gatherings, diffusions, and the use of non-white cube spaces. Mahbubani has recently curated a solo exhibition of Seema Kohli’s works at Sundar Nursery (2019). They have received exhibition grants from apexart (New York) and the Inlaks Foundation, and were also a part of the inaugural 2017 edition of CISA (Curatorial Intensive South Asia) initiated by Khoj International Artist's Association and Goethe Institut Delhi. They have previously curated exhibitions and projects at TIER (Berlin); Embassy of Switzerland, Sunder Nursery, Goethe Institut, Kalakar Theatre (New Delhi); Mumbai Art Room (Mumbai); 1Shanthi Road (Bangalore); and TIFA Working Studios (Pune). They also make spatial interventions and new media work under the moniker ‘After Party Collective’ with Vidisha Fadescha, including ‘Queer Futures Potluck Party’ as part of Five Million Incidents (2019). Mahbubani was Curator, Programming at The Gujral Foundation 2017-18, and is Inlaks-ISCP NY Curatorial Resident 2020-21.

Shaunak attended a one-month residency in March 2019 at La Napoule Art Foundation and then curated an exhibition titled 'SEEDS ART BEING SOWN' at delhi, in September 2020.

 

LA NAPOULE ART FOUNDATION

Marie Clews founded La Napoule Art Foundation in 1951 in memory of her husband, a prolific sculptor. It was her dream to create an international center for the arts at the Château that would promote cultural exchange and understanding. For over sixty years, LNAF has hosted performances, residencies and exhibitions at the Château de La Napoule by artists the world over. La Napoule Art Foundation offers time and space for creative minds to engage in cultural interchange and meaningful work that impacts the world of the common good.

For more information on the residency, visit: www.lnaf.org

PREMJISH ACHARI | LA NAPOULE ART FOUNDATION 2018

Premjish Achari winner of Pramya Art Foundation’s Art Scribes Award 2017-18, is a curator, writer and translator based in Delhi. His translations have appeared in Indian Literature published by Sahitya Akademi. He has initiated an independent curatorial platform called Future Collaborations aiming at theoretically and politically informed curation. His exhibition "Things are vanishing before us" was part of the Curators Ensemble for Krishnakriti Festival January 2017. He has recently curated the show “A Preview to Desolation” at Italian Cultural Center in 2017. He has received the Inlaks: Take on Art Travel Grant for Young Critics in 2016. He is the Fellow for Curatorial Intensive South Asia (CISA) 2017 at Khoj International Artist’s Association. In 2018 he received the Art Scribes Award by Prameya Art Foundation for developing new curatorial paradigms. He is currently the Director-Outreach at Art1st Foundation and also a Visiting Faculty at Shiv Nadar University where he teaches art history and theory. He is pursuing his Ph.D. titled “Temple Arts of Medieval Kerala: Constructing a Regional Identity” from School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, India.

Premjish attended a one-month residency in March 2018 at La Napoule Art Foundation and then curated an exhibition titled 'TIME FOR FAREWELLS' at Delhi, in July 2019.

 

PREMJISH ACHARI'S WRITERS JOURNEY |  2017-18

One fine day I got a call from Anahita informing that I have been selected for the Art Scribes award. I was happy and at the same time also surprised that I got the award as it is one of the rare awards instituted to encourage art writers and curators in India. The award covered the flight tickets, a generous stipend, food and lodging for free an offer which one rarely gets in the current economic crisis art world is going through. I am really grateful to Prameya Art Foundation and Clews Center for the Arts/La Napoule Art Foundation for this amazing opportunity.

Very soon I was in France, visiting the old Chateau de La Napoule which was hosting me and the other residents who were part of the 2018 arts residency programme. I still remember the first day I reached in La Napoule. It was raining and it was silent everywhere. The sky was grey and in the next few days it started snowing. It was the first snow in 20-25 years which Mandelieu-la-Napoule had seen. and it was my first exposure to a snow fall. The landscape was highly surreal as on the one side there was the French Riviera and on the other side were the lofty Alps mountains. The Chateau located in front of the French Riviera dates back to 14th century and has since then witnessed many important historic events some of which had physically affected the castle. Its fate was changed in the 19th century when two American couple Henry and Maries Clews decided to buy it and settle there. The castle bears the marks of Henry Clews’s artistic impressions especially in the form of sculptures inspired from “oriental” animal figures. We were served served breakfast and dinner in the dining hall of this magnificent building. We ate, discussed, gossiped relishing the beauty of the landscape and the stained glass doors.

Some of the residents were allotted their studios and rooms in the chateau while some of us stayed in the villa next to the chateau. I too got a room facing the riviera but apart from that I was also allotted a studio space for myself. This was quite unexpected as a writer I never had a dedicated space for myself to sit and think. I took this as an opportunity to initiate a conversation with my fellow residents about what does a studio space mean to them. It opened a new set of thoughts about the idea of studio itself. This was one in the series of conversations which we all took part in. It was an enriching experience as they all were from diverse backgrounds.

I had applied for this residency and the award with an intention to further my engagement with art criticism and its history. Being in France meant that I could spend more time to explore the early history of art criticism by exploring the works of Diderot, Baudrillard, et al. and the role of Salons. Being in Southern France has many advantages. First of all it is a beautiful place with cities like Cannes, Antibes, Marseille, Nice, etc. nearby. I spent most of my time visiting Cannes and Antibes to see how the beauty of this landscape inspired a range of artists belonging to the Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist tradition. My focus shifted to studying the role of landscapes in French Art through a psychoanalytical perspective. I regularly visited the museums nearby to see the works of Picasso, Renoir, Manet, and also got the wonderful opportunity to see the works of Fluxus, Yves Klein, etc. In Marseille’s Mucem I was able to see a rare exhibition of Picasso’s costumes and a brilliant survey of the history of photo books. There we also saw the apartment complex Unité d'habitation designed by the famous Le Corbusier. During my stay for one month I could explore all these historically important sites, museums, cathedrals, islands, etc. and also develop my thoughts on art criticism. Some of the evenings I would go for a bicycle ride on the gorgeous Alps with my fellow resident artist Markus. The residency opened up avenues for me to think, write, read, explore and interact with artists on a daily basis. It gave me the time frame to think and work on the topics which I wanted to work for a long time. Also, La Napoule has become part of my memory forever. I am just waiting to return there some day.

 

LA NAPOULE ART FOUNDATION

Marie Clews founded La Napoule Art Foundation in 1951 in memory of her husband, a prolific sculptor. It was her dream to create an international center for the arts at the Château that would promote cultural exchange and understanding. For over sixty years, LNAF has hosted performances, residencies and exhibitions at the Château de La Napoule by artists the world over. La Napoule Art Foundation offers time and space for creative minds to engage in cultural interchange and meaningful work that impacts the world of the common good.

For more information on the residency, visit: www.lnaf.org

ADWAIT SINGH | LA NAPOULE ART FOUNDATION 2016

Adwait Singh winner of Pramya Art Foundation’s Art Scribes Award 2016-17 is an independent curator and theorist based out of New Delhi. Their works frequently weave in and out of areas of inquiry such as subjectivity formation, gender and sexuality, posthumanism, contemporary technogenesis and ecofeminism. Shortly after completing their Master's at Goldsmiths, they seized the opportunity to be a part of the Students' Biennale 2016 and have since facilitated different art projects and workshops for/with young artistic practitioners across the country for various non-profit organisations. Recent curations include 'Mutarerium' at the Mumbai Art Room that questions the terminology of the Anthropocene based on three more-than-human evolutionary timelines (Mumbai, 2019) and 'Caressing History' — a group show investigating the possibility of a body-based historiography for Prameya Art Foundation (New Delhi, 2018). They have been appointed as the curator of the 5th edition of the Mardin Biennial (2020).

As an art writer Adwait has been devoting his energies documenting and theorising independent exhibitions and alternative art practices.

Adwait attended a one-month residency in March 2017 at La Napoule Art Foundation and then curated an exhibition titled 'CARESSING HISTORY' at Delhi, in April 2018.

 

LA NAPOULE ART FOUNDATION

Marie Clews founded La Napoule Art Foundation in 1951 in memory of her husband, a prolific sculptor. It was her dream to create an international center for the arts at the Château that would promote cultural exchange and understanding. For over sixty years, LNAF has hosted performances, residencies and exhibitions at the Château de La Napoule by artists the world over. La Napoule Art Foundation offers time and space for creative minds to engage in cultural interchange and meaningful work that impacts the world of the common good.

For more information on the residency, visit: www.lnaf.org

ANUSHKA RAJENDRAN | THEERTHA CURATOR RESIDENCY 2014

Anushka Rajendran winner of Pramya Art Foundation’s Art Scribes Award 2013-14, is an independent curator and art writer. She was most recently the Assistant Curator for Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018. She is also Curator of Prameya Art Foundation [PRAF], a recently established not-for-profit arts organization committed to approaches that enable audience-thinking for contemporary art in India. She has conceptualised the programming of PRAF to search for new and engaged publics in India and experiment with non-traditional pedagogy for the arts. Formerly, as part of her long-standing position as Assistant Editor for the leading South Asian arts journal TAKE on art, she has curated and conceptualised outreach initiatives and programming for the publication, besides her hands-on editorial role.

As a research scholar, she is completing her PhD in Visual Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her ongoing research traces how the notion of “public” has acquired alternative significance to contemporary Indian art since 2004 for her dissertation “Where Lies the Public? Aesthetics of Social Engagement.“ Her research in the past focussed on the adoption of installation art by artists with established painting and sculptural practices in the early 1990s in India to address collective and personal trauma. This research culminated in an MPhil, as part of which she wrote “Installation Art in India: Preoccupations with Trauma.”

For her curatorial practice, she has been awarded fellowships that supported residencies with Aomori Contemporary Art Center, Aomori, Japan; the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York (by Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation); and Theertha International Artists’ Collective, Colombo (by PRAF). Her contribution as an art writer and editor was recognized in 2015 when she received the Art Scribes Award for emerging/mid-career art writers of Indian origin.

Anushka attended residency in 2015 atTheertha International Artists’ Collective, Colombo and then curated an exhibition titled 'WIT(H)NESS' at Delhi, in October 2016.

 

ANUSHKA RAJENDRAN'S WRITERS JOURNEY | 2014-15 

Theertha was my first experience of Sri Lanka. Having grown up in South India, the differences were hard to spot the second I stepped out of the airport. I could smell the ocean. That was familiar. The streets were clean. That was pleasant. The sun was bright after a cruel winter back home.And the air was fresh after theseasonal Delhi smog.I stepped into the taxi that was to take me to Red Dot Gallery.

I was not armed with extensive research on the country or its art, only a preliminary overview. It had all happened rather suddenly. Within just days of being informed that I had received the Art Scribes Award, I was told that I had to be in Colombo in just over a week’s time. I was excited, but I was also recovering from a viral infection of epidemic proportionsand heartbreak of minor proportions. While I was unwell, work had piled up. Tying uploose ends before embarking on a month long residency was myfocus. Always at fault for being too ‘studied’ about everything, I was almost relieved that I was going to have to take things as they unraveled.

Theertha seemed just as relaxed about my little visit. There were no expectations. I had liberty over my time. I could work at my leisure – peppered with blissful cups of tea, brief trips around the city, pleasant chitchat with those who kept popping in and out of Red Dot and piping hot meals that were familiar enough to be comforting and exotic enough to be exciting. Having juggled mountain-loads of work between my day job and my research for years in New Delhi, I had almost begun to wonder – if I hadn’t already signed up for all that I did, would I have kept going anyway? In a land where everyone seemed to take it easy, I felt like I was expected to kick in the breaks, grind to a halt and lose myself in a time warp. In the thickness of the humid air circulated by pedestal fans, caught in the flux of a language I could almost pretend to understand, and the community haze of Gold Leaf, I had my answer.

Soon enough, I realized that I was not just bobbing about the time warp like a lost plank of wood in the deep sea. It had its own logic and I had neatly slid into its groove.Organically, a routine took form from the apparent randomness. Friendships, which I knew immediately that I would hold on to, were struck in instants. I discovered lovely little spots around the city that I could comfortably slip into and occasionally disappear in, as I am prone to. And in the middle of all of this, I began to notice myself voluntarily piling reading material on Sri Lankan art upon myself, and scheduling studio visits. It felt a bit like I was on a treasure hunt, or playing detective. I unlocked clue after clue in every encounter, every conversation, every book. Sri Lankan art and culture was an adventure. And a personal one at that. It was a journey guided by friendly exchanges over dinner with the Theertha artists, conversations at various studios that felt brief but had actually gone on for hours and books I mostly picked up while browsing arbitrarily in the office/adda that was Theertha.

The first couple of weeks were spent suspended in the bustle of the impending Performance Platform. And the last two weeks whirling from meeting to meeting amidst the lethargy of an entire group of people recovering from it. Moving counter to the general mood worked for me rather well.During the event, and the days leading up to it, I could benefit from quietly observing the workings of an artist-run space and meet Colombo artists that I might never have been able to get to know otherwise. And then, while they took a breather, I was able to go about formally organizing all that I had picked up, identify and fill in the gaps within that body of knowledge, and leverage my skills to make sure I could do justice tothe warm allowances of Shrine Empire Gallery and the hospitality of the TheerthaCollective.

The Performance Platform gave me the opportunity to be an outsider and insider at the same time. I was witness to the process behind it enough to be informed, and distanced enough to still experience it as an involved spectator. I was looking forward to writing about performance art, since I was a designated writer at the event. I was delighted to be able to interact with the artists who were part of it consistently throughout the project, and get their insights on art, life, the weather, and of course, the city I was just about getting accustomed to. It turned out to have been a good time to visit Colombo. Besides the Performance Platform, there was so much else going on as well – exhibitions opening in most galleries around the city, artist talks, a symposium at the Sri Lanka Archive of Art, Architecture and Design in Jaffna that I travelled to…

By the end of my stay, Colombo had become a context that was pleasantly comfortable, and not merely because I was used to it. Oddly enough, it’s the little things that I miss most about the city – short distances to almost anywhere, the friendly vibe, the gossip, midnight strolls on empty streets, knowing that the sea is just a hop away. A few weeks after I was back to my life in New Delhi, one evening I was strangely homesick for Colombo. I wrote to a friend back there, and he laughed it off – “Colombo has that effect on its visitors”. I am glad to have caught that bug.

 

THEERTHA INTERNATIONAL ARTIST COLLECTIVE

Theertha International Artists Residency is a program, which facilitates artists internationally and locally to come together to exchange their knowledge and cultural experiences in a situation of sharing. One of the main objectives ofthis project is to provide a forum for artists to explore new ideas respondingto the local situation/environment.

PAROMA MAITY | RED GATE RESIDENCY 2012

Paroma Maiti winner of Pramya Art Foundation’s Art Scribes Award 2011-12. She is an editor with a leading publisher house in Kolkata, India. She has developed an interest towards writing stories for children.

Paroma Maity attended Red Gate Residency in 2012.

 

PAROMA MAITI'S WRITERS JOURNEY | 2012 

Vacation or exile – on the first day of my Residency in Beijing, China – I was left floundering for an answer to that dilemma. A new place, an alien language, a freezing climate, no friends and a huge apartment all to myself, left me yearning for home, my room, my people and the comfortable warmth of familiarity. But as the first day gave way to the second, and the sun peeped in de rigueur on the third day as well, my empathies with Napoleon in St.Helena gave way to a happier, charged up and dynamic sense of liberation, confidence and enthusiasm.

The fact that I had won this Residency on my own merit, for whatever it was worth, began to sink in; as did a sense of pride and achievement that dovetailed seamlessly with that of humility and gratitude. Most importantly, it instilled a sudden and focused sense of purpose – which in turn reinforced the idea of belonging in a world, which I had always considered myself to be an outsider to: the world of the visual arts.

Slowly, I made friends with my fellow Residents – artists, researchers and curators – who had come in from different parts of the globe, bringing to the table, myriad experiences that held me in enthrallment then, as it continues to do now. Since there were no strict impositions on me as the Art Scribes Winner with regard to my duties and functions while a Resident, I was completely free to explore the city and its larger cultural scape at my own time and will. And what I did discover in course of this geographical pursuit, turned more to be a journey of self-discovery and introspection.

First with friends and then on my own, I discovered, aside from a host of art galleries, museums and institutions scattered across the city, two entire districts dedicated to the sole and active cultivation of the arts in its widest connotation: Caochangdi and 798. While the former is a comparatively somber and staid district, the latter used to be a factory area that has today been converted into a space committed exclusively to the pursuit of the arts. The old factories have been kept just as they were, with only its insides converted into exhibitionary spaces that showcase everything from the traditional to the avant-garde, from the orthodox to the outlandish. And whose works should I have been blessed to witness in one of these galleries from up, close and personal? Why, Louise Bourgeoise’s, of course! It was the moment of self-gratification for me!

798, however, is not just the sum of its components. Every nook and corner, every wall and bin reeks of creativity. Graffiti and installations have been put up at the most unobtrusive of places, silently advocating art for art’s sake, not for its material recognition. Yes, there is censorship, sometimes of the most obsessive and oppressive varieties, but to regard the modes to transcend them through the weapon of art, merely as cheeky, would be a gross misreading. It’s intelligently subtle and dodgily in-your-face. This is what makes it all that more difficult to club all the artistic practices in China today into one homogenous category.

In my course of stay there, I made friends – for life, is what I would like to believe! Some of them were artists, part of the Residency, who magnanimously opened up whole new avenues for me, leaving me in complete awe. Others, I met in course of my stay there – the friendly housemaid who taught me how to operate the washing machine; the chauffeur, who came in long after his duty hours on a freezing night just to help me out when I had callously locked myself out in an alien city; and of course, Zehui – Director of the Residency, who patiently sat through my illnesses, attacks of anxiety and everything else in between!

The city grew on me, one night at a time. Every evening, I’d walk down the Sanlitun Bar Street and be enamoured by the warmth that could be produced even in negative temperatures, merely on the merit of human camaraderie! The seller of that single-beamed neon torch who let me use his stream of green light as an intangible rope to quench my juvenile fantasies, will remain in my memory with the flash of his nicotine stained teeth! Wangfujing – the food street – surprised and appalled me, in equal measures, with the sheer variety of sights and smells; one that can easily be viewed as a work of art in itself! No, really, once over my initial sense of shock, I came to appreciate the loving tenderness with which creatures were marinated, displayed and served – creatures I’d grown up reacting with an instant ‘yuck’ to!!!

I remember, the night I was flying out from India to Beijing was to be the one-month anniversary of my marriage; and when I looked all around me as I sat waiting for my flight – all forlorn and already homesick – I saw a bunch of Chinese men and women, happy and eager to go ‘home.’ By the end of my Residency in Beijing, as I once again sat waiting for my flight back to Calcutta, I looked all around me to find a people in whom, over the last one month I had found my home: A people warm, friendly and remarkably easy to get along with. People whom I had gotten used to in course of my daily visits to the neighbourhood Jingkelong Supermarket; attendants at the subway station right next door; my immediate neighbours and their yelping puppy – whose untimely barks kept me company through cold nights; the man at the convenience store downstairs who became used to keeping a packet of local cigarettes ready the moment he saw me enter; and of course, every contour of my own apartment at Tuan Jiehu. Every single article of use, every lamp, every cushion, every book, every flake of snow on the window-pane in that house I came to regard as home, today stands silent witness to my days and nights within its precincts.

My first impression of the house was a scene straight out of a Wong Kar Wai movie; today, keeping much with the bizarre vision of the filmmaker, I wish I had arms large enough to give that home a hug tight and warm enough to drain away its last icicles of memory pangs. This was more than a Residency – it was a homecoming.

 

RED GATE RESIDENCY

Red Gate Residency is an international artist residency program, providing artists, curators, writers, and academics with the opportunity to live and create work in China. Their objective is to provide facilities for artists/writers to easily start their projects and offer a community in which they can participate as much as they like.

As a member of RES ARTIS, the International Association of Residential Arts Centres, they are committed to the promotion of multicultural art dialogue within an immersion setting.

Red Gate assists all participants to connect with the art scene, meet local Chinese artists and to source art materials. They provide the necessary support and encouragement to help participants get the most out of their stay here.

This year, the recipient will be awarded a one month, all expense covered residency at Chateau La Napoule, the residency space of the La Napoule Art Foundation. This will ultimately realize in an exhibition in New Delhi.

OINDRILLA MAITY SURAI | GWANGJU MUSEUM OF ART 2011

Oindrilla Maity Surai the winner of Pramya Art Foundation’s Art Scribes Award 2011, is an independent curator, and research scholar, pursuing her Ph.D. in Culture Studies from Visva -Bharati, Santiniketan, India. She has curated quite a few exhibitions since 2007 that addressed contemporary moorings; regional struggles; problems of migration and dislocation; mediatic practices and the challenges that artists face and cope with in the regional-global continuum. She is a regular contributor to most art magazines that are published from the country and has been at the editorial desk for quite a few. She was selected for the Curatorial Programme at Khoj International Artists' Association, New Delhi in 2010 and was invited by the Gwangju Metropolitan Museum of Art for a research residency on contemporary art in Gwangju in 2011. She won the Art Scribe Award, 2010 and attended the Gwangju Biennale International Curators' Course, 2012. 

Oindrilla attended residency in 2011 Gwangju Museum of Art.

 

OINDRILLA MAITY SURAI'S WRITERS JOURNEY | 2011 

First impression: Gwangju, the city of lights

9th September: I arrived at Seoul and took a bus to Gwangju. What first caught my sight is the uniformity of colours in Korean life and culture. The same colour palette of pale brown, off white, black, gray and rarely traversed by shocking pink. Everything including cars, buildings and people and dresses. I found out the reason not until I visited the folk art museum the other day.

Everything in Korea seems to be inspired by nature. The harmony, the balance, the design, contemporary architecture. Only a nation surrounded with mountains and the sea can probably do it. Koreans know the art of effective designing and a touch of aesthetic prevails everywhere – starting from the bathroom door latches to the tiny corner of the windows – where there will be a tiny pot of flower placed in the order of the Golden Section.

Gwangju is the main centre of art and the city museum really spares no chance to inform its people and especially children about art. I was taken aback to see children sitting at a long table painting and putting their works up on the board with cut-outs of Joseph Beuys, (the museum is having a retrospective on him now) with finally stamping them with facsimile seals of Beuys’ famous Free International University. Yes that is how a responsible city museum does for its people.

 

GWANGJU MUSEUM OF ART

Gwangju Museum of Art is built as a public art museum to support artistic professionals. It was the first public art museum in the Gwangju area, opening on August 1st, 1992. The existence of numerous painters in Gwangju explains why Gwangju is called the home of art.

The Gwangju Museum of Art has studios that are designed as working spaces for young talented artists and others, the museum also features various programs such as exhibitions, seminars, and artist exchange programs. The studio space is 46m2.

This program is designed for discussing works, engaging in discourses and information exchange and forming personal networks.

THE JOURNEY 2017-18 BY PREMJISH

One fine day I got a call from Anahita informing that I have been selected for the Art Scribes award. I was happy and at the same time also surprised that I got the award as it is one of the rare awards instituted to encourage art writers and curators in India. The award covered the flight tickets, a generous stipend, food and lodging for free an offer which one rarely gets in the current economic crisis art world is going through. I am really grateful to Prameya Art Foundation and Clews Center for the Arts/La Napoule Art Foundation for this amazing opportunity.

Very soon I was in France, visiting the old Chateau de La Napoule which was hosting me and the other residents who were part of the 2018 arts residency programme. I still remember the first day I reached in La Napoule. It was raining and it was silent everywhere. The sky was grey and in the next few days it started snowing. It was the first snow in 20-25 years which Mandelieu-la-Napoule had seen. and it was my first exposure to a snow fall. The landscape was highly surreal as on the one side there was the French Riviera and on the other side were the lofty Alps mountains. The Chateau located in front of the French Riviera dates back to 14th century and has since then witnessed many important historic events some of which had physically affected the castle. Its fate was changed in the 19th century when two American couple Henry and Maries Clews decided to buy it and settle there. The castle bears the marks of Henry Clews’s artistic impressions especially in the form of sculptures inspired from “oriental” animal figures. We were served served breakfast and dinner in the dining hall of this magnificent building. We ate, discussed, gossiped relishing the beauty of the landscape and the stained glass doors.

Some of the residents were allotted their studios and rooms in the chateau while some of us stayed in the villa next to the chateau. I too got a room facing the riviera but apart from that I was also allotted a studio space for myself. This was quite unexpected as a writer I never had a dedicated space for myself to sit and think. I took this as an opportunity to initiate a conversation with my fellow residents about what does a studio space mean to them. It opened a new set of thoughts about the idea of studio itself. This was one in the series of conversations which we all took part in. It was an enriching experience as they all were from diverse backgrounds.

I had applied for this residency and the award with an intention to further my engagement with art criticism and its history. Being in France meant that I could spend more time to explore the early history of art criticism by exploring the works of Diderot, Baudrillard, et al. and the role of Salons. Being in Southern France has many advantages. First of all it is a beautiful place with cities like Cannes, Antibes, Marseille, Nice, etc. nearby. I spent most of my time visiting Cannes and Antibes to see how the beauty of this landscape inspired a range of artists belonging to the Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist tradition. My focus shifted to studying the role of landscapes in French Art through a psychoanalytical perspective. I regularly visited the museums nearby to see the works of Picasso, Renoir, Manet, and also got the wonderful opportunity to see the works of Fluxus, Yves Klein, etc. In Marseille’s Mucem I was able to see a rare exhibition of Picasso’s costumes and a brilliant survey of the history of photo books. There we also saw the apartment complex Unité d'habitation designed by the famous Le Corbusier. During my stay for one month I could explore all these historically important sites, museums, cathedrals, islands, etc. and also develop my thoughts on art criticism. Some of the evenings I would go for a bicycle ride on the gorgeous Alps with my fellow resident artist Markus. The residency opened up avenues for me to think, write, read, explore and interact with artists on a daily basis. It gave me the time frame to think and work on the topics which I wanted to work for a long time. Also, La Napoule has become part of my memory forever. I am just waiting to return there some day.

2021-22

Aveek Sen

Independent Writer, Teacher, and Collaborator in the Arts

2019-20

Hemant Sareen

Writer & Editor

Helene Guenin

Director of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Nice

Nancy Adajania

Culture Theorist and Independent Curator

2018-19

Bhavna Kakar

Editor & Publisher for TAKE on Art; Gallery Director, Latitude 28

Shuddhabrata Sengupta

Artist and writer, and member of Raqs Media Collective

Nancy Adajania

Culture Theorist & Independent Curator

Girish Shahane

Critic & Curator

Helene Guenin

Director of the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art

2017-18

Nancy Adajania

Culture Theorist & Independent Curator

Kunal Ray

Teaches literary and cultural studies at FLAME UNIVERSITY in Pune and regularly writes on art and culture for The Hindu

Girish Shahane

Critic & Curator

Baiju Parthan

Artist & Writer

Bhavna Kakar

Editor & Publisher for TAKE on Art; Gallery Director, Latitude 28

2016-17

Anshuman Dasgupta

Art Historian and Curator

Baiju Parthan

Artist & Writer

Bharati Chaturvedi

Environmentalist and writer

Bhavna Kakar

Editor & Publisher for TAKE on Art; Gallery Director, Latitude 28

Nancy Adajania

Culture Theorist & Independent Curator

2014-15

Diana Campbell

Curator and Artistic Director, Dhaka Art Summit

Suresh Jayaram

Curator and Educationist and Founder of 1Shanthiroad, Bangalore

Sadanand Menon

Art Writer and Educationist

Pushpamala N

Artist

Bhavna Kakar

Editor & Publisher for TAKE on Art; Gallery Director, Latitude 28

2012-13

Baiju Parthan

Artist and Writer

Bhavna Kakar

Editor & Publisher for TAKE on Art; Gallery Director, Latitude 28

Ranjit Hoskote

Cultural Theorist, Writer and Curator

R. Siva Kumar

Art Historian

Sadanand Menon

Art Writer and Educationist