The 2023 group-show edition at the Sculpture Park in Jaipur will open on February 26 and will run until November 1, inviting a dozen artists, both from India and abroad.

Pro Helvetia New Delhi is part of the Swiss Arts Council’s worldwide network of liaison offices. It supports and disseminates Swiss arts and culture in South Asia by promoting cultural exchange. Noted Swiss visual artist Karim Noureldin is currently on an ongoing residency. Akshay Pathak, Head, Pro Helvetia New Delhi is very excited to have Noureldin. “Karim Noureldin has been to India several times. His work in textiles, for example, is clearly influenced by Rajasthani tools and techniques, reflecting how he collaborates and engages meaningfully,” rejoices Pathak.

Karim Noureldin. Photo by Andreas Zimmerman.

Noureldin studied at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste Zurich and graduated at Hochschule für Design und Kunst Basel HGK/University of Art and Design Basel. Based in New York from 1994 – 2001, he relocated after 2001 to Rome, 2005 to London and later Cairo. Noureldin currently lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland. Working in the field of drawings, photos, paintings, textile, ceramics as well as large site-specific installations in a variety of public and private environments, international museums and contemporary art galleries, he also collaborates regularly on numerous artistic projects with a younger generation of Swiss architects.

Akshay Pathak, Head Pro Helvetia, New Delhi.

Noureldin first visited India in 2016. “While starting to develop textile-based artworks, I found a producer and agent, Devendra Singh, of Rajput Arts based in Jaipur, Rajasthan. I wanted to meet this professional contact and see the production first-hand. Our relation evolved in a mutual collaboration and friendship between skilled artisans in the area around Jaipur. This is when I also came up with ideas of bespoke artworks done in the traditional weaving method of Panja, based on cotton. I have been going back each year since,” recounts Noureldin.
It was the strong connection with India that he felt which prompted him to apply for the residency. “I felt I had a strong connection with India and applied and received a grant for a 3-months stay in 2020. My residency is planned in 3 parts; the first is based on cultural research while mostly staying in Mumbai and Jaipur and which I just completed. I will be back in India in early February to participate in an upcoming group show by New Delhi based curator Peter Nagy who, since 2017, organizes ambitious art exhibitions entitled ‘The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur.’ The third part of my residency will take place in August 2023, when I plan to visit places in South of India like Chennai, Kochi and Bangalore and finalise a planned publication, showcasing photos and probably a text, by an Indian poet or writer,” reveals Noureldin.
The 2023 group-show edition at the Sculpture Park in Jaipur will open on February 26, 2023 and will run until November 1st, inviting a dozen artists, both from India as well as internationally-based. “I plan to develop several artworks and installations, which all will be produced and made on site in India. We plan to showcase a large textile based object shown in one of the main halls of the exhibitions spaces, a group of ceramics I will specially conceive for the show and which we will install in several areas of the Madhavendra Palace and two suspended metallic sculptures installed in a room as well as in an open courtyard, hanging sculptures loosely based on the Diwali lamps I have been inspired from. These artworks will be produced this Fall and I am currently supervising the production as well as the choice of materials, colors and design,” reveals Noureldin.
Noureldin used the time during the pandemic for work and reflection. “It wasn’t an easy time for everyone, wasn’t it? Things in the world of art world stood momentarily still but it started again since and frankly, besides the geopolitical shift we are experiencing now in the world and which probably has a strong impact, the art world continued again like nothing changed. I used the time during the pandemic for work and reflection and came out relatively unharmed. However, my Pro Helvetia New Delhi Artist in Residency was delayed. I started this year only; the pandemic postponed it for two years, since we initially planned it for 2020,” recounts Noureldin.
A multifaceted artist who has worked the world over, Noureldin believes that change is inevitable. “Changing paradigms are not only related to art and neither are the emerging challenges limited to the field of art. It’s a worldwide phenomenon and people are affected in a variety of ways, depending on cultures and situations, be they social, cultural or economic. The art world indeed got bigger and today we do have a multicultural scene of artists from all over the world and where, thanks to communication and networks, both information and exchange is easier. I look at it as highly positive and it changed a lot for me and most others working in arts or creative culture,” opines Noureldin.
Noureldin stresses upon the need to never give up. “Making art is a long and slow process and also, a lifelong path. There is no instant fame and success and recognition can take long. One should never forget that doing art is also personal research, an expression, a passion and making art is foremost a way to see, experience and express ourselves and the world. As a young artist it is also important to understand one can’t make a living from it immediately so any other profession might help to build a life, enabling also making art, contacts and maybe later, also a base for a living, even though it’s not guaranteed,” explains Noureldin.
He further adds, “Art also has its own microsystem of how it is structured, and I cannot stress enough the importance of art galleries and art dealers, who often give a chance to get a first show or project, sometimes before an art institution or cultural venue is interested in us. I therefore stress the importance of not only visiting museums and cultural venues for information, building contacts to advance one’s own artistic knowledge and also establishing a network and have access to the arts by visiting and establishing contacts to art galleries, of which India has several of high quality—it’s important and useful for any artist’s career path.”
Pro Helvetia New Delhi supports residencies of artists from Switzerland to South Asia, and of artists from South Asia artists to Switzerland. Recently, they celebrated 15 years in South Asia region at their new office in Qutub Institutional Area. “Through this artistic exchange, we hope to foster long-term relations between Switzerland and the South Asian region. Each visit to India deepens Karim Noureldin’s connections with the subcontinent. We look forward to his collaboration also with the Sculpture Park in Jaipur next year,”
sums up Pathak.