KHOJ INTERNATIONAL ARTIST ASSOCIATION
New Delhi, 1997
A group of artists and art practitioners came together to conceive an incubation space for independent ideas; and thus, in 1997, in Sikribagh, on the edges of Modinagar, an industrial town north of Delhi, was born Khoj: an annual artist workshop, led by Ajay Desai, Anita Dube, Bharti Kher, Manisha Parekh, Pooja Sood, Prithpal S Ladi, and Subodh Gupta.
From Annual workshops, Khoj evolved into a non-profit, contemporary arts organisation which provides a financial, physical and intellectual space for artists through its various programs; aiming to connect creative practitioners and catalyze interdisciplinary collaboration and experimentation to create new possibilities of art and art-making. Through a variety of programmes including workshops, residencies, exhibitions, talks, and community art projects, Khoj has supported the experimentation of many leading Indian artists.
Some of these artists have also aided in the creation of ‘itinerants’ of Khoj across the country, with chapters in Mysore (2002), Mumbai (2005), Kolkata (2006), and even Kashmir (2007) [ in Lalmandi, Srinagar, the first international art project to be held in Kashmir since 1947.]
With the help of Robert Loder, KHOJ set up its studio building in Khirkee Village in New Delhi in 2002.
Among its residencies, the most prominent ones are International Residencies: Initiated (2000 – ); Peers: an annual student residency (2003 – ); and Curatorial Residency (2005 – ). Khoj has also been instrumental in setting up various collectives and collaborative projects like: Periphery (Guwahati), CAMP (Mumbai), and 1 Shanthi Road (Bangalore).
With a focus on building such networks, developing alternative pedagogies, and learning through collaboration and exchange, Khoj programmes have created unconventional synapses between art and disciplines such as science, architecture, music, gaming, performance, community, and fashion. Khoj facilitates change by encouraging artists and audiences to engage with vital concerns such as ecology, sustainability and community participation.