Artist Residencies in the Indian Subcontinent

Artist Residencies in the Indian Subcontinent

  • Posted on: March 17, 2015
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By Ekta Niranjan

Art residencies are coming up all over South-East Asia. They provide artists with the opportunity to interact with various other artisans and live in a new home and to find new muses and inspirations to channel into their works. The increasing number of art residencies is indicative of art appreciation spreading among the masses.

Residencies can either be self funded or funded by an organization. There are many organizations offering residency scholarships for artists. For instance, the Samdani Art Foundation in Bangladesh offers young Bangladeshi artists a three-month residency at Delfina Foundation. Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation in India also gives opportunities to artists. The Gasworks International Residency has a programme through which they provides non-UK based artists residency in UK. The Fullbright Program, The Charles Wallace India Trust, Sanat Residency in Pakistan, Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre in Nepal, are organizations that provide grants or funded residency opportunities to artists.

We have tried to compile a small list of art residencies for young artists to explore!


Zorba the Buddha, New Delhi



This artist-in-residence programme aims at providing a spiritual atmosphere for the creative growth and inner exploration of individuals on an artistic journey. This residency is unique in the sense that it provides a spiritual ambience for its artists. The residency is based in New Delhi and is open to all artists albeit visual, literary, performing, design or otherwise. Eligible age to apply is 18.They offer residencies for a month to a period of two months for special projects. They charge USD 50 per day inclusive of the accommodation, meals (only vegetarian) and studio costs. They receive applications through out the year and the artists can start anytime they feel convenient.

Art Castle, Trivandrum



Art Castle is a non-profit organization for the promotion of contemporary arts. Its artist residency is open to artists of all media including visual artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers etc and the attempt is to provide creative and professional support services to emerging and mid-career artists. It is based in South India, in the city of Trivandrum. They provide accommodation and studio space and organize sightseeing trips. They will be doing five residency sessions in 2015, each lasting for about 40 days. Among their many facilities, a final exhibition at the end of the residency to showcase the artists’ works is also organized.

Carpediem Residency, Shimla and Kumarakom


Designed to provide a space to artists, writers and filmmakers a social environment away from daily routine and domestic obligations, it also opens up possibilities of reflecting on his/her body of work in conversation and interaction within a community of artists. This organization offers residencies in both Shimla in North India and in Kumarakom, Kerala in South India. Artists of all media are welcomed. They also offer a two-week photography camp for visual artist, wherein the participants would travel and stay in Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh.

Art Ichol, Khajuraoh and Bandhavgarh



The residency aims at providing a platform for artists to develop their existing skills, meet and be inspired by other artists, having a more global and trans-national experience. This residency is based in the central of India, between Khajuraho and the tiger reserve, Bandhavgarh. Minimum period of stay is one week and can go up to sixteen weeks. They have facilities for ceramic, metal, fiberglass and stone sculpting. Artists of all mediums are welcome. Art Ichol also offers a separate writers residency, not far off from the main residency site.


Bikalpa Art Center, Kathmandu



The center offers two residency sessions in a year. Each lasts about three months and the artist will have the opportunity to showcase his work at the end of it. They constantly engage their artists in workshops, activities, presentations and the like. Their residency is open to artists of all mediums. The studio space is provided free of cost. They do not offer accommodation, but do have a sister organization which can be contacted to make accommodations. Artists can fix up their own accommodations too. They will soon start operating an exchange program too for artists.

Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre



They rent out studio space to international artists. The money proceeds from this residency programme goes directly towards supporting Nepali artists with studio space, scholarships and other opportunities. Through The Nepali Scholarship Programme they award recent Nepali art graduates with studio residencies for four to six months. The Nepali scholarship artists get to work side by side with the international artists. The studio also offers mentoring, individual support and various other opportunities.


Sura Medura, Hikkaduwa


This centre is based in Hikkaduwa, on the south coast of the country. This residency can accommodate up to 10 people and can last for a minimum period of four weeks to three months. The center claims to be well connected with local and national artists. The residents will get an opportunity to exhibit their work at the end of the residency both in Sri Lanka and Scotland. Sura Medura is funded by IN SITU and Creative Scotland. Artists can also apply to them to get funding for the residency.


Porapara, Chittagong City


Porapara Space for Artists is an artist-based initiative aimed at providing a platform to young and emerging artists. The programme involves a cohesive interaction between the artist and the local community and a global community of artists. This residency is located in the southern part of Chittagong city. The artists need to apply two months prior their arrival. It is a residency for visual artist of all fields and art curators and researchers. The residents will get an opportunity to showcase their work at the city hall.


Sanat, Karachi


Based on the ideals of interaction between modern and contemporary art, the residency aims at providing artists with a space to interact with their environment and experience in context, and to conduct research. This residency is based in Karachi and is for about four weeks. They provide two residencies in a year. Accommodation, stipend, airfare/ train-fare/coach-fare into Karachi is provided by them. The artists are required to bear the cost of the materials and local transport during the residency. This opportunity is only for Pakistani artists and is open to various medium artists who are graduates. A group exhibition is held at the end of the residency.

Many of the residencies offer the artist a chance to interact with the locals by holding workshops and presentations for them. Most residencies also give their artist a chance to showcase their work at the end of their stay. Residencies are an excellent way for artists who want to breathe in a different world than theirs and wish to explore more.