A good friend of mine opened a new art gallery in Delhi (yes, that’s in India), called art-jhuggi which is innovative in two ways. For one thing, he started an art gallery from nothing and in his living room – outside the usual art-world mechanisms. This reminds me of Seattle’s Billy Howard who started Howard House gallery in the 90s from his living room for lack of available and affordable venues. In India, this kind of DIY behavior is apparently seen as curious and noteworthy.
The second cool thing about the art-jhuggi concept is the focus on artists and art practices that rise out of displacement, global cultures clashing, and which are made from a new breed of “found” object derived from living in transition. These found objects are not the happenstance of early Modernism. They are necessities carved out of whatever you can find to build your art and express creativity even amidst hardship and homelessness.
The first show at art-jhuggi is by Hassan Al-Saidi, an Iraqi artist who has lived in exile in India for over a decade. Matters of Art has a great online gallery of his collages pieced together with scraps from magazines, maps and drawings.