david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale

a first look at KNMA museum building by Sir David Adjaye

 

On May 20th, 2023, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), designed by the renowned Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye in collaboration with S. Ghosh & Associates, will unveil an architectural model of its upcoming building, set to open in Delhi in 2026 and serve as India’s largest cultural center. The preview will take place during the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Lesley Lokko. 

 

An installation showcasing the model will be presented as part of the Curator’s Special Projects, to coincide with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new museum in New Delhi. The exhibition, titled ‘Mnemonic,’ explores the theme through artworks from the museum’s collection by prominent Indian artists Tyeb Mehta (1925-2009), Zarina (1937-2020), and Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990). Additionally, contemporary filmmaker Amit Dutta’s film, ‘Touch AIR (2023),’ will accompany the presentation.

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
architectural model of the new KNMA | all images courtesy of David Adjaye Associates and KNMA, unless stated otherwise (head image by Timothy Casten)

 

 

About Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA)

 

Founded in 2010 by Kiran Nadar, one of India’s prominent art collectors, KNMA stands as a pioneering private museum dedicated to exhibiting modern and contemporary artworks from India and the subcontinent. With a collection of over 10,000 pieces, the museum draws inspiration from the region’s rich cultural history. The upcoming KNMA location, sprawling over 100,000 sqm near the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, will serve as an international cultural destination for visual arts, music, dance, and theatre. This new space will enable the museum to showcase a greater portion of its collection at any given time, hosting ever-changing exhibitions, permanent displays, and captivating performances. Currently situated in New Delhi and Noida, the expansion to a larger, state-of-the-art facility signifies KNMA’s commitment to becoming a premier global hub for artistic expression.

 

‘KNMA provides an opportunity to embolden the rise of contemporary Indian art, releasing a new cultural offering for both the people of India, as well as for the wider global arts landscape. Its location in Delhi–one of the oldest cities in the world with a lineage of habitation that stretches to the 6th century BCE–gives new context to its position as a dynamic, living cultural force. As such, its specific location within the city directly influences the new building’s form, rhythm and landscape.’ shares Sir David Adjaye (find more here)

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
the new space will host ever-changing exhibitions as well as permanent displays

 

 

communicating the rich creativity of india

 

KNMA’s installation in the Arsenale explores the intricate relationship between memory and the museum, specifically referencing the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, which shattered a unified sense of place and identity. Tyeb Mehta, a first-generation post-colonial artist in India, frequently conveyed the unspoken pain and historical weight of the Partition through his recurrent use of diagonal lines. Within the installation, three images from the KNMA collection are featured: ‘Untitled (Woman on Rickshaw)’ from 1994, ‘Mahishasura’ from 1994, and ‘Kali’ from 1997. Zarina, an artist renowned for her geometric abstractions in prints and sculptures, as well as text-based works, contemplates themes of home, memory, and displacement. Additionally, contemporary filmmaker Amit Dutta draws inspiration from Nasreen Mohamedi’s personal writings and distinct singular vision. Mohamedi, an artist fascinated by architectural forms, practiced a minimalistic style of monochrome abstraction, employing only lines and working with graphite and ink on paper.

 
‘Our presentation at the Biennale Architettura 2023 communicates the rich creativity of India. The Venice display spans subcontinental history and brings to the fore how the newly built space of KNMA will be a place for cultural discovery and diverse conversations. At the heart of KNMA is the notion of giving back to society, preserving treasures of the cultural past and nurturing a young generation of creative practitioners and thinkers, while bridging the gap between art and the public.’ comments Kiran Nadar, Founder and Chairperson of KNMA (find more here).

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
the expansion to a larger, state-of-the-art facility signifies KNMA’s commitment to becoming a premier global hub for artistic expression

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
the exterior of the museum is characterized by geometric forms and perforated patterns

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
triangular nooks adorn the facade of the museum | image by Timothy Casten

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
the museum design features an indoor garden | image by Timothy Casten

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
the building is enveloped by open public spaces and vegetation | image by Timothy Casten

david-adjaye-model-knma-museum-india-venice-architecture-biennale-designboom-full-width

side view of the model | image by Timothy Casten

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
multiple levels, passageways and and balconies complete the structure | image by Timothy Casten

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
the building incroporates planted balconies and gardens | image by Timothy Casten 

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
exhibition view at the Venice Architecture BIennale 2023 | image by Timothy Casten

david adjaye unveils plans for india's largest art and culture center at the venice biennale
exhibition view at the Venice Architecture BIennale 2023 | image by Timothy Casten

 

 

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Kali by Tyeb Mehta | image courtesy of Tyeb Mehta
Kali by Tyeb Mehta | image courtesy of Tyeb Mehta
Falling Bird by Tyeb Mehta | image courtesy of Tyeb Mehta
Falling Bird by Tyeb Mehta | image courtesy of Tyeb Mehta
Mahishasura by Tyeb Mehta | image courtesy of Tyeb Mehta
Mahishasura by Tyeb Mehta | image courtesy of Tyeb Mehta
Untitled (Woman on Rickshaw) by Tyeb Mehta | image courtesy of Tyeb Mehta
Untitled (Woman on Rickshaw) by Tyeb Mehta | image courtesy of Tyeb Mehta
still from Touch AIR (2023) | image courtesy of Amit Dutta
still from Touch AIR (2023) | image courtesy of Amit Dutta
still from Touch AIR (2023) | image courtesy of Amit Dutta
still from Touch AIR (2023) | image courtesy of Amit Dutta
still from Touch AIR (2023) | image courtesy of Amit Dutta
still from Touch AIR (2023) | image courtesy of Amit Dutta
still from Touch AIR (2023) | image courtesy of Amit Dutta
still from Touch AIR (2023) | image courtesy of Amit Dutta

project info: 

 

name: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) new building
architect: Sir David Adjaye in collaboration with S. Ghosh & Associates
location: Delhi, India

 

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