Abirpothi

India’s only daily art newspaper

Immersive Art and Environmental Consciousness Converge at Asia’s Highest Land Art Show: Sā Ladakh II

The stunning scenery of Disko Valley Bike Park in Leh, Ladakh, provided the setting for Asia’s highest modern land art group show, Sā Ladakh II, which took place from June 1st to June 11th. Artists from all over the world came together for this one-of-a-kind event to produce and exhibit pieces that complement the area’s natural beauty, fusing the two arts in a breathtakingly beautiful way. Titled “The Future of Immersive Land Art / Immersive Land Art and the Future” for 2024, this event promises an exhilarating blend of creativity, culture, and environmental consciousness.

Building on the tremendous success of its inaugural edition in August 2023, recognized as one of the leading global exhibitions integrating cultural and natural elements and fostering a more expansive and conscious art community, sā edition two has established new standards in immersive art experiences. With a thematic focus on “climate optimism,” sā aims to spark meaningful dialogues and actions towards a sustainable future.

Work by Christian Robert-Tissot / Sa Ladak

This year’s edition boasts an enriched lineup of site-specific art installations and sculptures meticulously crafted from locally sourced discarded, renewable, or reusable materials. In addition to showcasing breathtaking artworks, the event features engaging school outreach programs, curated artist film screenings by the Dharamshala International Film Festival, and groundbreaking immersive contemporary performances.

Sā edition two has garnered prestigious support from the European Union National Institutes for Culture 2024, further solidifying its global impact and significance. It is one of only 19 projects worldwide to receive their support. This year’s lineup featured diverse talented artists, including Manisha Gera Baswani, Kunzes Angmo, Tsetan Angmo, Zarina Parveen, Kundan Gyatso, Stanzin Tsepel, Tsering Youdol, Urgain Zawa, Li, Viola Borden, Doyel Joshi, Neil Ghose Basler, Omaggio Performing Company, Margherita Moscardini, Raghav and Ansh Kumar, Angelina Kumar, Ramon De Marco, Ikshit Pande, Jasmeet Dhillon, and Laurent Ziegler. “To work at a height over 3,600m with so many thought-provoking artists and collaborators is an uplifting experience in promoting dignity, environmental protection and dialogue.

Glaceir’s Retreat – Stanzin Tsepel / sā Ladakh

A unique collaboration with the Austrian public arts institution, the museum in progress adds an international dimension to the exhibition through its ‘Raising Flags’ series. Alois Herrmann and Kaspar Mühlemann Hartl, who head the museum, shared, “Raising flags is an outdoor project constantly changing and expanding at different locations. The wind makes the flag artworks visible, while simultaneously, the flags reveal the movement of the wind. This creates an unusual art experience within public spaces.” The series features works by renowned artists such as Minerva Cuevas, Shilpa Gupta, Samson Kambalu, Agnieszka Kurant, Christian Robert-Tissot, Eva Schlegel, Grazia Toderi, and Erwin Wurm.

Adding to the innovative lineup, Royal Enfield is supporting an Artist Residency dedicated to sustainable textile art for the first time. As part of its CSR initiative, Royal Enfield Social Mission’s textile conservation project, the Himalayan Knot, is an ongoing collaborative effort to bring together Himalayan communities, conservation specialists, craftspeople, and designers to conserve pastoral lands, safeguard the living heritage, and preserve local livelihoods. In line with this commitment, the art residency encourages collaboration between a textile artist and local practitioner, highlighting Ladakh’s rich fibre culture.

Jungwa 5 by Urgain Zawa / sā Ladakh

“Royal Enfield’s Social Mission works with over 50 Himalayan communities, primarily youth, to build resilience in communities and landscapes in light of climate change. Art is a powerful medium through which to hear their voices. Since the idea of self-expression lies at the heart of the Royal Enfield brand, it is an important platform to see narratives of climate optimism from the youth unfold through sustainable textile art,” says Bidisha Dey, Executive Director of Eicher Group Foundation.

Monisha Ahmed, founder of the Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation (LAMO), said, “It is exciting to see the second edition of sā take place in Ladakh. This comes at a crucial time in the region, as dialogue around land and environment and its focus on community and culture is growing. Through Sā, focus art practices from Ladakh and their relevance to this wider discussion.” The visionary trio behind sā – Ladakhi rock climbing pioneer Tenzing ‘Jammy’ Jamyang, Austrian-Sri Lankan interdisciplinary artist Raki Nikahetiya, and Indian Spatial Designer Sagardeep Singh – embody the event’s ethos of mindful art creation, community engagement, and environmental stewardship.

Raki Nikahetiya expressed their vision, stating, “sā is an ongoing proof of concept, with an attempt to mindfully create art with the limited resources at hand, understanding the carrying capacity of a region, raising awareness on climate optimism, while providing value for the community, the next generation and widening a transboundary network and dialogue – we are continuously learning together.”

The second edition of sā was an immersive and thought-provoking experience, celebrating creativity, culture, and sustainability in the breathtaking landscapes of Leh, Ladakh. The initiative is in association with Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation (LAMO), Disko Valley Bike Park, Local Futures, The Crashpad, Black Sheep Media House, Pluc.TV with support from the European Union National Institutes of Culture, Royal Enfield, German Embassy New Delhi, Austrian Embassy and the Austrian Cultural Forum New Delhi, Alliance Française New Delhi, The Italian Cultural Centre New Delhi, Embassy of Switzerland in India and Pro Helvetia New Delhi, Tsas by Dhokar, Dhoomimal Gallery and Gallery Espace as part of a transboundary dialogue.

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