Aas Paas - Nearby… was an exhibition curated by the Center for Arts Based Methodologies and Wellbeing Team at Nani’s Ghar (The space inhabited by the CFAW team). Ingo Giezendanner is a renowned Swiss artist who is interested in capturing the urban space with his pen and paper.
Ingo’s work is based on his daily life interactions, things that we often miss in our fast paced lives. Ingo instead stops to observe these scenes, and witness its fantasticality.
It was an incredible experience for us to host him at Nani’s Ghar as the Artist-in-Residence and watch him turn the whole neighborhood into his canvas. We learned to look at the neighborhood through his eyes as he brought in his everyday drawings to share with us.
Over the 3 weeks we also saw him acclimatize himself with the challenges that the city threw at him, and as he slowly built relations with these obstacles and then later friendships with the locals who shared these challenges with him. Within this friendship there was a wondrous exchange as he absorbed the local food and language and gave back through his art.
The title of his exhibition came out of this relation Ingo had with the neighborhood. Aas Paas - Nearby… gives a sense of closeness which is more than physical, it is a kind of familiarity which comes intuitively.
When we first started conversing about the possibilities of an exhibition, we unanimously agreed that art needs to be taken out of the four walls of galleries and be made more accessible to the people. Ingo’s work especially spoke to be shared with the neighborhood, the muses themselves.
Ingo took the initiative of painting the mural for them, to leave it as his parting gift. The spot he chose was the wall adjacent to a local dhabba he frequented, on his way back from his adventures, to rest and have a cup of chai. As a token of his gratitude he also left a little chai mural on their wall too. As for the works that were displayed within Nani’s Ghar, Ingo actively participated in their curation and was supported by our team.
The day of the exhibition was rewarding for all the stakeholders. Ingo’s work was very well received by all the spectators, a very well-deserved celebration of Ingo. Nani’s Ghar was animated as it was ideally envisioned, a communal place for celebration of beauty. Kashmiri Hotel received a very welcomed influx of customers hosted by Ingo and the team of CFAW. Lastly, the quirky neighborhood of P.E.C.H.S. Block 2 received another art amongst its beautifully adorned art deco houses.