KHOJ also known as KHOJ, International Artists’ Association is a non-profit organisation established to support contemporary art and emerging artists in South Asia. It is based out of New Delhi, India. KHOJ was founded in 1997 by artists like Anita Dube, Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, Manisha Parekh and Pooja Sood, who is also currently its Director. The studio premises are located in Malviya Nagar in Delhi.
KHOJ started as an annual workshop in 1997 founded by Ajay Desai, Anita Dube, Bharti Kher, Subodh Gupta, Prithpal Singh Ladi, Manisha Parekh and Pooja Sood, collectively known as the ‘working group’. Led by artists, it was an initiative for artists by artists. With a non-Euro-American approach in its cultural discourse of art, KHOJ started as a platform for dialogues within art from South Asian, Latin American and African countries. The cooperative structure of KHOJ is modelled on various workshops held in the UK and Africa which were supported and guided by the Triangle Arts Trust, based in London.
The first international workshop, coordinated by Ajay Desai, took place in 1997 with twenty-two artists from India and countries like Cuba, Kenya, Namibia, Austria, Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Supported and guided by Robert Loder of Triangle Arts Trust, Dayawati Modi Foundation and Eicher Gallery, Delhi, the two-week workshop took place in Sikribagh, situated on the edges of Modinagar, an industrial town north of Delhi, which remained its venue for the annual workshops for the next five years. In India, when art was still reserved for the institutional confines of galleries, KHOJ 1999 workshop produced some new language with performance art by artists like Subodh Gupta from India, Michael Shaonawasai from Thailand and Song Dong from China.
Known for providing an alternate forum for experimentation outside of institutional frameworks, KHOJ started first of its kind, ‘itinerant’ workshops. The first ‘itinerant’ workshop was held in Mysore, Karnataka in 2002 which was followed by KHOJ Mumbai in 2005 and KHOJ Kolkata in 2006. These workshops were organised by artists who had experienced KHOJ workshops earlier. In 2007, KHOJ organised KHOJ Kasheer in Lalmandi, Srinagar, the first international art project to be held in Kashmir since 1947.
With the help of Robert Loder, KHOJ set up its studio building in Khirkee Village, near Malviya Nagar, New Delhi in 2002.
Khoj International Artists’ Association is a not- for-profit, contemporary art organisation based in New Delhi, which provides physical, intellectual and financial support for artists and creative practitioners. Through a variety of programmes including workshops, residencies, exhibitions, talks, and socially engaged projects,
Khoj has built an international reputation as an outstanding alternative arts incubation space. Since its inception in 1997, Khoj has developed itself as a unique art lab, and has supported the experimentation of many leading Indian and International artists. It plays a central role in the advancement of experimental, interdisciplinary, and critical contemporary art practice in India– constantly challenging the established thinking about art and art-making. By bringing together a diverse range of artists and art practices, Khoj aims to facilitate change and awareness of vital global issues and concerns through active and engaged audience participation.
Khoj aims to connect creative practitioners and catalyze interdisciplinary collaboration and experimentation to create new possibilities of art and art-making. It also seeks to build networks and informed audiences who engage critically with contemporary art in India. In its uncompromising commitment to support creative thinking by building an institutional infrastructure in India for making, exhibiting and researching contemporary art, Khoj is creating a unique legacy for the future.