Kalhath Institute

Residency brief

The Kalhath Institute, established in 2016, is the brainchild of Maximiliano Modesti, a craft entrepreneur based out of Mumbai and Paris - and was co-founded by Mohammed Amine Dadda. Kalhath is a training centre for the artisans of Lucknow and its surrounding areas, and offers a ‘Residency Programme’ that is one-of-a-kind, in that it facilitates the seamless blending of the world of art and craft through a collaborative exercise between the artist and the artisan with the use of a plethora of natural materials, ranging from silk and cotton thread to jute and the like, retaining their distinctive characteristics.

The craftsmen on the Kalhath team are specialists in hand embroidery. Their craft covers the techniques of Zardosi, Ari, and a host of others, passed down through generations of craftsmen. The residents are encouraged to utilize the artisanal resources at Kalhath for the duration of their residency in an environment that is symbiotic in nature. In the recent past, Kalhath has had artists such as T. Venkanna and Pierre Roy Camille – supported by the French Institute in India – create artworks with their artisans.

  • Thematic focus Arts & Crafts (textile, embroidery)
  • LocationLucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Dates October 2023 - March 2024
  • Length of stay 2 months minimum

Our Space

Char Bagh area, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)

Lucknow, the golden city of the east, has been celebrated for its magnificent historical heritage and handicraft. Regarded as one of the multicultural cities of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow has always been at the forefront in promoting art and craft, be it Chikankari, Zardozi or Zarbuland. Today, Lucknow is home to skilled artisans who create some of the finest handicrafts famed across the world.

Kalhath is strategically located in a heritage bungalow in the Char Bagh area of Lucknow in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Our Laureates

July Ancel Plastician

India is a destination I have been thinking about for a long time. Fascinating : its folklore, traditions, symbols, spirituality and legends resonate in my mind. I dream of this trip. I am sure that it is essential, at this time in my life, to bring substance to my artwork and to inspire new images that I would like to create in collaboration with karigars textile artisans.

July Ancel studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Winning prestigious prizes led her to spend time in China, Mexico, Thailand and Turkey. She has been awarded a scholarship from Casa Velazquez, the Antoine Marin Prize and the Yishu Prize8. These journeys have helped to assert her identity as a painter and shaped her relationship to painting. Her "nomadic painting" is ambiguous and plural, infused by myths and symbols. She approaches painting as a ritual space, her compositions are based on gestural intuitions, everyday observations and combinations of thought. Her work can be found in major private collections in China, France and South America.

Yassine Balbzioui Plastician

Through my work, I am going to play a game of "ping-pong" with the craftsmen: I start a drawing - ink interventions on the fabric - then the artisans embroider it, and I transform the drawing again, and so on throughout the creative process. The starting point is a bestiary that is half human half animal, freely inspired by fairy tales, but also by the history of Lucknow city, as well as its embroidery techniques.

Yassine Balbzioui is a Moroccan multidisciplinary visual artist. Born in 1972, he graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-arts in Casablanca and Bordeaux. Essentially a painter and drawer, Yassine Balbzioui has developed, in a neo-expressionist vein, a body of works of great formal and semantic richness, in which the representation of human animality, most often in the guise of a mask, intersects with the notions of derision, idiocy and grotesque. While everyday life remains his main source of inspiration, which is constantly transformed by his artistic gaze, Yassine Balbzioui also incorporates a wide range of fields in his creations, from cinema - Z series and horror films - to theater and dance, tales and legends, etc. Yassine Balbzioui has exhibited his work all over the world: Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid (Moroccan Trilogy), 13th Dakar Biennial, Manifesta 13 in Marseille, Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth, MACAAL Marrakech...

- Yassine Balbzioui Plastician