Resources > Sandarbh
18 Aug 2014


Sandrabh is a context for experimenting with artistic processes, and exploring new modalities of viewership and public participation in art. Sandarbh finds its inspiration in the ethos of rural India, and draws its name from Hindi, a language widely spoken in several dialects in North and Western parts of India.

In Hindi, Sandrabh literally means:
- Context [for art in a diverse contemporary]
- Reference [to villages, small towns, and peri-urban landscapes]
- Relation [with new publics, and artists]

Initiated by Chintan Upadhyay, Sandarbh began in 2003, as a ten-day residency workshop in Partapur, a town in the Vagad district of Western Rajasthan in India. The participating artists were friends and acquaintances of Upadhyay, and Partapur was chosen as a site primarily because it is Upadhyay’s home-town and he was particularly keen to share his work, ideas, and life as an artist, with his extended family and community. The first workshop led to regular residencies and programs, usually based in and around Partapur. Since its inception, Sandarbh has hosted more than 250 artists from India and abroad.

Sandarbh is a context for artists to meet, and initiate creative processes in non-studio, and non-gallery spaces. It forms a platform for people from villages and towns around Partapur to meet artists from other places, and participate in artistic dialogue through workshops, and other non-formal interactions. Sandarbh has very close links to non-governmental and non-profit organizations working in the Vagad district. One of them being Beneshwar Lok Vikas Sansthan [BLVS].

Sandarbh is entirely managed and run by volunteers comprising of a network of artists, and students searching for alternative platforms for creating and sharing of work. It sustains itself from the direct participation of people of the local areas, as well as artists, art critics, and cultural thinkers from other regions in India and abroad. Groups and individuals in Partapur assist Sandarbh in many ways – often providing infrastructural support and facilities for residencies and workshops. Local families, school children and social groups with artistic concerns, are able to participate in Sandarbh’s programs through a dynamic, socially engaging, and participatory process.



Sandarbh hosts several residencies each year. Some of the key objectives of Sandarbh’s Artist-in- Residence initiative are:

  1. to support young and emerging artists

  2. to enable creative encounters between publics and artists

  3. to create new publics for art

  4. to facilitate local and international interaction through art