23. November 2018
Inspired by the abundant natural environment and the rich heritage of the local Mayan culture, AZULIK introduces the new trans-disciplinary site AZULIK Uh May in the heart of the jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula
A multi-faceted and flexible complex, AZULIK Uh May will encompass an array of creative spaces, including an innovative art space, a lab dedicated to fashion and design, an arts and crafts school, a state of the art recording studio as well as residencies for artists and innovative thought leaders from a diverse range of fields.
Founded by social entrepreneur Roth (Eduardo Neira), AZULIK Uh May will expand upon the vision reflected in his ecologically inspired resort AZULIK Tulum and the adjacent art space IK LAB Tulum:
“AZULIK Uh May will encourage and favor the encounter of the finest spirits of our times committed to exploring new forms of reconnecting as individuals and as a community alike, united by the shared desire to learn from the native tribes to live in harmony with the environment and to help them navigate the challenges of contemporary life under the aegis of art in a myriad of manifestations.”
The opening ceremony on November 30 will focus on sharing, developing and implementing ideas and projects to embrace and protect the environment and further the harmonious coexistence and mutual dialogue of ancient and modern communities. A charity auction will be held to raise funds for the arts and crafts school supported by ENCHANTING TRANSFORMATION, the foundation created by Roth.
The auction will showcase demi-couture fashion pieces from AZULIK’s sustainable in-house fashion brand, Anikena, presented in the form of a Mayan moon ritual. The auction will also include artworks by artists collaborating with IK LAB, the opportunity to participate in masterclasses with acclaimed guest teachers and a series of bespoke experiences from AZULIK. All proceeds will go to support the development of the arts and crafts school on site.
In addition to the special ceremony on November 30, the launch of AZULIK Uh May will feature the opening of the inaugural exhibition at IK LAB Uh May on December 1. Curated by ClaudiaPaetzold,IKLAB’sArtisticDirector,Conjunctionswillbringtogetherworksby Ernesto Neto, Paulo Nazareth and Oskar Metsavaht.
Ernesto Neto’s oeuvre explores the fundamental structures of the natural and social realms, creating an immersive experience prone to redefining the boundaries between the viewer and the work, the individual and the community, and the material and immaterial spheres. Every Tree is a Civilizing Entity (2016) embraces the visitor in an intricate canopy of delicately woven cotton crochet, while Healing House (2016) offers a cathedral-like space for recollection and meditation. Honoring his joint indigenous and African heritage, Paulo Nazareth explores the idea of artists as connectors through his performances, which reveal and record a subtle network of interrelatedness between individuals and communities sustained by ancestral wisdom. Oskar Metsavaht’s immersive light tunnel features projections inspired by the ceremonial markings of the Ashaninka tribe, offering viewers the opportunity to reconnect with their innermost self through a metaphorical journey.
AZULIK Uh May continues to demonstrate Roth’s commitment to preserving and integrating the environment through carefully considered choices of both materials and techniques. The anthropomorphous structures, characteristic of his architecture, appear to naturally arise from the ground and are connected with each other through floating bridges and meandering paths. Among the first of the structures is a 16-meter-high concrete and bejuco dome with a cupola crowned by the Flower of Life – a geometrical shape composed of overlapping circles arranged in a flower like pattern – while its base unfolds according to the proportions of the fibonacci sequence. Adjacent thereto lies Roth’s new home, which provides a privileged space for encounters and gatherings.
“AZULIK Uh May captures the soul of the location and has been carefully designed to preserve and embrace the local ecosystems. The construction process is mindful of the carbon footprint and not a single tree has been cut to make space for the buildings, instead the structures embrace the existing vegetation.” – Roth
At the heart of AZULIK Uh May, a school focusing on the universal language of art and craft will bring together the local Mayan population, artists in residence, international students and scholars. Through a shared experience of creativity, the school will foster and develop the sense of belonging in a community.
AZULIK Uh May will moreover encompass medical facilities that integrate Western medicine and millennia-old Mayan healing practices, as well as a research kitchen and restaurant that will explore, preserve and honor the healing virtues of ancestral Mayan culinary wisdom.
Throughout 2019, AZULIK Uh May will continue to develop a program to support its current facilities, evolving and expanding to include an art museum composed of pavilions housing site-specific installations, a recycling and sustainability research center and a hub for new technologies.
Images: Courtesy of AZULIK Uh May