A luxury eco-hotel on the Caribbean coast isn’t where you’d usually expect to find a contemporary art gallery. But at Azulik – a resort in Tulum comprising 48 wooden villas for ‘nature lovers, honeymooners and those looking to reconnect with themselves’ (there’s no electricity, and no children allowed) – you will find avant-garde artworks in the heart of the Mexican jungle.
Opened in April this year, the multi-functional arts space Ik Lab is the brainchild of architect Eduardo Neira (better known as Roth), with an artistic programme coordinated by Paris-based art advisor Claudia Paetzold. Built sustainably, using local, organic materials – including bejuco (a local brown-hued vine known for its flexibility), chechen (resistant to rotting and termites) and chaca tree wood – Ik Lab’s construction was informed by the techniques and craft of the Mayan ancestors who once inhabited the land in the area.
Medicinal practices and cuisine were among the Mayan methods researched extensively by Neira over a decade and seeks to preserve at Azulik. The curving lines, slopes and voluminous forms of the space were also inspired by the topography of the area, and a protective fibreglass canopy protects the structure from rain while letting the natural light through.
‘Configurations’ is the current exhibition (running until 31 January 2019) and brings together artists Gabriel Rico, Katinka Bock and Guillaume Leblon, whose practices are intertwined with the ancient metaphysical approach. Sculptures rise from the earth, swing in the air and appear as if from nowhere, moving in a rhythm not unlike the wildlife that still scurries by underfoot. Indeed, the idea of the exhibitions at Ik Lab is to allow the viewer to enter the space ‘as if it is a living organism’, experiencing the art and nature as if they were one.
At the end of the month, Neira and Paetzold will unveil their latest project, a new centre in the jungle for art, fashion and music: Azulik Uh May. The space will include a school and a state-of-the-art recording studio, as well as an additional exhibition space, all connected by floating bridges and meandering paths, and keeping the anthropomorphous structures seen at Ik Lab. Ernesto Neto, Paulo Nazareth and Oksar Metsavaht have created immersive installations for the grand opening on 30 November.
‘Configurations’ is on view until 31 January 2019. For more information, visit the Ik Lab website
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila KM 5
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Charlotte Jansen is a journalist and the author of two books on photography, Girl on Girl (2017) and Photography Now (2021). She is commissioning editor at Elephant magazine and has written on contemporary art and culture for The Guardian, the Financial Times, ELLE, the British Journal of Photography, Frieze and Artsy. Jansen is also presenter of Dior Talks podcast series, The Female Gaze.
BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA brings Esther Mahlangu’s art to life at Frieze LA
BMW’s Art Car Project has rarely impacted on the company’s everyday business of building cars. With the BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA, could all that be about to change?
By Jonathan Bell Published
This Walter S White house in Indio is given a new lease of life
This Walter S White house in Indio, California, has been redesigned for the 21st century by Sean Gaston
By Hadani Ditmars Published
The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 celebrate UK’s rising creatives
Here are The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 winners, spanning theatre writing, jazz composition and regenerative design
By Tianna Williams Published
Edinburgh Art Festival 2023: from bog dancing to binge drinking
What to see at Edinburgh Art Festival 2023, championing women and queer artists, whether exploring Scottish bogland on film or casting hedonism in ceramic
By Amah-Rose Abrams Published
Last chance to see: Devon Turnbull’s ‘HiFi Listening Room Dream No. 1’ at Lisson Gallery, London
Devon Turnbull/OJAS’ handmade sound system matches minimalist aesthetics with a profound audiophonic experience – he tells us more
By Jorinde Croese Published
Hospital Rooms and Hauser & Wirth unite for a sensorial London exhibition and auction
Hospital Rooms and Hauser & Wirth are working together to raise money for arts and mental health charities
By Hannah Silver Published
The best London art exhibitions to see now
Your guide to the best London art exhibitions, as chosen by the Wallpaper* arts desk
By Hannah Silver Published
‘These Americans’: Will Vogt documents the USA’s rich at play
Will Vogt’s photo book ‘These Americans’ is a deep dive into a world of privilege and excess, spanning 1969 to 1996
By Sophie Gladstone Published
Brian Eno extends his ambient realms with these environment-altering sculptures
Brian Eno exhibits his new light box sculptures in London, alongside a unique speaker and iconic works by the late American light artist Dan Flavin
By Jonathan Bell Published
Asim Waqif creates dense bamboo display at the Hayward in London
The Bagri Foundation Commission, Asim Waqif’s वेणु [Venu], opens at the Hayward Gallery in London
By Cleo Roberts-Komireddi Published
Forrest Myers is off the wall at Catskill Art Space this summer
Forrest ‘Frosty’ Myers makes his mark at Catskill Art Space, NY, celebrating 50 years of his monumental Manhattan installation, The Wall
By Pei-Ru Keh Published