A new contemporary art gallery set to open in Tulum, Mexico, is a fitting addition to the wellness-and-spirituality-loving beachside town. Set within the grounds of the eco-friendly Azulik resort, space boasts a truly unique character: its walls are curved, its floors undulate, and its massive glass windows and doors are circular, like new moons.
Every surface is covered with saplings and vines, sourced sustainably from local jungles, or swaths of smooth faux-concrete whose texture recalls the interior of a shell; living trees and plant life sprout from walls, the ceiling, and the floor.
The experience demands mindfulness—you must be barefoot inside, and if you’re not careful, you could lose balance, or worse, trip over a work of art. This unconventional approach to a gallery space is all by design, however.
The gallery is the brainchild of Azulik founder Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel, who is also a self-taught architect, and gallerist-slash-art advisor Santiago Rumney Guggenheim (great-grandson to Peggy).
IK LAB opens with a show titled “Alignments,” with works by Tatiana Trouvé, Artur Lescher, and Margo Trushina— and its debut proves just how unlike other contemporary art galleries space aims to be.
“We are challenging the artists to make work for a space that doesn’t have straight walls or floors—we don’t even have walls really, it’s more like shapes coming out of the floor. And the floor is hardly a floor.”
IK LAB’s program (which also extends to a domed structure on the grounds of Azulik, a few minutes walk from the main gallery), will foreground inspiration and creativity, inviting artists to respond to the eco-friendly venue and tap into Tulum more broadly, while accepting the daunting challenge of creating work that sings in such an idiosyncratic space.