ArtBeings is Preeti Chandrakant's magnum opus-in-progress in the field of conceptual art

Being ArtBeing, Published, 2016, Switzerland

Zurich and Mumbai based Preeti Chandrakant is the first artist worldwide to create living works of art: ArtBeings. Underlying Preeti Chandrakant‘s ArtBeings project, which was started in 2002, is the maxim “Everyone is a Potential Work of Art”. The publication BEING ART BEING Face to Face with Truth, documents for the first time her pioneering work in the field of conceptual art. A distinctive design concept by Zurich art book designers Baumgartner & Annaheim reflects the ephemeral, immaterial nature of this work. The book features a commentary by Zurich University of the Arts art historian Jörg Scheller, as well as an interview with the artist.

imessage questions from ArtBeings to the Artist - Being ArtBeing, 2016

Artist and ArtBeings, Rishikesh, India, 2016

From Preeti Chandrakant's notes - The Trajectory

Talk to me - India Art Fair, Delhi, 2012

Rooftop Day happening, Zurich, 2016 - Artist’s Instructions to ArtBeings

Art appraising art

IG Halle, Switzerland, 2016

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, 2014

The making of an ArtBeing

In numerous international happenings since 2002, Preeti Chandrakant has invited participants to the adventure of becoming a living work of art, an ArtBeing.
Over a hundred such happenings—some of which lasted up to six days and five nights—have already taken place in different countries, with more than a thousand participants. Those who are willing and ready to be sculpted by the artist, undergo an instruction process, after which they are declared ArtBeings.
The art form ArtBeing arises out of the communication and interaction between artist and participant. The artist engages them in subtle and intense transformative processes which through sense intensifying techniques and trainings sculpt them into living works of art—ArtBeings.

Want to transform into an ArtBeing? Want to meet the ArtIst? Drop us an email at info[AT]

'In the 20th century Joseph Beuys said: “Everyone is an artist”. In the 21st century I say: ‚Everyone is a potential work of art‘. Anyone willling to be sculpted, will undergo a process of instruction, before being declared an ArtBeing.’

Preeti Chandrakant

ArtBeings ‘for sale’ at the India Art Fair

Text from Wikipedia

In June 2011, at the Art Basel, Preeti Chandrakant first unofficially displayed her living works of art. In January 2012, she created quite a controversy at the India Art Fair, when she issued a call to collectors and institutions, to go down in the history of art, as the first ever collector of an ArtBeing.

Ostensibly up for sale at the India Art Fair were six humans who had been sculpted by Chandrakant in interactive happenings and could be purchased packaged, insured, displayed, resold, and auctioned.

The six ArtBeings mingled with curious and sometimes shocked visitors, conversing with them about the process of sculpting they had undergone, and the philosophy and technology underlying this new art form.

With this seminal work, Chandrakant ­raises vital questions about freedom. She wryly comments on the commodification of art and the art world’s focus on permanence, draws attention to the human being as a potential work of art, and introduces a new format for artists to explore. ‘It’s about shifting the interest from object to human’ she remarks.

Press Release, 2012


ArtBeings No. 12, No. 10 und No. 4

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, 2014

Press release exhibition FACE TO FACE, IG Halle, Rapperswil, Switzerland, 2016


Preeti ­Chandrakant focuses on the liberation from social and cultural imprints. She compares the ArtBeing to a statue, from which the layers of pigeon droppings accumulated over decades are chiseled away — until the true and original form emerges. Those who are willing to be sculpted by the artist, don’t have to fear being deformed into an object of the artist’s imagination — instead they face the true nature of their being. An ArtBeing is not only “art” but also ­“being”. The transformation brough about by the artist has tangible effects on the life of an ArtBeing and its environment. This art form is not about performance. It’s about living life as a work of art.

Curator places the ArtBeings on its pedestal, Kunst(Zueg)Haus Rapperswil, 2016

'In fifty years, maybe sooner, most artists will have stopped creating cumbersome objects. Galleries, museums and private collections will be alive with art that breathes.’

Preeti Chandrakant - 2010

ArtBeings No. 3, No. 10 and No. 22 in interaction with visitors

Criteria a collector must fulfil before being permitted to purchase, resell or auction an ArtBeing.

  1. A prospective collector of an ArtBeing has to have almost mastered the emotion of jealousy.
  2. A prospective collector of an ArtBeing must be ready to allow an ArtBeing to teach her or him things she or he doesn‘t know.
  3. A prospective collector of an ArtBeing has to be able, at will, to switch on the experience of almostdetachment to any of her or his material or immaterial posessions.
    (More criteria in the next book.)

The above mentioned criteria are subject to the degree of compassion—for both ArtBeing and prospective purchaser—that the artist can conjure up at the time of negotiation. The artist therefore reserves the right to change, modify, add, remove or otherwise alter the above criteria at her sole discretion.

Preeti Chandrakant

ArtBeings No. 10, No. 12 and No 3 whispering Preeti Chandrakant’s edictums, Rooftop Day happening, Zürich, 2016

Before becoming an ArtBeing, an ArtBeing becomes an ArtBecoming.

ArtBecoming, 2007 till present
Transformation on human

'In order to prevent ArtBeings from identifying too strongly with any attribute, including their numbers, numbers will be re-issued soon'

Preeti Chandrakant - 2016

ArtBeing No. ??, 2014 till present
Transformation on human

ArtBeing No. ??, 2012 till present
Transformation on human

ArtBeing No. ??, 2009 till present
Transformation on human

ArtBeing No. ??, 2003 till present
Transformation on human

ArtBeing No. ?? & No. ??, 2007 till present
Transformation on human

Want to know more about
Maharishikaa Preeti

Selected Chronology Preeti Chandrakant


ArtBeings and Time Pieces

2018 IG Halle Rapperswil, Switzerland, Happening – Maharishikaa Preeti shows you how to die!
2016 IG Halle Rapperswil, Switzerland, FACE TO FACE, group exhibition
2014 Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, India
2012 India Art Fair, New Delhi, India
2011 Art Basel (inofficial pop-up-intervention), Basel, Switzerland
2010 Art Basel (inofficial pop-up-intervention), Basel, Switzerland
2002 ArtBeings and Time Pieces

Public projects

2003 Shift To The New Being, Phoenix, United States
2002 Global Peace Awakening Force, Geneva, Switzerland

Video Installations

2001 Step Into My Salt and Water, video book
2001 Salt, Kunsthalle Arbon, Switzerland
2001 Sweet Surrender, Shedhalle Zürich, Switzerland

Films and Videos

2000 Jesus Goes To India (Journey No. 3—Outer Journeys Inner Odysseys), 35 mm Blow-up, 85 min.,
  Color, Sound, sub-titled in various languages.
  Festival Cinéma Tout Ecran, Geneva; Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy; Mumbai International Film Festival
1990 Al Gatun (Journey No. 2—Outer Journeys Inner Odysseys), 16 mm, 74 min.,
  Black and White, Sound, subtitled in various languages.
  Locarno Festival; Solothurner Film Festival, Switzerland; Festival Max Ophüls Preis, Germany
1988 A Goat To The Gods (Journey No. 1—Outer Journeys Inner Odysseys), Single Channel Video, 21 min.,
  Black and White, Silent.
  Palais Pallfy, Vienna, Austria; Goethe Institutes in various countries
1984 Graffiti, Single Channel Video, Length variable, Color, Sound, English.
  Art Basel, Switzerland
1983 Minas, Single Channel Video, 21 min., Color, Sound, English, French.
  Kennedy Art Foundation, Paris, France

Early Work

1983–1987 Production and presentation of experimental works in stone sculpture, Xerox art, Video-photography,
  Body art, and Video art as well as works with Brion Gysin’s Dream Machine and cut-up techniques,
  chiefly in New York, Paris and Basel.

Grants and awards

Arts Council of Basel
Arts Council of Graubünden
Arts Council of Italian Graubünden
Arts Council Pro Helvetia
National Arts Council of Switzerland
City Council of Zürich
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
National film prize – emerging
Special prize of the jury, Trento International Film Festival Italy.