The Swiss Art Scene with Nikolai Kleist Burkal

Topics covered

  • How the Swiss landscape inspires artists
  • Rules versus freedom in Switzerland
  • Accessibility of art in Switzerland
  • How to get involved in the Swiss art scene as a spectator and creator

Who We're Speaking With

In this episode, we speak to the artisabout art in Switzerland.

Nikolai is an artist in Zurich. He grew up in Greenland and has lived in several countries before settling in Switzerland in 2022 due to a work opportunity. He runs the platform Art-Beats, where he publishes articles on the pulse of art scenes, trends, and art activities internationally.

About the Episode

Switzerland is a great destination for art lovers. Every city is home to art museums, galleries, and innovative creative spaces. Zurich and Basel are particular art hubs, with countless permanent and temporary exhibitions and a large fair called Art Basel. If you attend art events and workshops, you can not only learn something new but also meet like-minded people.

If you want to get involved in the art scene in Switzerland, start here:

As a spectator: Visit the many art galleries and museums.

  1. Zurich: Big venues are the Kunsthaus (Art House) and the art galleries located on the Rämistrasse or in the Löwenbräu Kunst building. If you want to visit smaller or more innovative spaces, check out Rote Fabrik.
  2. Basel: The biggest art fair in Switzerland is Art Basel, which takes place in early summer. There is also a Kunsthaus in Basel, and plenty of strong art exhibitions thanks to the Beyeler Foundation.
  3. Other cities: There are art venues in every area. Some popular ones are Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Plateforme Dix in Lausanne, and the photo and art museums in Winterthur.

As an amateur artist: There are many types of art classes in Switzerland. Some big art supply stores like Bösner have a newsletter, where new courses are advertised. This is a great way to engage in something enjoyable and meet new people at the same time.

As an emerging artist: Check out art performance spaces like Rote Fabrik or the VC7 open space in Zurich. Look for open calls, and spend time writing proposals. You can also apply for residencies. There are lots in Switzerland, and they often last for several months at a time.

As an established artist: Attending gallery openings (vernissages) is a great way to integrate into the local art scene. If you go regularly, you’ll meet the same people again and again and start to make connections. You can also rent a studio or atelier. This is surprisingly cost-effective. If you’re in Zurich, start by browsing places on Raumbörse Zürich.

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Transcript

- Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of Living in Switzerland. The series is brought to you by Rigby. We are a staffing and IT services company based in Zürich. If you or anyone you know of is looking for a new role in Switzerland, or if you're looking to hire, let us know. We'd be happy to help.  The best way to do that is by sending an email to contact@rigby.ch.


Today we are joined by Nikolai Kleist-Burkal. Nikolai is an artist and art writer, while working full-time as an ESG research analyst for RepRisk AG. He is part Greenlandic and Danish and grew up in Nuuk, Greenland.


He holds an MBA in Art and Cultural Management from the Paris School of Business and Institut d'Etudes Supérieures des Arts, France.


Nikolai has lived, studied and worked in Greenland, Denmark, France and the Philippines before relocating to Switzerland in 2022 due to a work opportunity. He lived  seven years in the Philippines, where he launched the art platform Art-Beats, where he aims to publish articles on the pulse of art scenes, trends and art activities internationally. He also has a background in music and is very passionate about wine, food and football.


Nikolai, welcome!


- Thank you so much, Kathrin. Thank you for having me.


- All right, let's start by you telling us just a little bit about yourself and what brought you to Switzerland.


- Yeah, thank you for the introduction. As you mentioned, I am from Nuuk, Greenland, grew up in the capital of Greenland. So that's the big icy island on top of the world.


And I'm part Greenlandic, part Danish, but I grew up in Greenland and later I studied at the University in Denmark and I studied at some music schools in Denmark as well before moving to France where I finished my MBA.


And from Paris, I moved to the Philippines where I lived for about seven years. And I started working for a Swiss company in the Philippines, and they offered me to relocate to Zurich, and I seized the opportunity.


So now I'm here, I've been in Switzerland for about one year now, so I still feel kind of green. I feel new in this country and I'm just very excited to be here.


- Right, and are you enjoying it so far?


- Absolutely, I mean there's a lot of familiar elements. Swiss nature reminds me a little bit of Greenland. We also have the mountains in Greenland, we have more sea in Greenland than in Switzerland and we have no trees, we have no trees in Greenland.


There are some differences, but we have the glaciers as well, so there's an appreciation of nature in both places and I like that.


- Yes, of course, much warmer in the summer I suppose in Switzerland.


- Quite, yeah, quite.


- Alright, so today we're going to talk quite a lot about art. So tell us a little bit about your involvement in the arts.


- Right, sort of, I grew up in a very artistic home. My dad is an artist and he also worked as a cultural consultant for many years. My mum is a professor emeritus at the University of Greenland and she was also specialising in literature, culture and language, and my sister is a jewelry designer, so I really grew up in a home with creativity all around me.


I was always brought to their artist friends' studios, to exhibitions, my dad's exhibitions, so I have a very early memory of participating in art. And then all of a sudden when I moved to, I don't know, when I moved to France I guess, it sort of just sparkled a certain energy to me to start painting again.


So I started taking it more seriously and it really launched when I moved to the Philippines and the amazing dynamics of the people of the Philippines, the very vibrant artists and art scene in the Philippines and in Manila really encouraged me to just keep working with art.


So now I've been working with different mediums. I started with watercolor, some photography, now I'm more working on acrylic and canvas because I can work with larger sizes.


My style is more like, I would say like organic minimalism. So there's some elements of abstract expressionism, there's some geometric expressionism there and there's some inspirations from constructivism as well. And I work a lot with the same forms such as boulders and erratics, you know, like it's basically like migrating boulders.


It's kind of like a funny thing when you encounter these things in a landscape, like large boulders that are sort of out of place. So I find some fascination in that because that's quite common in Greenland because of the ice cap and how ice has moved large boulders over a thousand, maybe millions of years.


- And I think you get that in Switzerland, don't you?


- Yeah, exactly.


- I mean, I remember being quite little and my mum taking me hiking and then we just saw these large boulders.


- Yeah, exactly.


- She was explaining to me maybe how they got there.


- Yeah, I think one tends to take these things for granted that, okay, there's just a large rock in the middle of a path somewhere and like, okay, it's just always been there. But it's not really, if you look at the geology of it, usually you see the boulder actually was transported from somewhere far away.


- Yes, right.


- So it's kind of like this migration of something very solid, something solid and familiar being brought out of place to a new place.


So this, kind of like this theme of migration has kind of like been on top of my mind for the last couple of years, but also mapping migration and actually migration in all these definitions, people migration, animal migration, data migration, you know, there's many ways of moving one object to a new place and how this new place engages with the object.


So that's kind of like, that's been the inspiration of the works I do.


And then overall, since I started painting, there's always been like this theme of working with attention between structure and spontaneity, because these are two very different dynamics that kind of like pulls one a little bit apart.


So you have like structure in terms of framework, rules, borders, and spontaneity in how you work within frameworks, how you work within certain borders, how you work within restrictions. So there's like the freedom of doing whatever you want. And then there are the rules. And I don't know, like that the framework of what is allowed and what is possible. So these are two very...


- .Within the rules, yes.


- Yeah, exactly.


- And that's very interesting in terms of moving to Switzerland, because depending on where you come from, maybe there are different or less rules than in Switzerland. So you have to adapt, I suppose.


Have you found that maybe your art has changed since coming here or adapted?


- It's very interesting because I didn't really... That was one thing I didn't know about the Swiss coming here, learning about, okay, this is a system of... There are many, many rules, but... And people are sort of... They respect the rules, they respect authorities. But people are at the same time also a little bit anti-authoritarian. People want their own freedom. They want their own free choice.


I think that it shows throughout like just like health insurance is like a major topic when you move to Switzerland. Oh my God, you have to figure out all these rules. It's mandatory, but you are free to choose and how you use it, how you optimize it.


And there's sort of like... There's a lot of individual responsibility of learning these rules. And some of them are really... Even don't get me started on the pension system.


- Yes. So maybe for the people who are a little bit newer, you have to take out health insurance in Switzerland. And there's a mandatory component, but you can choose the company you take it out through. And it's always best to do your research and to do that, because if you don't do it within a certain timeframe, your council will choose health insurance for you. And that's usually then not very optimized.


So that's where there's a framework. You have to take out health insurance, but you do have quite a lot of wiggle room to play with and you can decide how much you want, how much you want to pay. Yeah.


- Exactly. So I find this very interesting because it sort of echoes with my work, to work with this dynamic of structure and spontaneity.


So I play with these like... You can play around with the words, you can say structured spontaneity or spontaneous structures. And these are two very different things.


It's just very interesting that it's so ingrained in the Swiss society, but also I guess the self perception and also identity of the Swiss. And so I find my works very relevant here.


- Yeah, with that focus, you've moved to the right place.


- Yeah, yeah. I didn't mean to. It was just like a happy accident.


- Yeah, nice. It happens like that sometimes.


So let's talk a little bit about art actually in Switzerland. So as you know, Switzerland is a country with quite a high museum density and people do quite a lot of cultural things. There are lots of great options such as the Kunsthaus in Zurich or the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern. So do you find it quite easy to access art here and how present is it in day to day life?


- That's a good question. I would say, I mean, the short answer is yes, it's very accessible. Not just physically. I mean, there's great, I mean, amazing infrastructure in Switzerland. It's very...


You can reach any big city from another big city within, I don't know, an hour or something. I think there's a certain rule that you're supposed to reach one of the big cities within an hour or something. It's very, very well connected. You can easily go anywhere with the train. So that's the infrastructure that enables it.


So I'm a little bit biased because I live in Zurich. I try to visit as many cities as possible to get more exposed to the variety of venues, museums, institutions across Switzerland. But of course, since I live in Zurich and I have a full-time job, there's a time limitation. So I do spend a lot of time engaging with the Zurich art scene.


And yeah, I also didn't know this before coming here, which is maybe a little bit embarrassing on my part, but there are many, I mean, there are so many museums, not just in Zurich but across Switzerland.


And I also learned that Switzerland has one of the highest foundations, number of foundations per capita. I mean, grant-giving foundations per capita in the world. I think it's even higher than in the US, which is already pretty high.


So there is a certain support system for the arts, for institutions. There's a willingness to finance art, which is amazing. And it's very evident.


So there are many museums in Zurich, and they're pretty easy to access. For example, you can buy the... I'm not sponsored by any institution. So whatever I say, it's based on personal experience. But for example, you can buy the... a museum pass, which is like an annual membership, and it gives you access to, I don't know, like 500 museums.


- Amazing, yeah.


- Yeah, that's great. So you just have to pay this one fee, and then you have access to all these museums, not all of them, usually not the foundations. And some, I think the Kunsthaus is not covered by this currently, if I'm not mistaken.


- So financially, you're saying, financially it's quite accessible for everyone to go to a museum as well. They're not super expensive or anything.


- I would say so. Yeah, I mean, there are some venues that are, I find them expensive, but it's not unpayable.


For example, for the many of them like Kunsthaus in Zurich, and well, I should also mention the Kunsthaus in Basel, they have these, I think it's free admission on Wednesdays, and then they also have like certain hours where it's also free to enter the museum. So it's actually, that's already enabling access to people who cannot or are not willing to pay for the other days, go there for free on Wednesdays. So I mean, that's a huge benefit for locals.


- And it's worth mentioning that children often have Wednesday afternoons off school. So the free Wednesdays are great for maybe parents who have children and want to go do something with them and maybe don't have the financial resources. So that's a great thing.


- Also the concentration of museums, for example, the Zurich Kunsthaus, now they have developed sort of like, it's like a gallery street right next to the Kunsthaus. So you can actually, well, all galleries are free or they should be free, free entrance. So you can actually go to the art galleries and go to the Kunsthaus if you want to access those as well.


- So by gallery street, you mean that there's a street with lots of galleries like right next to each other?  So could you go from one to the other and just visit them all at once?


- I think it's on the Rämistrasse, if I'm pronouncing it correct. It's between the Bellevue and the Kunsthaus in Zurich. So that's like this long street.


They often coordinate their vernissages, their art openings. So there might be several art openings in one evening. And then you can just go from one to the other. There's no, you're not required to buy anything. So you can go there, you can engage with other visitors and it's usually a very open community.


- Nice. So we've already covered this a little bit, but where are your favorite places to enjoy art in Switzerland? So maybe starting with Zurich since you live there and have a lot of experience there. So what are maybe two or three places where you like to go that are maybe not as evident to newcomers?


- I think it's a good question. I was also reflecting a bit on this because I'm always trying to discover new places, but I also find myself going back to places that I am very familiar with.


I always go to Haus Konstruktiv for their exhibitions. I like the venue where it is now. They are moving into new facilities as... I think it's as of next year. I'm also looking forward to that because it's all compressed in the Löwenbräu Kunst building in Zurich where there are a lot of galleries, actually large galleries, and where the Migros Museum is located and the Kunsthalle is located. So there are already a lot of institutions in that building. So you can get access to a lot of exhibitions in one go. And they have a nice cafe at the ground floor. So you can just have a really nice day going there.


I would say for... it might not be super related to art, but I find Landesmuseum a very, very good starting point for newcomers to Switzerland because they always have a lot of exhibitions first of all. And they deal with topics such as Swiss identity and Swiss culture and it gives newcomers a really good introduction to Switzerland. And it's often also very relevant for local residents. So it's, kind of like, it's a great place to start. I think they have currently an exhibition about the different languages of Switzerland.


- Right. And that one's also very accessible, isn't it? By train and everything.


- Yes, exactly. So those are the major institutions, major museums. They're also... there are smaller spaces. I like going to Rote Fabrik, which is sort of like a little bit of like, it's not an off space because it's still within Zurich, but it's kind of like an alternative setting.


It's like in this old big red brick building and they have a little backyard. They have the music venues. I think they even have a residency program where there's an artist working and exhibiting. They have performance spaces. They have a lot of different events going on there. And sort of like, it's more down to earth. Like there’s an alternative culture or vibe to it. So I like bringing friends there and I like going there once in a while.


- Yeah. So a nice alternative for people who don't want to go to sort of a major museum. Or maybe have already tried all of those.


- Yeah, exactly.


- Okay. What about other cities or towns you mentioned that you explored some other cities as well? What in particular have you enjoyed?


- I think it's a... since I've been talking about Zurich, I think it's important to mention Basel. I think there's in my understanding, there's like this friendly rivalry going on between Zurich and Basel, which I quite enjoy. So I think they're both sort of battling on which one is the art city of Switzerland.


- Okay.


- Of course, Basel has one of the largest art fair brands in the world, Art Basel. And the main art fair is of course in Basel. I think it's in mid June every year. So it's a recurring annual event. And there's a lot of, well, it has a certain prestige for galleries to participate in. It's really down to earth, to be honest. You can buy tickets, you can go there for a couple, one or two days over the week that it lasts.


And you get to see a lot, a lot, a lot of art. And it's a bit overwhelming, but it's also fun because it's summer and everyone is in a good mood.


- Excellent. That sounds fun.


- Yeah. And then they, in Basel, they also have their foundation, Beyeler. So also have usually really strong art exhibitions. The Kunstmuseum Basel I mentioned earlier.


I like, I've been to the Platform Dix or Platform 10 in Lausanne. I like that venue as well. It's quite nice. I’d like to go back there.


Of course, Zentrum Paul Klee. Paul Klee is, for people who don't know Paul Klee, is like really one of the most iconic Swiss artists and very important for movements such as the, for the Bauhaus and for the abstract art movement. And it's a very interesting looking venue as well, Zentrum Paul Klee.


Just a little footnote. I would say people should check the programme because I've actually gone there at a time where they were in between hanging, hanging shows and there was very little to see. So just, I thought that you go, you check the schedule beforehand. So there's actually an exhibition to experience. Otherwise, it's, it's very small.


- Okay. Right. Yes. But Bern also, even if you don't catch a good time for that museum, Bern has a museum, sort of area where you can find lots of different, like the, the modern art museum and the historical art museum. And there's just loads of them sort of dotted around as well. So, Bern is a great city if you want to do a day trip or two-day trip and just go through several of these museums.


- That's a very pretty city. Yeah. It's a very pretty city to visit as well.


- Yes. I'm a little bit biased because I come from there, but you know, yes.


- And then there are other cities like in the... Winterthur is not far away from Zurich.


- That's right.


- It's very easy to access by train. And I was also surprised to discover that there are quite a lot of museums in Winterthur. But they have a large photo museum. And then there's the Kunstmuseum Winterthur.


I went there recently and they had quite a large Caspar David Friedrich exhibition, which is one of the most important German artists from the Romantic era. And then there was just this exhibition here in Winterthur because they had a large collection here. Quite interesting.


- So, what I'm kind of getting is that it's a mix of permanent exhibitions or museums, but also you have to check the calendar because there are always some sort of temporary one-week or two-week exhibitions that.


- So for the large museum, usually the Kunsthaus in Zurich and in Basel and in Winterthur, they have permanent collections. So there's always something to see, but I would also keep an eye out on temporary exhibitions.


- And events.


- Yeah. And events, exactly.


- So, so far we've talked about experiencing art, but you're also a creator. So where are your favorite places to create art in Switzerland?


- It's definitely, I have my atelier here at home. So I have a room to paint. I also play music. So I have a little, my home recording studio and my painting atelier. But I'm always carrying my notebook around. So I'm always jotting down notes or drawing sketches when I'm out going to exhibitions and etc.


- Right.


- It's kind of portable.


- Yes. Yeah. You can do art. You can even reflect or do things on the train. It's so comfortable in Switzerland, isn't it?


- Exactly.


- And I think in a previous conversation we had, you mentioned that finding an art studio isn't all that difficult in Switzerland if you know where to look.


- That's true. So, that was when I first moved here, I was looking for atelier spaces. I think I was, I think the mistake I made, I was looking for office spaces. Like they would call it the Büro or atelier or something. But it's usually for startups or small businesses. And they're not always suitable as art spaces.


- Right.


- There are some websites where they actually list all these available spaces that are suitable for artists and they list what do they, like for example, does it have toilet facilities? Does it have, it's very important to have a sink, especially if you're painting, it's good to have a sink.


- Yes.


- Inside the room, yeah. Yeah.


- So, these kind of amenities, if you have access to those, it's quite important to list these. And atelier spaces are actually, I was surprised, they’re actually not that expensive to rent. There are quite a lot of these sort of unused spaces available for artists all around Zurich.


- And probably the other cities as well.


- I am, I would assume the other cities also have these.


- So maybe we'll put some of those websites that you mentioned in the show notes, and then people who are looking for an art space can find that.


So if, in terms of a newcomer, someone who's just new to Switzerland is quite interested in art and would like to get involved in the Swiss art scene. How would you suggest they get started? Let's talk first about someone who's more into sort of social art, maybe as a beginner or someone who just like to do it casually once, twice a week. How can they get involved?


- I think it's very good to reflect on what kind of artist you are or you want to be or if you're becoming an artist. If you're doing it for the craft, you want to learn the skills or if you want to engage with other, what do you say, newcomers in practicing art. Some of these art supply stores in, I know in Zurich and across Switzerland, they have workshops quite often. And again, I'm not being sponsored by anyone, but I can mention Bösner.


Bösner has a really, pretty big art supply store in Zurich and actually they're present all over Switzerland. And I just subscribe to their newsletter and they often send me, we have these workshops for people who are into ceramics or people who are into watercolor or learning oil painting or whatever, pastels, you know, different materials.


And then there's like a workshop conductor or an art teacher. And I think that's a good way to like, get started in a very informal manner and then engage with others who are also starting out.


And you all have this in common that you're just want to learn about the craft of art.


- Right.


- That's what the social aspect is.


- But what about people... Let's move on and talk a little bit about people who would like to maybe emerge as artists and pursue it a little bit more professionally. So where could they go?


- Yeah, I think for emerging artists, I would definitely encourage young and emerging artists to check out some of the art and performance spaces.


Like Rote Fabrik has a nice, like a youth vibe. There's a young audience there. Actually, it's quite a mixed audience. But there are also art spaces like a... VC7 open space. It's a space where artists themselves can organize their exhibitions.


So it's not really gallery bound, but they can rent the rooms, the locales there and set up their exhibition.


And there's also sort of like a, slightly alternative vibe underground vibe. GK3 is also a small, it's like a garage space in Zurich where they have a lot of performances. There's some visual art exhibitions there. And it's very casual. It's also for the young crowd to engage.


Besides going to these sort of like off spaces or small art hubs or whatever they are, I would definitely, as a young artist, I would definitely look for open calls. If you are looking to exhibit yourself, look for some open calls across Switzerland. Focus some time, actually focus a lot of time on writing proposals. Be prepared to write proposals because it takes a long time.


But it's definitely worth it if you want to take it to the next level, to take it more seriously, to be seen as an artist. And maybe one of the best ways is to apply for residencies. There are quite a lot of residencies across Switzerland. And usually these last for like a couple of months. And then you... often, you live at the space where you're also working.


- Oh, right. So you actually stay there.


- Yeah, exactly.


- Yeah, interesting.


- For young and emerging artists, that's the best way to go about kickstarting your art career.


- Okay. So what about vernissage? So a lot of galleries do vernissage. Is that something you would encourage people to go to?


- Absolutely. So for more, for like networking purposes and, or to find like-minded people who are also interested in an art and contemporary art, check out the vernissages of all of the commercial galleries anywhere in Switzerland.


Subscribe to the newsletter because then they will let you know when their next vernissage is coming up. And usually the vernissage evening, the day, the most visited ones is where the art crowd meets up. And that's where you can engage with other people.


And the more you do this over time, you will actually start to, ‘Okay, I saw this person at the last vernissage at that gallery’, and then it's a good way of getting introduced to other people over time.


- Right. And you'll start to recognize faces and then get a little bit more into the scene. Yes.


- Yeah, exactly.


- Okay. So how much do you think the place of residence matters when, for a young artist or someone who would like to pursue it to a certain degree? Would this person move to Basel or Zurich for their art or do you think it doesn't really matter so much, they can live anywhere in Switzerland?


- I think depending on how much you want to engage with the art scene, the short answer is you can live anywhere. You can live in far, you can live on a mountain hill somewhere and paint in a cottage and you can still be exhibiting in one of the big cities.


It doesn't really matter much where you live and work. But I would...


- And that's because Switzerland has such a good transport network. You can then get to your city quickly.


- Exactly. The infrastructure is amazing.


So it depends on how much you want and need to engage with the community because otherwise Zurich and Basel are good cities, of course also Bern, are good cities to be at because you can go anywhere very, very quickly from those cities.


Of course, Art Basel has that major art fair. There's the prestige that comes with it as well.


Of course the prices of living in the big cities, the rent is high. So you have to take that into consideration.


- But you can also live in a smaller town that's very well connected or maybe only a few miles out in a neighboring Canton and then you still get there quite quickly.


- Absolutely. But if you really want to engage with other artists, I mean people tend to huddle up in hubs, and the most vibrant scenes are definitely Zurich and Basel in my experience.


- And another thing to keep in mind as well is that Switzerland is very central in Europe. So you can also get to other countries even, right?


- Exactly. I mean, that's also, it was a happy surprise for me when I moved here. You can take the train, which is very, very comfortable. You can take it straight to Paris. You can take it straight to Vienna. You can go to Torino, Milan. Actually, I went to the Venice Biennale last time. That must have been last year. And I took the train straight from Zurich to Venice.

- Oh, wow. Yeah.


- Direct all the way.


- Okay.


- And that really showed me how well connected you are. Maybe not just to Zurich, but like from Switzerland. It's so central in Europe that you are not just limited to the art scene in Switzerland.


You have all these neighboring countries that also have vibrant art scenes and so easy to access. I don't know how easy it is to engage, but you can always go and visit other places.


- Yeah. If there's an event going on. It's not such a big deal to just take a train down or up.Yes.


- It gives you freedom and flexibility in that sense.


- Yeah. So let's come back to your own projects and Art-Beats. Tell us a little bit more about your current and future projects.


- Yeah. So Art-Beats, I launched it. I think it was a little bit accidental because I launched it, I think a week or two just before the pandemic.


- Oh, right.


- It started. So I started very, with a lot of ambition. I started this in Manila, in the Philippines, and I was aiming to sort of document and discuss topics from the art scene and the art world, starting from Manila and then Southeast Asia and then draw some parallels to Europe, and just kind of take the pulse of what's happening in the art world.


And of course with the pandemic, everything closed down. All these, a lot of artists in the Philippines, they really suffered because they couldn't exhibit anymore. And also it was a very, very long lockdown in the Philippines. It was almost two and a half years or something. It was much longer than in Europe.


So a lot of artists and art spaces, especially small art spaces, because of lack of like foundations, grants, their government funding. I mean, there's not a lot of subsidies for the arts in the Philippines. A lot, they have to close down. So it was a bit painful to be part of that.


But the thing is, even when everything is locked down, there's always something to discuss and write about. So I had to sort of like change Art-Beats a little bit to speak in a more general sense about how to approach art. What is an art scene? Like discuss different mechanics of the art world.


So I kept it alive with those premises. And now since I moved to Switzerland, I kind of relaunched Art-Beats because I have a, now I have great access to a lot of art.


It's like, it's almost overwhelming how much there is going on. It's hard. It's just me running Art-Beats. So I write articles about art and art topics.


I have, I tried to keep the Instagram of Art-Beats as alive as possible. And it's just like documenting all the art shows that I've been visiting. Just to encourage an audience, more viewers, to inspire people to go and experience art themselves, especially for spaces that are quite small or maybe sometimes forgotten or hidden a little bit.


- Right. Yes. Outside of sort of the main ones that everybody knows about. Yeah.


- Exactly. So I really want to use Art-Beats to really, to discuss and document contemporary shows and events. And also to discuss matters that are relevant for art professionals and for the audience.


So I really want to, sort of bridge a connection between the art world and the audience because I know sometimes it can be a little bit alienating. It can be a little bit intimidating for outsiders, and I want to make art more inclusive and yeah, and accessible.


So hopefully this is a perfect time to reboot the project and get started on that.


- Excellent. And so how can people get involved with that? I mean, they can visit your website obviously and your Instagram account and read through or watch your content. Is there any other way for maybe people to contact you or get involved with your projects?


- Yeah, as you said, I mean, I will be using art-beats.com as the platform for publishing articles. I use the Instagram Artbeats Media. It's the name for the Instagram to document shows and events.


I will also do my best to link it with LinkedIn. So the articles will also be published there. So I'm just trying to have as many channels going as possible and maybe down the line,  if there's a possibility to do podcasts as well, that would also be interesting.


- I think so, yes.


- Yeah, and otherwise people are more than welcome to email me, to reach out to me. I have my nikolaiburkal at outlook.com. It's very basic. For any questions, any engagement or inquiries or whatever, people want to reach out to me for.


- Excellent. And obviously, as usual, all of this will be in the show notes, so you can just click on the links that are relevant for you.


All right, that's it for today. So thanks once again to Nikolai for joining us and to you for listening. We'll include links in the show notes to our guests and to further materials about some of the topics that we've spoken about today.


Once again, this podcast was brought to you by Rigby. We're a staffing and IT services company here in Zurich. If you would like our help either to hire or to be hired, let us know. Best way to do that is by sending an email to contact@rigby.ch.


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So thanks and until the next time.


- Thank you so much for having me.