Roth is also the founder of Azulik Tulum, the destination hotel where I am staying, about 25 minutes away from the museum by car. At the adults-only resort, which has become Instagram-famous for its stunning biomorphic architecture (similar to that of Sfer Ik), native trees, bejuco vines, and wilderness abound. Reconnecting with nature is the goal. The rooms, located on or steps away from the beach, have no air conditioning or electric light (save for one electrical outlet). Nights are to be enjoyed to the rhythm of the Caribbean’s thunderous waves and candlelight only.
“Our purpose is to always remember where we come from, what our origin is, what our source is. And our source is nature. That is why our three pillars are nature, art, and ancestry,” Roth explains from his enchanting Uh May residence, adjacent to the museum.
Although SFER IK initially opened its doors in 2019, with an exhibition by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto, it was forced to pause all activities due to the pandemic. It officially relaunched March 18th, with the installation by Azuma Makoto.
The museum “challenges every rule about museums,” says Brazilian curator Marcello Dantas, who is now Sfer Ik’s director. When Dantas arrived in Uh May about a year ago for a short vacation, he decided to stay after realizing the museum posed interesting questions he did not have immediate answers for. “The search for a reconnection to nature is a difficult search, and that’s something that motivates a lot of people in the world today, definitely artists and creators and the public —everybody is trying to make some sense out of their existence,” he says .
Dantas was the initial point of contact between Makoto and the museum. He had worked with the Japanese sculptor on projects in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and knew he’d be the perfect artist for the relaunch, not only because he embraced the idea of using local materials and transforming them but because of his knowledge and passion for dealing with plants and flowers. “Makoto understood [the museum’s] proposition very clearly,” Dantas explains.