30 September, 2020

A Kochi Canvas

The Kochi-Muziris art biennale will be a first for India

Sivaram V.
A Kochi Canvas
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

On Pepper House’s sea-facing wall in Fort Kochi, Kerala, a black and white dragonfish mural beckons seafarers, tourists and fishermen to join the cultural revelry. A glass in one fin and a cigarette dangling from the other, the debonair fish celebrates the arty reincarnation of the ancient cities of Kochi and Muziris. It’s this that the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012 is attempting to do—the eternal return—using the ancient narrative as a premise for contemporary art.

Round the corner, colours continue to cavort on the walls of Aspinwall House where five young artists have left their imprints. A sea monster, a dragon and a phoenix named Lulu have taken up residence on these walls. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, starting on 12/12/12, will be the first of its kind in India in terms of sheer scale and should change the landscape of the city forever. Art critic and poet Ranjit Hoskote says a biennale is the most widespread form of large-scale exhibition in the world today. Typically, it’s not a country’s most important city, but often one that has...

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