The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is a contemporary art festival that takes place every two years in the city of Kochi, located in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The festival was first held in 2012, and since then, it has established itself as one of India’s most important contemporary art events.
Where is the event?
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is unique in that it is the first biennale of its kind in India and is held in a non-metropolitan city, making it accessible to a wider audience. The festival takes place in various venues across the city, including heritage buildings, warehouses, and public spaces.
The theme of the Biennale changes every edition, the latest edition (2022) theme is “Whorled Explorations”. Each edition of the Biennale is curated by a different team of curators, who select participating artists from around the world.
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale features a diverse range of contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, installation, performance, and video art. The festival also includes a variety of programs such as artist talks, film screenings, and workshops.
The Biennale is not only an important event for the art world but also for the city of Kochi. It brings an influx of visitors to the town, providing an economic boost and promoting cultural tourism. It also serves as a platform for local artists to showcase their work and engage with the international art community.
What’s special in the recent edition?
The most recent edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, which was held in 2022, had the theme of “Whorled Explorations.” This theme was curated by the Indian artist Sudarshan Shetty, and it was inspired by the idea of a “whorled universe” – a concept that refers to the interconnectedness of all things in the universe.
One of the special things about this edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale was its focus on the concept of a “whorled universe” through the works of the artists. The works on display were a reflection of how the world is interconnected and how our actions have a ripple effect on the world around us.
Another special aspect of this edition was the use of various venues across the city of Kochi, which included heritage buildings, warehouses, and public spaces. This provided visitors with a unique and immersive experience, allowing them to explore the city and its history in addition to experiencing the art.
Additionally, this edition of the Biennale featured a diverse range of contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, installation, performance, and video art. The festival also included a variety of programs such as artist talks, film screenings, and workshops, which provided visitors with an opportunity to engage with the artists and learn more about their works.
Entry ticket at Biennale Art Festiaval
Note that the entry ticket for an adult per day is ₹150 and ₹50 for kids. The show will go on for a few months. You even get a weekly pass and a monthly pass. Also, the same ticket can be used to enter any of the venues. Most of the events in 2022-23 have taken place within Fort Kochi. You may check their website for more – link.
Famous artists who have participated
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale features a diverse range of contemporary artists from around the world. Some of the famous artists that have participated in the festival include:
- Anish Kapoor is an Indian-born British sculptor known for his large-scale installations and use of reflective surfaces.
- Jitish Kallat is an Indian contemporary artist known for his paintings, sculptures, and installations exploring history, culture, and identity themes.
- Shilpa Gupta is an Indian contemporary artist known for her interactive installations that address surveillance, censorship, and borders.
- N.S Harsha is an Indian painter and sculptor who combines traditional Indian motifs with contemporary art practices.
- Dayanita Singh is an Indian photographer known for her conceptual approach to photography and her exploration of the relationship between the photograph and the object.
- Cai Guo-Qiang is a Chinese artist known for his large-scale installations and use of gunpowder.
- Subodh Gupta is an Indian artist known for his sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between urbanization and traditional Indian culture.
- Sudarshan Shetty, an Indian sculptor, and installation artist, often uses everyday objects in his works.
These are some of the famous artists who have participated in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, but the festival features many more artists from all over the world. Each edition of the Biennale is curated by a different team of curators, who select participating artists based on the theme of the edition.
Other places in and around Fort Kochi
Also, if you are in Fort Kochi, then there are other places that you might want to visit. For example, the new year Carnival, Chinese Fishing net, Portuguese museums, and Jews Town – are at walkable distances. If you have a little over a day to spare then you might want to visit Athirapally Falls, Thrissur temple, Guruvayur Temple, and lot many historic temples around.
In summary, the 2022-23 edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, with the theme of “Whorled Explorations” was unique in its emphasis on the interconnectedness of all things in the universe and its use of various venues across the city of Kochi, which provided visitors with a unique and immersive experience. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is a vital event in the Indian contemporary art scene, it offers a unique and inclusive platform for artists to showcase their work and engage with the public. It brings together the local and global art communities and encourages the exploration of new ideas and perspectives in contemporary art.