It’s only March, but the temperature in Kochi is already soaring. In spite of the heat, the streets of Fort Kochi are filled with visitors cycling or riding (the brave hearts walk, but it’s a tough call) all over the heritage district. It is after all, the final days of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, one of India’s biggest contemporary art events, which brings together an array of artists from all over the world.
In its third edition, the Biennale has been curated by artist Sudarshan Shetty, featuring the works of over 100 artists pertaining to the theme ‘forming in the pupil of an eye’.
Pyramid of Exiles, an installation at Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016
Founded by the Kochi-Biennale Foundation in collaboration with the Kerala Government, the four-month-long exhibition is spread across venues in Fort Kochi, Ernakulam and other parts of Muziris. The primary venues of the exhibition are Fort Kochi landmarks like Aspinwall House, Cabral Yard, Pepper House and Ernakulam’s Durbar Hall. But the exhibition extends beyond regular gallery spaces, with artworks showcased in old, abandoned warehouses, heritage buildings, cafes and public spaces.
In addition to the main venues, a number of collateral shows and events are organised in venues across Fort Kochi, turning the area into a massive one-of-its-kind exhibition space. The artworks on display encompass a variety of forms and genre, from paintings and sculptures to video installations and live performances.
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The first Kochi-Muziris Biennale was held in December 2012, and witnessed over 400,000 visitors in the course of four months. Since then, both the number of artists and visitors has only increased. The range of work on display is wide, and truly inspiring — not only does it provide a platform for some incredible showcase of art, it has also served to turn a sleepy port town into a vibrant space for travellers.
Sculptures by Himmat Shah on display at Durbar Hall, Ernakulam
A collateral exhibition at Mandalay Hall
Contemporary dancer Padmini Chettur and her dance company perform Varnam
Refugee, a marble sculpture by Alex Seton
Gary Hill’s multimedia artwork on display at Durbar Hall
A wooden sculpture by TV Santhosh
Victor Hazra’s installation at a KMB collateral
Yuko Mohri’s sonic-kinetic installation at Aspinwall House
Praneet Soi’s coir sculptures at Pepper House
Elevating a derelict Anand Warehouse into a space for art
A video installation by AES+F
Sunil Padwal’s exhibits on display at Aspinwall House
Ghost Keeping by István Csákány
An outdoor exhibit at Anand Warehouse, during KMB 2016
Martin Walde’s Multiple Choice on display at Aspinwall House
Tears of the Taj Mahal, a calligraphic poem by Ouyang Jianghe
Yardena Kurulkar’s Taphephobia on display at MAP Project Space
A 19th-century marble bust with further carving by Jonathan Owen
Images credit: Yudhajit Mitra
For more information on the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, head to the official website.