The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art held in Kochi, It was the first Biennale of its kind that was held in India.
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an initiative of the Kochi Biennale foundation with support from the Gov. of Kerala. The biennale exhibition is set in spaces across Kochi,Muziris and surrounding islands with shows being held in existing galleries, halls,and site-specific installations in public spaces, heritage buildings and disused structures.
Their is no other place that can handle the thrust of such a big event as Biennale than Kochi, Muziris, and the surrounding islands. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale seeks to invoke the historic cosmopolitan legacy of the modern metropolis of Kochi, and its mythical predecessor, the ancient port of Muziris. The region has already become a minuscule of global art circuit by featuring the best from that part.
Indian and international artists exhibits art works across a variety of mediums including film, installation, painting, sculpture, new media and performance art. Through the celebration of contemporary art from around the world. Kochi with its multi-cultural past and Muziris the ancient port city believed to have existed in the region, are undoubtedly ideal venues to host the first of its kind event in India.
The region easily shifts into a carnival land as artists bring in the fervour of both the contemporary and traditional arts, folk as well as classical arts from different parts of the world. This monumental event brings in about 80 artists from 24 countries besides India who would be presenting their paintings, sculptures, installations, films and performing arts at 14 venues spread across Fort Kochi, Ernakulam and Mattancherry. Shows are arranged in existing galleries and halls and heritage buildings.
The First Kochi-Muziris Biennale began on 12 December 2012. The Biennale hosted 80 artists with nearly 50 percent foreign artists, site-specific works and a sustained education programme in the three months. As a run-up to the event, in April, the Durbar Hall Kochi will host German modern artist Eberhard Havekost’s exhibition “Sightseeing Trip”, held in collaboration with Dresden State Art Collections. The Aspinwall House exhibits the art works of 44 artists spread across the premises.
The impressive segment in the mammoth event is the indigenous performing and folk arts in which are featured the precious gems of ancient Sanskrit theatre including Koodiyattom, Nangiarkoothu, Chavittunatakam along with Islamic music, Ghazals and Kathakali. The rhythm would be boosted by Kerala’s folk, ritualistic and percussion arts. An added impetus would be given by the screening of the films made by auteur Adoor Gopalakrishnan.
Biennale promises to offer an alternative cultural discourse for artists, art lovers, researchers, collectors, students and thinkers around the world where they intermingle and exchange their creative ideas and inspiring thoughts. Public installations and site-specific evolutionary works have already caught the attention of all. Among them the most remarkable is a sculpture of Chinnathampi Annavi, the founder of Biblical dance-theatre ‘Chavittunatakam,’ which was a unique feature of the erstwhile Muziris.