As venues open up, Kochi-Muziris Biennale enlivens Fort Kochi with varied artistic expressions

Noted artist Shubigi Rao, curator of the Biennale, hoists the flag marking the official start of the central exhibition titled ‘In Our Veins Flow Ink and Fire’ at Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi 

Published - December 23, 2022 09:23 pm IST - KOCHI

A visitor listens to artist Samson Young’s installation at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at Aspinwall in Fort Kochi on Friday.

A visitor listens to artist Samson Young’s installation at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at Aspinwall in Fort Kochi on Friday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

After the initial organisational hurdles resulting in the postponement of the main exhibition, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) went full throttle as all venues were thrown open to the public on Friday.

A steady stream of visitors from various walks of life was visible at Aspinwall House, one of the main venues, from 11 a.m. onwards. Noted artist Shubigi Rao, the curator of the fifth edition of the KMB, hoisted the flag marking the official start of the central exhibition titled ‘In Our Veins Flow Ink and Fire’ at Aspinwall House around 12 noon.

An installation at Aspinwall in Fort Kochi as part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale on Friday.

An installation at Aspinwall in Fort Kochi as part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale on Friday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

In her introductory address, she said the curatorial idea for the current edition of the KMB was very simple. “What happens when a group of people inhabit a space through their works? What do those works say when they are in proximity to each other? When you walk through Aspinwall House, Pepper House, and Anand Warehouse, you will see the works not just in isolation from each other, but actually speaking to each other. None of us exists in isolation. We are drawing on the works of others when we write, think, make, and speak. There is no such thing as a lone genius. That is a myth. We are all part of a collective thinking,” she said.

Ms. Rao said it was very important that local people continue to feel a sense of ownership over the Biennale. “This is very much theirs as well,” she said.

Artist Anne Samat’s installation ‘Cannot be broken and won’t live unspoken’ at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale’ at Aspinwall in Fort Kochi on Friday.

Artist Anne Samat’s installation ‘Cannot be broken and won’t live unspoken’ at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale’ at Aspinwall in Fort Kochi on Friday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Artist Isaac Sahani Dato from Congo pointed out that he was elated to be part of the KMB. The young talent is here representing the ‘ToxiCity’ by the Lubumbashi Biennale curated by Picha, which is part of the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s invitations and foundation programmes. “The atmosphere at the festival venues is exciting,” he said.

The organisers pointed out that entry to the venues was open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The ticket rate is ₹150. Senior citizens and students are eligible for concession as they need to pay ₹100 and ₹50 respectively. A weekly ticket costs ₹1,000, while it is ₹4,000 for a month. Entry to the ‘Idam’ venue at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery is free. 

A visitor uses a VR device to experience artist Debbie Ding’s work at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at Aspinwall in Fort Kochi on Friday.

A visitor uses a VR device to experience artist Debbie Ding’s work at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at Aspinwall in Fort Kochi on Friday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

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