LIFE

The latest art destination

KOCHI IS becoming a different kind of travel destination these days. People come here not for vacationing alone, but to explore the resources here for their creative aspirations. One such person is Bose Krishnamachari.

The Mumbai-based Malayali artist has been flying back and forth between the two cities these days. The works for a couple of his forthcoming exhibitions are getting ready in and around the city, as well as at his native town, Angamaly.

But, why does he come to Kerala to get things done, where everybody complains that nothing gets done here? That too, from Mumbai where everything happens ? Mr. Krishnamachari's answers are significant, regarding the changing scenario of art here. `Mainly because I am using a lot of material from the State,' says he. He is exploring the potential of the traditional crafts, techniques and materials like coir, wood, bronze, granite and so on for his new work.

`The material availability here is quite high. But the artisans' exposure levels are low,' points out Mr. Krishnamachari. The traditional craftsmen are extremely skilled, but their skill is often limited to traditional norms of design.

There will be a preview of his new work, an installation called `De-Sign is Art,' on August 17, at the Kashi Art Gallery, Fort Kochi where most of the work has been done. It stems from his idea that sign is something already used and has lost its meaning while de-signing gives it another meaning, another life.

`De-Sign is Art,' gives an insight into a different kind of interior. The space conceived as a corner of a room, created with most mundane objects, is transformed into an air of sensuousness through careful and thorough assimilations of the possibilities of minimal and meta-real art.

Mr. Krishnamachari's decision to work in Kochi also indicates the increasing interaction between Kerala and the Mumbai art world. `This could be seen as a continuation of the show `Bombayx17,' which I had curated at the Kashi Art Gallery in February,' says he. Things were set moving with in July 2003 when Mr. Krishnamachari brought down his show, `De-curating,' to Kochi at the Durbar Hall Art Centre.

The seed for `Bombayx17,' was sown then and works of 17 important contemporary artists from Mumbai were shown together in Kochi for the first time. Now, he plans to curate another major show, `Double enders,' including the works of about 80 Malayali artists, slated to be held in Mumbai and Delhi in 2005. `And so many people are helping me to get things done here,' points out Mr. Krishnamachari. Anoop Skaria and Dorrie Younger, who run the Kashi Art Cafe and Gallery, play hosts. Fellow artists including the sculptors Reghunathan K, Vivek Vilasini, Pramod C.G. and the painter, Rajan M. Krishnan, are helping out with the work.

By Renu Ramanath

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