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The Kochi-Muziris Biennale boasts of being one of South Asia’s largest arts and culture festivals, hosted in Kerala, India. Each successive edition of the biennale presents explores important themes and ideas in current art world debates, making it a crucial events in the art calendar.
Origin of the Biennale
The Kochi-Muziris biennale was the brainchild of Kerala artists Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, who were approached by the state’s Ministry of Culture to make Kerala an artistic hub.
The exhibition is run by the Kochi Biennale Foundation – with primary objective of promoting arts and culture. The Kochi Biennale debuted in 2012 with the aim of showcasing South Asian art to a population whose interest in the arts was quickly diminishing. Not only did the biennale revive people’s interest in art by making it accessible to the masses, it also provided the artists a platform to showcase and be recognised for their creativity.
Every alternate year, the coastal city transforms into a hotspot for art tourism. The biennale calendar is packed with cultural events. From cinema, theatre and fine art to dance and gastronomy – the it offers something for everyone. The event locations are dotted around ancient colonial buildings in the beautiful city – from the historic Durbar Hall to the famous Pepperhouse café.
As part of its mission statement, the Kochi Biennale Foundation declares :
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale seeks to explore the hidden energies latent in India’s past and present artistic traditions and invent a new language of coexistence and cosmopolitanism that celebrates the multiple identities people live with. The dialogue will be with, within, and across identities fostered by language, religion and other ideologies. The Biennale seeks to resist and interrogate representations of cosmopolitanism and modernity that thrive by subsuming differences through co-option and coercion.
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