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Kochi-Muziris Biennale concludes provoking thoughts on inclusivity, existence and resilience

Kochi: The fifth edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India’s largest contemporary art festival, concluded offering a global art experience of 120 days to the art connoisseurs across the world. 

More than nine lakhs people walked in to the fest to catch a glimpse of the art fiesta spread across 4.5 square kilometres across Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. It hosted 88 contemporary artists from across 40 countries in 16 venues.  

Singapore based artist and writer Shubigi Rao, the curator of the central exhibition around the theme “In our veins flow ink and fire” observes that the current edition is a symbol of survival after the void that was created by the pandemic. Kochi-Muziris Biennale which was suspended for two years due to the Covid-19.  

The global art festival consisted of film exhibitions, art installations, paintings, sculptures and performance art across Kochi and surrounding areas. Along with these interesting art exhibitions, several sessions like seminars, special screenings, music performances, educational activities for children and workshops with experts were also conducted alongside the fest. 

The increased participation by the public, according to Bose Krishnamachary, president, Biennale Foundation, proves that art is for people and it is beyond commercialisation.

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In Fort Kochi, Biennale was hosted at Aspin Wall Warehouse, Pepper House, Cabral Yard, TKM Warehouse, Dutch Warehouse, Kashi Town house, David Hall and Kashi Art Café. 30 Malayali artists who lives in Kerala showcased their work at Durbar Art Gallery as part of the art show, Idam, curated by Gigi Scaria, Radha Gomathi and PS Jalaja. The Students Biennale titled Co-Lab created art engagement by bringing in aspiring artists in India. The major highlight of the fifth edition was the Biennale pavilion named ‘Container of Hope’ designed by world-famous architect Samira Rathod at Fort Kochi’s Cabral Yard that built out of reused materials and debris endorsing sustainability. The ABC Art Room of the ABC programme of 2023 conducted 87 workshops, seminars and discussions.

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