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Posted inArt

Making the Personal Collective at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Part 2

KOCHI, India — Pepper House is a quaint colonial structure with a lush central courtyard on the Kochi seafront, and serves as a major Biennale venue with some extraordinary displays — Alex Mathew’s monumental anchor rising upward in a surreal bid to touch the sky overhead greets you as you walk in. Named after the once-thriving spice port of Kochi (Kerala, India) the Kochi-Muziris Biennale succeeds in part because of the organizing committee’s courageous curatorial strategy to allow artists the rare final say in the installation of their work. Also, despite bringing together an international array of art-makers, the biennale’s focus is unequivocally on the Indian, initiating a restructuring of the paradigm of the “contemporary” in the country’s national art.

Posted inArt

Mythological Moments from India’s First Biennale

KOCHI, India — I finally made the trip to Kerala, on India’s southern tip, not because tourism websites insist upon it as God’s own country, but because the first ever biennale hosted in India is taking place there at Kochi (or Cochin), a city that was once a thriving spice port. Bringing together an exciting range of artists from around the world in thirteen amazing venues, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale has also boldly turned the searchlight on Indian contemporary art with a strong accent on the Keralam.

Posted inArt

Painting is Alive and Kicking at the Kathmandu International Art Festival

KATHMANDU, Nepal — The Kathmandu International Art Festival opened on a sunny November 25 morning in the grand ballroom of Yak & Yeti hotel in Kathmandu. Though this was the second international art festival (the first was Between Myth and Reality: Status of Women in 2009) to be hosted in the new republic of Nepal, in terms of scale, it was unprecedented, a rare non-profit and non-commercial endeavour showcasing the works of 95 artists from 31 countries spread across 16 venues.