Kochi Biennale to open on Dec 12

The fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the largest contemporary art exhibition in South Asia, will run from December 12, finally providing some succor to art lovers after months of gloom.

The gala event, spread over four months, is titled "In our Veins Flow Ink and Fire" and is curated by noted Singaporean artist Shubigi Rao. The Kochi Biennale Foundation has also released the first list of 20 artists and five collectives on Tuesday.

“As humanity combats this pandemic, I believe that art and culture will not just allow for healing, but will also create a space for togetherness. We have trust in this ability of art, and we think that the biennale in Kochi can be a site for self-reflection and further imagination," biennale Director Bose Krishnamachari said in a statement.

"This edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale embodies the joy of experiencing practices of divergent sensibilities, under conditions both joyful and grim. There is optimism even in the darkest absurdity, and this is what leavens the direness of our time. It is in the robustness of humour that we can imagine the possibility of sustained kinship, and remember that we are not isolated in this fight," Rao said.

The first batch of participating artists includes the likes of Cairo-born Iman Issa (her works were featured at major institutions like the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum in New York, as well as the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London) and Lebanese artist Ali Cherri, whose work focuses on ideas of heritage and archaeology in relation to the Arab world.

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale was mentioned as one of the Best Tourist Attractions by leading tourism magazine Outlook Traveller when it adjudged the South Indian state of Kerala as the country's Best Wellness Destinations for the year 2020.

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