Artists rev up for Kochi Muziris Biennale 2014

Press Trust of India Kochi

With only 12 days remaining for the second edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale, artists from India and abroad have begun converging to the art extravaganza and are giving finishing touch to their art works.

"Kochi Muziris Biennale, the 108-day mega art event will showcase the works of 42 artists from India and 52 from 30 other countries. The Kochi Biennale Foundation has unveiled the list of the artists on its website and on US-based artist publishing platform known as e-flux," Jitish Kallat, artistic director, Kochi Muziris Biennale (KMB) said.

The second edition of the biennale has been titled 'Whorled Explorations', he said, adding that the curatorial process of the event started a year ago.

"It has been a process of frequent travel, dialogue and self-reflection," Kallat said.

International participants include artists from neighbouring Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and China to those in the Middle East besides western and far eastern countries, he said.

Delhi-based Gigi Scaria, one of the participants, is bringing 'Chronicle of the Shore Foretold' to his home state. It will find a place in Fort Kochi's Pepper House, where Sumakshi Singh, another Delhi resident, is working on a project that mixes animation with mythology, where visitors can end up being the characters.

Some 200 metres away from the placid locales of Pepper House is the equally quaint old Aspinwall House, the main venue of this year's KMB.

Much like Pepper House which is a sea-facing heritage property built in Dutch style, the 1867-built Aspinwall is a waterfront complex, much bigger and dense with English architectural aesthetics.

At Aspinwall, young Sahej Rahal is working on a variety of clay figures to mould out what he conceives would be a curious representation of the 'absent city' that is Muziris, which was a port city the peninsular India lost in a suspected tsunami in 1341.

"I have brought the clay from a village near Thrissur," said 26-year-old Rahal from Mumbai.

"The weather here facilitates their slow cracking and perhaps eventual crumbling. I won't mind that," he adds about his work that is on since this mid July and took dramatic turns in conception after seeing two Malayalam movies shot in the Aspinwall compound.

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First Published: Dec 01 2014 | 7:08 PM IST