Kochi Muziris Biennale, a reputed international art exhibition, is the main reason behind the art lovers’ pilgrimage to Kochi. Known to be India’s biggest art exhibition and also the largest contemporary art festival in the whole of Asia, this three-month-long event attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Kochi Muziris Biennale intends to be a ‘new space and a fresh voice that protects and projects the autonomy of the artist and her/his pursuit to constantly reinvent the world we live in’. Want to know more about this contemporary art festival held biennially in God’s Own State? Read on here!

Kochi-Muziris Biennale, a celebration of contemporary art:

Incepted in the year 2012, Kochi-Muziris Biennale is hosted by the Kochi Biennale Foundation with principal support from the Government of Kerala. The exhibition will be held in about 10 to 14 venues across Kochi, Muziris, and the surrounding islands. These venues include art galleries, halls, public spaces, heritage buildings, warehouses, etc. Some of the well-known venues are Aspinwall House, Pepper House, Durbar Hall, and Fort Kochi beach.

Various artists from all over the world exhibit their artwork here — paintings, sculptures, site-specific installations, photographs, films, and other art forms. The indigenous folk and performing arts are other highlights of this biennial. Some other events organized during this art festival include workshops, seminars, talks, film screenings, and educational initiatives. Not only does one get to explore the diverse arts but also to understand the intriguing multi-cultural facet of Kochi. Take a walking tour of this exhibition to feel Kochi’s overwhelming aura.

Biennale Foundation states that Kochi-Muziris Biennale, through its efforts to encourage artistic engagement, ‘seeks to invoke the historic cosmopolitan legacy of the modern metropolis of Kochi, and its mythical predecessor the ancient port Muziris’

Few more details about Kochi-Muziris Biennale:

 Kochi-Muziris Biennale is India’s first-ever biennial with the spotlight on contemporary art. This biennial provides the emerging artists of India an opportunity to showcase the country’s contemporary art on an international platform, introduces international visual art theory and practice to India, and sets the stage for discourses among artists, curators, and art lovers attending the exhibition.

As pointed out by the Kochi Biennale Foundation, ‘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.’

About the Kochi Biennale Foundation:

Kochi Biennale Foundation is a non-profit charitable trust that organizes the Kochi-Muziris Biennale with support from various private and governmental sources. Founded in 2010 by two artists (Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu), Kochi Biennale Foundation also works for the conservation of heritage properties and monuments as well as the upliftment of traditional forms of art and culture.

Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020:

Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020, which was to begin on December 12 (as per earlier announcement), has been called off, thus joining the list of several canceled events across the world due to COVID-19. The event organizers have postponed the fifth edition of this international art exhibition to November 2021 given the rising fears of COVID-19 second wave in India.

How to reach Kochi:

By Air:

Kochi is served by an international airport, Cochin International Airport (COK), situated about 25 km north of Kochi city at Nedumbassery. The domestic and international flights[S1]  operated from the airport connect Kochi to different cities of the country as well as the world.

By Rail:

Kochi is well-connected to various Indian cities by rail. It has three major railway stations – Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town, and Cochin Harbour Terminus.

By Road:

Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates regular buses to Kochi from all major cities in Kerala and other neighboring cities of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The National Highways NH 47A and NH17 pass through Kochi.