A festive mood has surrounded Kochi, a coastal city in the southern Indian state of Kerala, as it hosts the fourth edition of Asia’s biggest contemporary art festival, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale – a 108-day event held between December and March that attracts art lovers from across the world.
About 100 artists from over 36 countries are participating in the art show known for its photo exhibitions, film screenings, paintings, installations, art education programs, and workshops. The exhibition is being held at nine venues, eight of which are centered around West Kochi and Mattancherry at the confluence of Arabian Sea with Lake Vembanad, the longest lake in India.
Inspired by renowned art festivals like the Venice Biennale, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is the first biennale of India, providing a platform to showcase new artistic practices of the subcontinent and the world. The Kochi Biennale Foundation has hosted the festival since 2012 with the support of the state government and a few businesses. The event seeks to become a center for artistic engagement in India by drawing from the rich tradition of public action and public engagement in Kerala.
The theme for the ongoing biennale is “Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life,” with Anita Dube, a contemporary artist, as its curator.