Countdown to India’s First Biennale of Art!

Preparations are well under way for what will be India’s first Biennale of contemporary art: Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012. Kicking off on 12/12/12 and running for 3 months, the event looks to be a watershed moment in the artistic expression of the country; in fact, it will be the largest contemporary art event to ever take place in India. Already, a large selection of artists from India and around the world are working on projects for display at the event, which takes place in the historic city of Kochi, Muziris and the surrounding islands.

The central hub of the event will be in and around historic Fort Kochi. It is notable for being the location of the first european settlement in India, first occupied by the Portuguese in the year 1500, and subsequently by the Dutch and English. The beautiful historic buildings remaining from these times will host much of the art during the event, which already has over 260,000 square feet of mixed-use space allocated to it. (article continues below)

One artist participating: Sudarshan Shetty, This Too Shall Pass, aluminium and wood, 2010

The growing list of artists who will be participating is impressive. Working in mediums including film, installation, painting, sculpture, new media and performance art, they will be converging in India from all over the world, including from Australia, Afghanistan, UAE, South Korea, Argentina, Netherlands, UK, and all over India itself.

Just who will be involved? Artists who have recently conducted site visits in Kochi and started work include, Sudarshan Shetty (India), Sanchayan Ghosh (India), Subodh Gupta (India), Hossein Valamanesh (Iran/Australia), Ariel Hassan (Argentina), Amanullah Mojadidi (Afghanistan), Anita Dube (India), Tallur LN (India), Vivan Sundaram (India), Sheela Gowda (India), Joseph Semah (Netherlands), Nalini Malani (India), Atul Dodiya (India), UBIK (Dubai), Rigo 23 (Portugal), Jonas Staal (Netherlands) and performing artist M.I.A (UK). Also taking place will be an extensive lineup of talks, seminars, screenings, music, workshops and educational activities for students of all ages.

Want more information about the event? Check out our interactive map below which highlights some of the historic locations being used around Kochi; then see examples of previous work from many of the fine artists participating in the event. You can find out more about attending or participating at the official Kochi – Muziris Biennale website.

Click the markers on this map for more details about the historic location of the event in Kochi.

View Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012 in a larger map

Below: A selection of previous work from artists participating in the event.

Surendran Nair, Tathaagata Tathagata Thatha – Gaatha – The wounded Majesty or the Anatomy of Fate Cuckoonebulopolis, oil on canvas, 2008

Sudarshan Shetty, Untitled Work, teak wood, 2010

Srinivasa Prasad, Tailor Mama, 2010

Rohini Devasher, Arboreal, 2011

Sheela Gowda, Of All People, wood, metal, paint, print on paper, 2011

Ranbir Kaleka, Forest, video projection on a painting, 2009

Ranbir Kaleka, Forest (detail), video projection on a painting, 2009

Ranbir Kaleka, Contested Desires 2, photoprint & oil painting on canvas, 2009

P. S. Jalaja, Untitled X 2, watercolour, 2010

K. P. Reji, School, oil on canvas, 2011

K. P. Reji, School (left detail), oil on canvas, 2011

K. P. Reji, School (center detail), oil on canvas, 2011

K. P. Reji, School (right detail), oil on canvas, 2011

Joseph Semah, Measurement in Time, bronze and leather, 1983

Ernesto Neto, The Edges of the World, 2010

Atul Dodiya, Grace, 2012

Ariel Hassan, HFV No8, black and white photographic print, 2007

Nalini Malani, In Search of Vanished Blood, 2012

Design language for the event is modern and adaptable:

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