I travelled to Fort Kochi, the Queen of Arabian Sea for the very first time to witness the Kochi Muziris Biennale. I didn’t even know how to reach the place, but i felt the urge to witness India’s first Biennale. Interviews of the curators Boss Krishnamachari and Riyas Kommu were all over the media, venues and art exhibits were shown.
” The old buildings and the streets of Kochi somehow enhanced the beauty of Biennale “
I was not comfortable traveling by train, so i took an overnight bus from my hometown Iritty. I reached Ernakulam early morning. Had some snacks along with tea and waited in the bus station for the sun rise. I asked the people around and found that the buses to Fort Kochi which is on the other side of Ernakulam starts around 7 in the morning.
The main venue, Aspinwall House is a bit far from the Fort Kochi Bus station. So i walked towards the venue. I expected a big gallery filled with lot of paintings and sculptures. But Biennale was different, its more than just exhibiting art and selling it to the highest bidder.
Aspinwall House which was a Dutch trading center over look the Arabian Sea, is preserved as it is, without much repairs or maintenance. The exhibits were carefully arranged in between the ruins in the compound and inside the building. I was fascinated by the whole arrangements and the exhibits. My first experience at an art exhibition this big.
” I couldn’t understand most of it, but it was art “
I roamed around the Aspinwall House till noon, and then came out and walked through the streets of Fort Kochi, with walls covered in graffiti. The old buildings and the streets of Kochi somehow enhanced the beauty of Biennale.
There were other galleries like the David hall, Kashi Art Gallery, Durbar Hall, Pepper House, Cabral Ground etc. But it was my first time in the city and i couldn’t find all these places. I was poor in reading the map. Also i was worried about returning home. So i came back to the bus station in Ernakulam and took a bus back home. I was unaware of the boat services from Ernakulam to Fort Kochi which was much easier and fast compared to the long Bus route.
The Biennale was a venue of enlightenment for me about Art, Culture and Lifestyle. I couldn’t understand most of it, but it was art.