Kochi Muziris Biennale 2014

I have been longing to experience this magical event ever since the first edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale in 2012. I traveled to many destinations across India, understanding art, culture, lifestyle and history. Visiting art galleries and museums. Train journeys have become an integral part of my travels.

“A whirlpool filled with dark blue water, pulling your thoughts into it”

I took a train from Kannur to Ernakulam South. I checked about the boat service from Ernakulam to Fort Kochi, and took a bus from South Railway station to Ernakulam Boat Jetty. I arrived early in the morning. The Biennale was to start after 9am. So i decided to try the boat. I took ticket to Vypin, a nearby Island. My first boat journey. I was excited. Once i reached Vypin, i got down and found a good restaurant close to the Boat Jetty. Had breakfast from there. It serves good beef fry and kerala porotta. After the food, I took a Jangar boat, a Ro-Ro service between Vypin and Fort Kochi Islands.

The place was filled with art, every inch of it, even the walls, roads and trees were part of it

The venue was still closed. So i waited outside the main gate of Aspinwall house. The second edition of Biennale was curated by Jitish Kallat and named Whorled Exploration. The Aspinwall Compound was filled with the sound of a whirlpool. It was the centre of attraction. A whirlpool filled with dark blue water, pulling your thoughts into it.

The place was filled with art, every inch of it, even the walls, roads and trees were part of it. You look around and see only art. Everything was carefully curated.

Apart from paintings and sculptures, movies, installations with music and sound were exhibited. Biennale was yet another wonderful experience for me.

I met an artist outside the main venue, Aspinwall house, a foreigner who creates collages with photos of different things which he took from his recent travel around India, specially Kerala. He had a many such collages, arranged in row, put outside a small make shift stall. All those images were for free. I talked with him for sometime and then he let me pick a collage. I still have it with me.

I polished a piece of wood and created a wall hanging with few of the post cards i got from the venue. A beautiful reminder in my room.

I was prepared to explore all the venues and carefully study the exhibits. After Aspinwall house, i moved to Cabral ground, and then to Kashi Art Gallery. After lunch i visited Pepper House and few other places in Mattancherry. By evening i took a boat back to Ernakulam and visited the Darbar Hall, which is on the other side of Fort Kochi. I did it all in one day, and although i was able to cover all the venues, i couldn’t study each and every item on display. I felt like, it will take couple of days more to explore it.

“I may have bumped into a love at the exhibition, where like minded people congregate”

I left Kochi that night only to return the very next week. I was so obsessed and drawn towards this exhibition that i visited it 4 times in 3 months time.

Artists from all around the globe, featuring their art, I found many of them interesting, the way they present their thoughts. Now I wait for the next edition of Biennale, to meet more artists and understand Art.

I realised later that I may have bumped into a love at the exhibition. For I search my love in art, and in exhibitions like this, like minded people congregate.

Maybe this wasn’t the right time for us to meet.