India’s booming art scene is set for a new event modelled on the Venice Biennale that will feature 60 international artists by the sea in the tropical south of the country. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, launched this week, will be held in January next year and will be the first event of its kind in India, featuring artists from all over the world in a three-month show.
Conceived by artists Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu and funded in part by the local state of Kerala, the show will make use of numerous industrial spaces in Kochi and exhibition areas in the ancient port of Muziris. “We’ve always had this idea of bringing in international art into India,” Komu said. “We thought that a Biennale would be the best bet.”
Artists working in all mediums will be invited, including several from countries with which India has poor diplomatic relations, notably neighbouring Pakistan and rival Asian powerhouse China. Young lesser-known figures with potential will be picked alongside established international names that will pull in the crowds and hopefully establish the event – and India – on the international art map.