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Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012

Kochi To Become A Canvas For Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012

The Queen of Arabian Sea is getting ready to witness the noble event of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012, the first of its kind in the country. The Biennale 2012 is to be held in Kochi from 12/12/12 which will be a historic event in the arts as well as tourism sectors of the country with most relevance to the state of Kerala. The Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary arts which will last for 90 days. 88 world renowned Indian and international artists will be participating in the Biennale. Rich programmes of seminars, talks, workshops and music will be taking place alongside the event.

8 Lakhs of Indian and foreign visitors are expected to visit and take part in the Biennale. This event will be more attractive for the visitors who are coming under the category of Alert Independent Travel (AIT). Unlike ordinary sight seeing tourists, they are the people who come for study and research and they are interested in our traditional art forms and medications like the Ayurveda.

The tourism, hotel and hospitality sectors will be the most benefited by the event. It it expected that the event can also generate employment opportunities and promote trade and other allied activities. Moreover, this Biennale can put our state of Kerala and the city of Kochi on the world map of arts and tourism.

Kochi is the ideal location for such an event which is having a traditional flavour because Kochi is one of the few cities in India where a rich tradition of culture and arts developed and flourished. Muziris is an ancient city which was buried under the mud after the great flood in the 14th Century A.D. and it was identified only recently and excavations are underway.

In the three months long show, the participants from all over the world will be exhibiting their art works created on a variety of mediums such as oil painting, water colour, Sculpture etc. Being one of the great international art events ever took place in India, the Biennale is also aimed to create other contemporary platforms of this kind. The Biennale can reconstruct Kochi as a global centre of contemporary art, history and heritage.

The Biennale will take place in seven historical venues of Kochi.

(1) Mattancherry Warehouses

The Mattancherry Warehouses were the major hub of spice trade in Kerala. Before the formation of Cochin Harbour, ships sailed and anchored here for trade. There are several old dockside warehouses, some of which are still functioning as spice godowns.

(2) Pepper House

The Pepper House is a heritage property situated on the Kalvathi Road in Fort Kochi. The property consists of two historic godowns used for spices trade. The Pepper House is now undergoing renovation to convert it into a gallery consisting of studio and event spaces.

(3) Parade Ground

The Parade Ground is an open space in the heart of Fort Kochi having great historical significance. It was used by the Portuguese to store their armaments. The Dutch and the British conducted military parades here. Today the Parade Ground is a public square.

(4) Cochin Club

The Cochin Club was the British Gentlemen's Club during the early 19th century near the Parade Ground in Fort Kochi. The Biennale will exhibit installation arts and sculptures here.

(5) Durbar Hall

The Durbar Hall was built by the Maharaja of Cochin to use as the Durbar (royal court). Situated in the heart of the Cochin city, today it is an international museum and exhibition venue. Durbar Hall will be a primary venue for the Biennale.

(6) Aspinwall House

The Aspinwall House is a great heritage property in Fort Kochi. Built in 1867, it was the business premises of Aspinwall & Company Ltd for spice trade.

(7) David Hall

The David Hall is one of the oldest building of the Dutch East India Company in Fort Kochi. Located near the Parade Ground. The Hall was once occupied by the Dutch Commander Van Reede who is renowned as the compiler of Hortus Malabaricus.

The city is well prepared for this biggest ever arts festival, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012 with novel initiatives in the cultural and traditional arena. This rich cultural festival will be opening doors for our traditional and contemporary arts to go into further heights.

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