Kochi, city of art

Kochi is one of those places I’m in danger of sentimentalising for years to come and just like every other city which has earned that dubious honour, it’s done so because it’s so wonderfully quirky.

Kochi is currently hosting a biennale art show, which I believe is India’s first. Far from being confined to exhibition spaces, though, some of the art has been brought out into the open air.

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And there’s plenty of other, less official, street art in Kochi. Some of it is in direct protest of the biennale, other pieces have another political message and others still simply showcase the artist’s skill.

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I spent a couple of hours today just in the main venue of the biennale, which is down the road from my hostel. I love art, but even I reached saturation point and had to make a second trip in the afternoon when it had cooled down! There was just so much and it was so thought-provoking. The work of artists all over the world seemed to overlap in places; art about or which used science and technology kept recurring, and many exhibits referred to the sea or Kochi’s past as a trade port and the subsequent gateway for colonialism. Heady stuff, but there were also playful exhibits, such as a timeline of the 21st Century based on sci-fi novels of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Apparently, world war 4 should have started 10 years ago, but all the world’s problems will be solved by 2070, so that’s nice.

If you happen to be in Kochi before March, you can visit the biennale for INR 100 (£1) for a single entry ticket, and I believe there’s a multiple entry ticket available as well. I was lucky, as it was free on the day I wanted to go!

Ps. I’m now safely & happily in Bangkok 🙂

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