Open Minds 2017: Soft Power

Bose Krishnamachari & Riyas Komu, Artists

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Two for Kochi

After three whimsical iterations, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale has won itself an important place on the international art calendar. Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu launched the platform in 2012, turning the seaside city of Kochi into a sprawling canvas.

“The Kochi-Muziris Biennale has become a site to celebrate diversity and freedom through dissent, enquiry, creativity and artistic engagement. The Biennale protects the autonomy of the artist and provokes the public to engage with new ways of thinking, making and being” - Riyas Komu

For three months in a year, visiting artists—working under the charm of the surrounding air laden with spices, the touristy shopfronts, the hustle-bustle of tiny streets, the historic city and its people—put together installations in situ even as audiences look on. The diversity of works on display at the Biennale is rivalled only by that of its visitors—from locals and folk art enthusiasts to rickshaw-waalas and art lovers from afar. It is art elevated to a form of cultural expression. The Biennale, hailed by the director of London’s Tate Modern as a blueprint for a museum of the future, has put Kochi on the art map and brought the visionary founding duo much credit.

(For the complete list of power of argument in 50 portraits click here)