I was fortunate enough to be in Kochi during the Kochi-Muziris Biennale as I could attend it, or rather a part of it.
I spend some time at the Aspinwall House and I must say that a whole day is not enough to take in the creative work displayed there.
As I entered I saw this volunteer explaining the details of a mural to the visitors.
The mural named 12 stories was huge, (11 meters x 3 meters) the work of P K Sadanandan.
I had a chat with Sadanandan. He said that it took him more than a month to sketch out the outline of the complete drawing. Later he and his team started giving the colours. Here you can see one of them adding the colours. The distinctive difference between the coloured and the non coloured part can be seen.
Sadanandan has dedicated his life to revive and restore mural paintings in all its forms and has evolved a style that combines Kerala teachings and practices with those from across India. His images feature icons and narratives inspired by mythology, encased within the natural elements and organic world.
12 Stories (of the 12 progeny) depicts the story of Parayi Petta Panthiru Kulam, of the twelve kulams (families) born to the Parayi, or woman of the ‘paraiah’ caste. It depicts many lessons from the value of listening, to the importance of fate, to the inequality of the caste system, to the continued role of the family and the society.
Here you can see him guiding one of his assistants.
I wish I had more time in hand to visit the other locations. I was told that there were exhibits at other places like David Hall, Pepper House, Durbar Hall, Cochin club, Cabral Hall and Kottapuram Fort, to name a few. Had a peep into Cabral Yard where some kids were drawing on the stage.
I liked the stands there, created by the logs of the beetle nut tree. More on it in part II