Lokame Tharavad (The world is one family)
Lokame Tharavad (the world is one family) is an ongoing art exhibition happening in Alappuzha, the Venice of the east. Curated by art genius Bose Krishnamachari co-founder of Kochi biennale foundation, the concept Lokame Tharavad comes from the lines of the great Malayali poet Vallathol Narayana Menon. The whole world is one family, is the dictum, it has been the artistic and rebellious dream of all civilizations against all conflicts man has invented. The bird of peace and harmony always fly in the infinite sky of art and this concept is maybe a prophecy of a possible unity of the world which all seers, thinkers, prophets, has seen, the dissolving of boundaries and understanding our oneness and wholeness in art and everywhere. Bose Krishnamachari has done a lot to this and the art cult internationally. At this time of global pandemic, covid-19 situation has confined us to a narrow shell the total stagnation of humanity has affected every side of us, from this an optimistic creek has manifested as Lokame Tharavad the wonderful world of art full of paintings, photography sculptures, video art,installations and so on. The Kochi Biennale foundation is experimenting on the grounds of Alappuzha, which has historical importance, one can still see the strokes of colonialization in the canvas of Alappuzha which is a potential international tourist hub and art exhibitions like this can catalyst growth of the city. Without art no country or place can be better civilized, the science of aesthetics is the cue. Art evolves consciousness, its philosophy is in form. 270 artists having roots from Kerala living all over the world are joining hands for this exhibition. More than 3000 works are exhibited, being one of the biggest contemporary art exhibitions of this kind it has a lot of stories to tell. The venues started from 2021 April 18, it survived one lock down and now extended to November 30th 2021.Happening all over Alappuzha and in Darbar Hall Ernakulam. Lokame Tharavad has the potential to mark Alappuzha in the books of art, tourism and financial vistas.
This visual experience evokes in us the questions regarding our home, inhabitation, surroundings and world. There are workshops for children and adult in general. Music concerts, cinema screenings, the doors of knowledge one can open. Kerala art scene has changed a lot by the advent of Kochi Muzris Biennale, now its spreading to Alappuzha there is a chance to change the face of the city to a major cosmopolitan hub. While I was passing through new worlds dawned, one could find some likeminded people, youngsters are seen more. The works of Keralites have a lot of distinctions, the concepts the colors the sculptures were all unique having a global flavor. What strike me the most is the dominant surrealism in most of the works, the manifestation of a collective unconscious mind. The venues, the place selected for the exhibition was good, the coir board of Kerala which displayed the indigenous culture of Kerala and other major spots of Alappuzha like port museum and so on. In there one could see the ancientness the rhythm of the exhibition, diversity and innovation in abstract canvassing the vast dream of self, organic patterns of nature, design of the universe and what lies beneath.One can see that everything has changed now art is no longer painting portraits, it has evolved into a multi-dimensional universe with all its arcaneness. All the artists showed their mastery of their own style a lot of issues were addressed including the flood that engulfed Kerala for two years, feminism, anthropology, death, self discovery, sketches, portraits, emotions, urbanization, life in villages and forth. Some works were baffling, some of them were like photographs, such were the talents. The textures, the mixing of colors was simply awesome, the venues were stitched in dexterity. Art is our perception, it’s our interpretation our meanings. Lokame tharavad is a lab and museum of creativity, young artists can get a lot of inspiration for shaping their future works.
There is also a feeling of oneness among the whole Kerala art community. The new generation is really art conscious the receptors of art in Kerala is bombarded by all kinds of cues and culture. Bose Krishnamachari the curator and co-founder of Kochi biennale foundation has done a wonderful job like a restorer of the old shinning art-majesty of our civilization. I am proud my state is growing, it’s all there for the eyes that can see. If there is no art that means the civilization is barbaric and cannibalistic. This ongoing event is in cooperation with tourism department of Kerala, Kerala cultural department, Kerala lallithakala academy, coir corporation of Kerala, port museum etc. All covid protocols are administered.
A chat with Bose Krishnamachari
Everybody is familiar with the smiling Kerala born art Don of Mumbai Bose Krishnamachari, one of the main man behind Kochi biennale, the whole concentration of art in Kerala began by the visit of then minister of Kerala Sri MA. Baby having dinner in an adda of Bose and friends. They talked about art and how to bring it home ‘Kerala’ with a global outlook, hence spring the Kochi Muzris Biennale, the rest is history.
This is the recording of the talk I had with Bose Krishnamachari, I am narrating it rather than saying it in QA mode. Bose is also an educator so I tried to gather all the shinning pearls he was willing to tell. I was more asking about life, his philosophies, art, people, cultural spaces, this generation, enlightenment , the role of the government to preserve and support art, I was asking more because I am aware of the time limit I have, Indeed he is a genius he is a walking museum, the public need more awareness on art, there must be places for this and active discussion platforms for the days to come.
Sir, I asked what is your philosophy in life, he replied that”Philosophy is developed by one self it can only be learned by life it’s a realization of many years of travelling and experiences of what I have learned. Philosophies never taught me to make art, it’s through life and art I learned philosophy, through practices of art I learned many things. We are surrounded by extremities I have not deeply gone into philosophy, travelled like the buddha, but I know darkness carries light within it, it’s called ‘Thamasoma Jyothir Gamaya’. Suppose you are in a room and light goes off suddenly you start seeing the forms and everything else, just like that the darkness carries the light. Understanding who you are is the highest, I learned it like a common man.” So what is enlightenment I asked-He said with a touch of laughter, “It’s a eureka once you are enlightened that’s it there are no second and third enlightenment. I can’t give you an equation for that, it’s a realization a sudden recognition finding meaning in materialism, non-materialism and finding meaning in life itself. Dream is something negative we can dream anything but one has to be a maker, just like Carl Marx said, makers are the enlightened ones, I like the making process; while you work your thoughts keep expanding, the process is like many molecules, but the idea is a molecule it can be void, invisible”. Bose talked about one of his shows called “For an Image Faster Than Light” his idea that imagination and thought are faster than light. He has curated numerous shows.
I enquired what this generation should possess to be art conscious globally-He reminded me that all are born artists everyone should learn everything, only the chance is lacking, in our school’s education institutions don’t teach art as a serious subject. Art is an idea and also a physical matter. I was born in Kerala he added and told me a story of Picasso; “Once a lady visited Picasso in his studio and told him that she doesn’t understand what he is painting. Picasso replied do you know Chinese language the lady said no, Picasso said if you really believe and try to learn it you can”, this is an equation to a lot of things.” The passion will take you to the next level, if you believe you can”.
He said art is not his business, it’s a celebration, he sells his works through galleries. Art is everywhere everything is design one can find it in shaping one’s eye brows or beard.
Bose have started a space called LAVA (laboratory of visual art) for educating people about art and more.
He continued another Picasso story that Picasso always said that if you know what you are painting then there is no point in painting, art is unpredictable, I interfered and asked is art schizophrenic he replied No, but going through schizophrenia one can understand and make art, the hallucinations can really help. Aesthetics cannot be taught it must be learned.
I asked his views on Kerala art, he said he is optimistic about the diversity of Kerala’s art practice and the importance of cultural secularism the policy makers should invest more in art and cultural spaces. We are evident from the transformation of Kochi in the biennale days, now let more be added.
At last, he told me that one should be his own master and don’t follow anybody.
This spectacular chat with Bose was an eye opener, I was rather curious about finding answers for me and the art world in general. Just like he said Art needs you and you need art. I remember him saying having beer with friends is the highest art, it’s a celebration.
Rahul Menon is an experimenting musician freelance writer and art critic hailing from Calicut. Curious and interested in all forms of art.
Gud one keep writting????????