Art curator Shalini Passi's guide to everything you need to see at Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018


Art curator Shalini Passi’s guide to everything you need to see at Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018

The ultimate tour

By Neville Bhandara  December 10th, 2018

New Delhi-based Shalini Passi is a familiar face on the Indian art scene. She’s an avid collector, and the walls of her sprawling Golf Links home feature works by bigwigs such as Bharti Kher, Jitish Kallat, MF Husain and even Jeff Koons. “When I was at school, I learnt to observe artworks in terms of colour, form and texture. As I grew older, I learnt more about specific styles and movements, and my appreciation developed,” she says. Passi, who recently launched the Shalini Passi Art Foundation—through which she hopes to develop and promote a contemporary Indian aesthetic by giving young creators a platform—has also been a patron of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale since its inception. And having hosted the glittering inaugural dinner for the art behemoth’s fourth edition, which opens this month and runs till March 29, 2019, she shares her pick of what not to miss: 

1. C-Stunners by Cyrus Kabiru

Kabirus Preference2

“The Kenyan artist’s photo series features a collection of sculptural eyewear, shown through selfportraits. It’s an incredible marriage of material and futuristic design.” 

2. Untitled textile works by Priya Ravish Mehra

“I admire the quiet beauty of Mehra’soeuvre. Inspired by rafoogari andother weaving traditions, theseworks challenge traditional notionsof art and craft.”

3. Hotel Roma by Leandro Feal

“The Cuban artist’s dynamic photographic videos capture multifaceted aspects of youth culture in Havana, especially partying and celebration.”

4. The Rainbow Body by Chitra Ganesh

GAnesh KMB Rainbow Body Still4

“Ganesh’s vibrant works deconstruct notions of gender, race and nationhood from a diasporic Indian perspective. I love the light but thoughtful pop-aesthetic of this digital animation.”

5. Que Sera Sera by Rina Banerjee

“At first glance, this sculpture is both mesmerising and insidious. Through her work, Banerjee reminds us of the duality of womanhood.”

6. Manet’s Luncheon On The Grass And The Thai Farmers by Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook

ManetRenoir Arayas works

“The Thai artist’s work is impactful because it is a reminder that the languages of art are often protected, and made inaccessible by the elite.”

7. Rehearsal For An Apocalypse by Anju Dodiya

Anju Dodiya Rehearsal for an Apocalypse

“There is something humorous yet morbid about this work; a contemplation of the finality of the end of the world, through experimental painting on printed upholstery.”

8. Untitled woodcut by Pangrok Sulap

“This Malaysian collective engages its indigenous Bornean community through workshops, all while fighting for its rights. The creative result of its art-activism is beautiful in its craftsmanship.”


Photographs: All artwork courtesy of the artists