Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Kochi-Muziris Biennale wins Condé Nast excellence award

December 9 - 15, 2013

Team GS 

The first Kochi-Muziris Biennale which put Kerala on the global map of contemporary art has won top prize at the Condé Nast Traveller Awards for 2013.  The special Condé Nast Traveller award was bestowed on two Malayalee artists Riyas Komu and Bose Krishnamachari, who are from outside the travel and tourism industry, for their “pioneering efforts in founding the Kochi-Muziris Biennale”. 

Condé Nast Traveller Excellence Awards, recognised across the world as benchmarks in the travel and tourism industry, are given away on the basis of readers’ choices in online voting.  The site-specific biennale event, held from December 2012 to March 2013, was mounted in historical locations, using abandoned warehouses used for Kerala’s spice trade with the West.  It attracted some top artists like Subodh Gupta, Vivan Sundaram, Paris Vishwanadhan, Sudharshan Shetty, Atul Dodiya, Srinivas Prasad, Sheela Gowda, Jyoti Basu, K P Reji, Anita Dube, Amar Kanwar and Ernesto Neto.   

Condé Nast lauded the “pioneering efforts of the two accomplished artists” in bringing in artists, curators, critics and aficionados from around the world and creating a platform that showcased “not only brilliant contemporary art from India and around the world, but also highlighted our rich history, heritage, artistic traditions and cultural fabric”. 

Komu is quoted as having said at the award giving ceremony that, “The legacy of Kochi and Muziris revolves around the idea of travel and the idea of multiculturalism”. 

“Look at any civilisation across the world and it had made a connection with the region of Muziris in Kerala.  The multiculturalism of Muziris and Kochi is completed by travelling people from all over the world, like the early explorers and traders.  Today, Kochi has become a new Art Route, like the Spice Route in the ancient times, for India and the rest of the world”.   

The second Kochi-Muziris Biennale is scheduled to open on December 12, 2014.

India's first live-aboard yacht for scuba divers

India's first live-aboard yacht, Infiniti, was launched recently, for scuba divers to explore the Andaman waters.  A live-aboard vessel is equipped to provide comfortable accommodation in guest cabins, with dining and leisure facilities, usually for scuba diving.  It is very popular worldwide in countries that have strong sea-tourism sectors such as Maldives, Thailand, Caribbean Islands, Red Sea, Indonesia, etc.  India has 22 dive centers dotting its waters, though scuba diving is a new, but fast-growing activity.

Infiniti live-aboard has included in their itinerary a trip to the fascinating Narcondam island in the Andaman Sea.  It is a wildlife sanctuary with a strong evolutionary significance and the famous 'Narcondam Hornbill' - a type of hornbill found only there.  An extinct volcano, Narcondam was put on the diving map by diving pioneer Jacques Cousteau who was the first to dive in these waters.