Lokame Tharavadu (The World is One Family), a grand exhibition of art works by 267 artists who trace their roots to Kerala, is awaiting government's permission to reopen. The show, curated by artist and Kochi Biennale Foundation president Bose Krishnamachari , has been shut down due to the Covid lockdown.
The show was opened to the public on April 19. Even then only a limited number of people could be allowed as there were Covid related restrictions. Now, the organisers are hoping that the show could be reopened on July 21. They have sought the permission to run the show at least till September 30.
Before the lockdown forced the show to be shut, the admission to the expo was restricted by strict protocols including registration at the Covid-19 Jagratha portal of the state government and availing passes after uploading RT PCR Negative certificate or Covid-19 vaccination. The organisers have now requested the government to allow some relaxations in these rules.
"We have five venues in Alappuzha and one in Ernakulam. The number of the viewers could be decided as per the size of the venues. We have discussed this proposal with the district collectors," Krishnamachari told Manorama.
According to the proposal for reopening, 75 people could be allowed at the Kerala State Coir Corporation building at a time. The other venues and the number of viewers proposed are: New Model Society Building (55 people), Port Museum (75), Eastern Produce Company Ltd (40), William Goodacre and Sons Pvt Ltd (45) and Darbar Hall, Ernakulam (40). ‘Lokame Tharavadu’ had come as a shot of optimism to the artistic community in Kerala, more than a year after the pandemic crippled the art sector.
The show features the works of 267 artists and by scale is considered to be the biggest art event to be held in India. The individual art works number well over 3000, presenting a unique opportunity for art enthusiasts and connoisseurs to experience the richness and diversity of art practised by contemporary Malayali artists.
“This exhibition is an attempt to create a platform for Malayali artists to showcase their recent practices. This will help us to assess these diverse practices art historically that has also not attempted at this level. It will also activate the cultural spaces and institutions of Kerala. Significantly it raises important questions about migration, home and belonging. Through this, we are also reconfiguring the idea of home, instead of anchoring it to one place,” Krishnamachari had said during the opening of the show.
The ‘Lokame Tharavadu’ show features works of 56 women artists, some of them virtually unknown.
The core idea of this exhibition, the world is one family, is drawn from the verses of the Malayalam poem ‘Ente Gurunathan’ written by Vallathol Narayana Menon, which appeals to the universal spirit of humanity and oneness which resonates well in these times of the pandemic.
The art show is being organised by the Kochi Biennale Foundation with the support from the departments of tourism and culture under the Kerala government, and the Alappuzha Heritage Project being implemented under the guidance of the Muziris Heritage Project Ltd. The event has also partnered with several institutions in the public and private sphere. They include the Kerala State Coir Corporation (KSCC), New Model Society, Alappuzha, Karan Group of Companies, and Indian Institute of Architects (IIA).