About Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 (KMB)

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an international festival of contemporary visual art hosted in the city of Kochi, in Kerala, Southern India. It is India’s largest contemporary art event, and the only Biennale in South Asia. Now in its 3rd edition, this landmark event continues to grow in scale and reputation and is very well respected internationally. The last two editions (2012 and 2014) exhibited around 200 works of art by over 180 artists from all over the world. In 2012 it received 400,000 visitors and had 22,000,000 website hits and in 2014 this increased to 500,000 visitors and 32,000,000 website hits. The 2016 edition is expected to increase even more.

As well as the presentation of established and emerging artists from over 30 countries, the Kochi Biennale Foundation has a strong objective to connect with younger audiences hence they also have a Student Biennale (this year they plan to show the work of students from 50 art colleges across India) as well as a Children’s Biennale. There is also an extensive talks programme, Let‘s Talk, a programme of master classes and workshops and Artist’s Cinema; a 100 day film festival.

Scotland and Kochi

There will be a significant Scottish presence at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016. Following on from international curators’ visits to Scotland for the Edinburgh Art Festival and the Turner Prize in Glasgow in 2015, four artists from Scotland have been invited to exhibit at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale:

  • Charles Avery (commissioned to make a new work);
  • Rachel Maclean;
  • Jonathan Owen and;
  • Hanna Tuulikki (commissioned to make a new work).

In addition to this, Lux Scotland will be delivering artist run video workshops and an artist film screening programme as part of Artist’s Cinema: a 100 day Film Festival at KMB; and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop will be devising and delivering a four week workshop programme An Alternative Academy at KMB. These will take place between January and March 2017.

To complement this Scottish presence, the British Council and Creative Scotland Partnership is organising a visit of curators from Scotland to attend the opening week of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

Dates: departing Edinburgh Saturday 10 December, arriving Kochi Sunday 11 December 2016. Departing Kochi Friday 16 December, arriving Edinburgh Saturday 17 December 2016. If delegates would like to extend their visit, they are welcome to at their own cost.

The trip will focus on the opening week of the Biennale and will cover:

  • Visits to the Biennale exhibitions to see over 100 works from over 30 countries
  • Invitations to Biennale private views and other opening events
  • Invitations to talks and seminar programme
  • Networking events
  • Meetings with Indian/international curators, directors and artists
  • We are currently scoping the possibility of including a trip to Mumbai on the 15/16th December 2016

Purpose of visit

This is a professional development opportunity for curators/producers/directors to see a wide range of work from over 30 countries, to experience a biennale based in India, to network with curators, artists and producers from both India and across the world who will be attending the opening week of the Biennale; to participate in the extensive talks and seminar programme and to be advocates for Scotland’s vibrant art scene. The purpose of the visit will be to build on existing partnerships between Scotland and India as well as to develop new opportunities for partnership.

Who can apply?

This opportunity is available for curators/directors/producers based across Scotland including freelance/independent practitioners. Amongst the delegation, we aim to ensure a mix of people, some of whom have existing links and some with no previous connections in India to allow for sharing of knowledge and experience.

How to apply?

British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland will promote this opportunity by email and on their respective websites. Expressions of interest should be submitted by email as a PDF no larger than 5MB (or alternatively send via WeTransfer).

Please include:

  • a short biography of applicant
  • an outline of the reasons why you would find this trip valuable at this point in time and in what way it would support the development of your practice and /or your organisation’s objectives
  • any anticipated benefits to the sector in Scotland and for (potential) partners in India.
  • any existing relationships or projects with India
  • any specific outcomes that you would hope to achieve from taking part in this trip.
  • confirmation of applicant's availability 10 – 17 December 2016

Please submit the expression of interest to juliet.dean@britishcouncil.org by close of play on Tuesday, 27 September 2016. In making our selection of candidates for this delegation, we will be looking to identify people for whom this trip would have most value and impact at this time, and where there are anticipated benefits to the sector in Scotland and for partners in India. Applications will be jointly assessed by British Council and Creative Scotland and successful delegates will be informed by Tuesday, 4 October 2016. We plan to book flights ASAP so successful delegates will need to provide passport details, a photograph of themselves, any dietary requirements and any additional needs ASAP. Delegates will also be expected to attend a pre-departure planning meeting in Edinburgh in the lead-up to the visit: date TBC.

There will be six places available and the delegation will be accompanied by Juliet Dean, Visual Arts Advisor, British Council Scotland and with staff support from Creative Scotland.


British Council India and Creative Scotland will cover international flights from / to Edinburgh, accommodation costs and domestic transport in India. Delegates will be expected to cover daily subsistence, incidental travel expenses, optional entertainment and visa costs.

Visa process

A visa is generally required for India. Delegates will be responsible for obtaining their own visa and we recommend you make yourself aware of the procedure in advance and apply for a visa as soon as the full delegate list is confirmed. Find more information on how to apply for a visa, here

Return to Scotland

The delegates will be expected to share the knowledge and experiences gained during the visit with their peers in Scotland and will be expected to write a report by 17 January 2017.