BIJU IBRAHIM, RESIDENT ARTIST AT URU ART HARBOUR
Biju Ibrahim's photographic practice involves eight years of rigorous practice in making images, having received no formal education and training in photography — with the weight of the labour, journeys across fractured landscapes, burnt down histories, Biju Ibrahim captures the essence of rustic geographies, the people who are now becoming archive of the earth, the mythic and mystery of spaces and places, broken vessels and torn fabric, alleys of now filled with the density of then or before. He is passionate about capturing the histories and existential praxis of the mystic cultures of Kondotty and Ponnani, the two coastal geographies of Malabar and their linkages with the faraway lands of Arab and the Greek region embedded in the mark of coevalness and multiplicities, of vanishing textures and grains of languages and history’s voice.
Biju Ibrahim captures the essence of rustic geographies, the people who are now becoming archive of the earth, the mythic and mystery of spaces and places, broken vessels and torn fabric, alleys of now filled with the density of then or before.
Having a deep interest in traveling across regions, he is almost a nomadic figure, a metaphysical flâneur who is interested in passages of inner life and the world. Recognising photographic practices like these which borders on the everyday experiences of time and space laden with crusts of the past, evoking difference and multiplicity, against the homogenizing tendencies of nations, ideologies and markets, Biju Ibrahim was invited by URU art harbor, an institution which fosters research, training and support to artists, in August, 2017 as an artist in residency involving research and creating a photographic archive of the place — Mattancherry/Fort Kochi inhabited by numerous castes, families, religions, histories, exiles and expatriates with their scars, fragments of memories and traces which pushes the observer back into the mists of the time of Muziris. His photographic series of the people and spaces of Mattancherry/Fort Kochi, besieged by memories of the sea on the one side, and the brutality of the present on the other side is the cause of this exhibition Transcendence Kochi.
PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION: COMMUNITIES OF KOCHI
Places have souls and Mattancherry in the city of Kochi has a mystic one. Biju Ibrahim discovered this while documenting the lives of Kochi’s 38 communities through black and white pictures. Distinct in layers of identities – caste, faith, language, ethnicity and region – these communities have been welcomed over centuries and have, in turn, infused Mattancherry and Kochi with a rare and rich heritage. Historically, it has been home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus. The sea and port attracted sailors, traders from Arabia and Gujarat, preachers of Semitic faiths, colonisers such as the Dutch and Portuguese, political refugees and migrant labourers. A cross-section of India lives here in a radius of 5 kilometers. Read more>>
Biju Ibrahim’s photographic practice of capturing people, families and individuals held in their fabric of time, space, labour and retreat has also been recognized by the Biennale Foundation at Kochi. As a result of his labour, imagination and creative immersion in the field of photography, Biju Ibrahim is now involved in the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale as a leading campaign photographer of it’s my biennale series. Biju Ibrahim's photographic oeuvre was one among twenty one artists' work encompassing south Asian geographies selected for the Young Subcontinet Project, 2017 at the Serendipity Arts Festival curated by Riyas Komu. Islamic Cultural Centre with a belief in muticulturalism, harmony of religions and plurality strives for representing pluralism reflected in society, arts and culture and is very pleased to exhibit Biju Ibrahim's selection of photographs at its gallery supported by URU art harbour.
He captures the essence of rustic geographies, the people who are now becoming archive of the earth, the mythic & mystery of spaces & places, alleys of now filled with the density of then or before.
URU art harbour is a cultural hub situated at Kochi. URU seeks to be a space for collaboration and a continual hub for artistic, cultural, and intellectual exploration. Founded by Riyas Komu and Zoya Riyas.
Seeks to invoke the cosmopolitan spirit of the modern metropolis of Kochi and its mythical past, Muziris, create a platform that introduce contemporary international visual art theory and practice to India.
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