Dispatches from Fort Kochi: Spice and all things nice
Our pop-up shop is at the delightful David Hall, and is festooned with tropical fronds and raindrops that twinkle off white canvas covers. Fort Kochi is a time capsule of its own, with broad pavements and colourful houses stacked high and deep, hinting at its past as a trading post for the world. Walk slowly, and you’ll find tiled sloping roofs and portico entrances. The city’s extraordinary history of foreign trade is visible in its architectural styles, and the air is heavily scented with the aroma of spice, and only a hop away is the source: the spice market in Mattancherry.
While at one end the spice trade keeps up, the Biennale beckons across town, and we head to the many galleries around David Hall for a little dip into its offerings. The colour, the mood, the spices… yes, the spices. It’s only fitting that Kochi’s love affair with spices creeps into the art here as well. At Beyond Malabar, an art gallery only a stone’s throw from David Hall, Meenakshi Sengupta employs spices like pepper, chilli, and turmeric as pigments in her drawings of nude women. This particular show explores sexuality and its representations, and with Meenakshi’s art she’s turning common metaphors about spiciness amusingly literal.
Down the road there’s The Drawing Room, a dining space we’re keen on settling in for the night. See you on the other side.