A treasure trove
Laboratory of Visual Arts is the State’s only visual art library having a rare collection of 3,000 books and 1,500 DVDs on comtemporary art, photography and graphic design.
KOCHI: Inside a colonial style building adjacent to a stylish cafe and a design shop situates Kerala’s only visual art library, Laboratory of Visual Arts (LaVA). The Visual art library at Pepper house, Fort Kochi has a unique collection of valuable books and DVDs on art, fashion, photography, architecture, theatre, history and culture of the nomadic artist Bose Krishnamachari, Artistic Director and Co-Curator of The Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
This library is originally a travelling installation titled ‘LaVA’ by Bose. Through LaVA, Bose has beaten down perpetually the traditional concept of a visual art library and the said assumption of viewing it. “Traditional libraries tend to have fewer collection because they collect books only of specific genres. But an art library in my concept is a quite different one.
It must contain items not found anywhere else and must be available to everyone so that people from various disciplines could access it and can use it for research studies,” says Bose. “Libraries are not as they would seem obvious, about documenting the past. Instead they suggest different possible future. I am keeping on adding such new possibilities I discovered in my travels,” he says.
LaVA, Krishnamachari’s mammoth archival was first displayed in Mumbai, in 2006 and subsequently at various other destinations including Kochi. Later in 2013 it was installed as a permanent library at Pepper House, Fort Kochi with wide variety of books from various genres.
“ This library is intended to provide the artists an overview into the world of visual art. Our ultimate aim is to let the artists and art lovers all over the country experience and appreciate the rich tradition of art,” says Vipin Dhanurdharan, person -in-charge of the library.
The library has a curative collection of over 3,000 books and 1,500 DVDs including rare and exclusive collection of books on contemporary art photography, graphic design, cinema and philosophical books on visual arts. The main attraction of the library is that along with providing the visitors facility to read, computer systems and headphones are also provided to them to play and watch movies and documentaries. Its is an open library for the public and readers can explore this visual art library from 10 am to 6 pm everyday except Monday.