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All images © Hew Locke & ArtImage unless otherwise indicated
 detail of "Sea Power" byHew LockeAll photos this page © Indra Khanna. This installation running length 42m, height 3.4m
Sea Power
2014, dimensions variable
Cord, plastic beads, glue gun 
Boats   Finance & Trade 

Commissioned by the Kochi-Muziris Biennale

The piece is a response to the biennale curatorial theme, reflecting on the ‘Age of Discovery’, which heralded an era of exchange, conquest, coercive trading and colonialism, animating the early processes of globalisation. Sea Power was installed in an old trading company building on the harbour.

The imagery draws on many sources, including Roman statuary, Vasco de Gama’s ship the St. Gabriel, maritime charts, and the contemporary shipping traffic and oil refinery visible outside the windows. C16th European prints of the Kingdom of Cochin (Kochi) such as A depiction of the ruler of Cochin, Malabar by Hans Burgkmair provided an image of trumpeters announcing the Arrival of the King of Kochi. A pipe-smoker in A view of the city of Cochin, Malabar by P. van der Aa's refers to the Dutch East India Company’s opium monopoly. The tiger figurehead is based on a gold ornament from Tipu Sultan's throne. The Kingdom of Cochi was once a tributary state of Tipu Sultan, who was killed and his palace looted by the British East India Company in 1799. This relic was subsequently presented to William IV and can be seen in Windsor Castle.

Click here to see Locke talk about Sea Power (4.33)


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