Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala) are a major attraction in Fort Kochi. These fixed land installations for fishing are commonly known as "Chinese fishing nets" in India. While such nets are used throughout coastal southern China and Indochina, in India they are mostly found in coastal Kerala. Historians opine that it was introduced by the Chinese explorers who landed there in the 14th century. Indeed, one interpretation of the city name Kochi is ‘co-chin', meaning ‘like China.’ Image shows a broken Chinese net - an embodiment of interconnecting maritime history, and its memory, as eternal as the Arabian sea and the shining moon. The photograph was taken by Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad in the year 1989 using a medium format film camera. 

Moon in the Arabian Sea, 1989

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  • Abul Kalam Azad is an Indian visual artist and photographer based in Kerala. His works are largely personal explorations and documentation of experiences, and memories of his native land, people, and their culture. They deal with issues of identity, ethics, micro/macro history, and eroticism. His works have exhibited Nationally/Internationally in reputed museums and galleries. He has received Charles Wallace Award in the year 1996 and recognized by the French government through a scholarship grant. He is a recipient of grants from the Government of India and India Foundation for the Arts (IFA). He is the founder of Ekalokam Trust for Photography and Editor-in-chief of PhotoMail Online magazine.