5 things to look out for at Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016

NOV 10, 2016 | By Aditi Sharma Maheshwari
Riyas Komu, Alex Kuruvilla, Sunil V, Jitish Kallat, Sudarshan Shetty and Bose Krishnamachari at the book launch at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai. Whorled Explorations presents works by curator Jitish Kallat along with his works for Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2014.
It’s time to celebrate the best of art, again! In December, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, curated by contemporary Indian artist Sudarshan Shetty, will introduce new talent, fascinating programmes and educational talks.
For the uninitiated, the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) started when the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala approached two local artists—Riyas Komuand and Bose Krishnamachari to leverage a platform for art in India. With no existing infrastructure or space, the idea remained in a conceptual stage for long. Finally, after much support from local businesses, individuals and the government, the Biennale found its feet in 2012. Today it works round the year to strengthen contemporary art infrastructure and broaden public access to art across the country.
The event that celebrates creativity and the vast pool of talent is now in its third year. Here’s a look at five things to watch out for, at the soon to begin affair:
1. Passing the baton: To signal the beginning of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, artist Jitish Kallat, the curator of the second edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2014, presented a catalogue of the works called Whorled Explorations that was released at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai. On talking about his experience, Jitish said, “There were many anxious moments and staring at a blank wall for hours. However, I pulled through with helping hands from like-minded organisations and the extremely supportive organisers who assisted me in putting together the edition.” Sudarshan Shetty, the curator of the 2016 while inaugurating the catalogue assured that “events like these will help young artists and students learn how to make a living in art.”
2. New associations: The third edition will introduce the Trans-Indian Ocean Artists Exchange project, which is collaboration between Kochi Biennale Foundation, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah and independent curator Mo Reda. It will explore new forms of contemporary art and culture exchange between Kerala and West Asia.
3. Practical learning: The Student’s Biennale will be a part of Kochi Biennale Foundation’s ‘Higher Education Programme’. It will help to create an alternative platform for learners from Government-run art colleges to showcase their art practices and exhibit their works on a global scale.
4. Star studded: A long list of star artists will be attending the event including the likes of Abir Karmakar, Anamika Haksar, Chris Mann, Dai Xiang, Lisa Reihana, Liu Wei, Latika Echakhch, Mansi Bhatt, Martin Walde, Nazia Khan, Tony Joseph and Sharmistha Mohanty among many others.
5. Talent House: The Pepper House Residency will provide opportunity for artists from all disciplines to work and collaborate inside a studio space at the Pepper House, Fort Kochi. Here, different creatives can explore new dimensions in the field, increase their awareness about the craft and learn new skills.
Also read: This season’s coolest art exhibitions across the country