Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) at an inaugural event in Parade Ground, Fort Kochi on 13 December 2016.
Titled ‘Forming in the pupil of an eye’, the three-month long festival will witness participation from 97 artists from thirty-one countries across the world. The Biennale is considered to be one of the largest celebrations of contemporary art in South Asia and similar to its last two editions, this time also the venues of art display are scattered across Kochi.
In his speech, the Chief Minister acknowledged the rise in credibility of the Biennale in the global contemporary art scene and stated that the government is looking to give it a permanent home. He further added that the Biennale provides an ideal platform for the conglomeration of global thoughts and expression and the free flow of culture.
• Popular contemporary artist Sudarshan Shetty was given the responsibility of overseeing this edition.
• The inaugural ceremony saw a performance by singer Suman Sridhar and The Black Mamba.
• Among the 97 artists showcasing their work, 36 are Indians.
• Some of the Indian participants include cartoonist EP Unny, Malayalam litterateur Anand, graphic artists Orijit Sen and Avinash Veeraraghavan, author Sharmistha Mohanty and theatre artists Anamika Haksar and Kalakshetra Manipur.
• The festival will also host activities like poetry recitals and dance performances.
• The venues chosen for display of artwork include Aspinwall House, Cabral Yard, Pepper House, David Hall, Durbar Hall, Kashi Art Café, Kashi Art Gallery, MAP Project Space, Anand Warehouse, TKM Warehouse, Cochin Club and Kottapuram Fort.
• In addition to this festival, the state will also play host to a student’s Biennale, featuring works of over 470 aspiring artists belonging to 55 schools from across the country.
Besides this, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale has also collaborated with an online portal Sahapedia that documents India’s cultural heritage. So, together they will create a map featuring details of over 150 sites in Kochi including places of worship, heritage sites, cultural centres and public spaces.