Tuesday, April 2, 2013

India’s first ever global biennale was a huge success

The inaugural edition of India’s first ever art biennale, the ambitious Kochi-Muziris Biennale, co-curated by Riyas Komu and Bose Krishnamachari drew to a close. With over 90 artists from no less than 23 countries presenting their works and performing in more than 60 spaces across

14 different sites for 96 days, it was one of the largest exhibitions of to have been staged in India. Spontaneous public response and participation of artists from around the world made it a huge success.

Innovative works on view

Opened on 12\12\12, and scheduled to run till 13\03\2013, Kochi-Muziris Biennale was extended for four days. New, site-specific commissions made up more than 70% of the artwork with many of the contemporary artists from India and abroad having travelled to Kochi to conduct research and survey sites for a year in advance.
Features of the event
The universal appeal of Kochi-Muziris Biennale set it apart from other contemporary art events of its kind in India. From art curators and historians, celebrities from the world of film, music and literature, to working professionals, everyone found something to relate to at the Biennale. One of its biggest achievements was that it drew people from all walks of life and created a new audience for art in India. 

Education and orientation
The event was attended by 3,82,659 visitors, turning a new page in Indian art history, the organizers mentioned in a release. Around 30,000 schoolchildren visited the exhibitions and 1,600 students from local schools participated in the Children’s Biennale program, fulfilling the event’s objective of reaching out to a young audience.

Art students from across India got an opportunity to explore historical and present realities of Kochi-Muziris, to know more about contemporary art practices, explore the idea of a collective, and to work with site specific issues and locality. Students from CEPT Ahmedabadl Fine Arts Faculty at MS University Baroda; Santiniketan West Bengal; Sir JJ School of Art Mumbai; and as far away as Columbia University and Kent University visited Kochi.

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