Kerala to hold new Design Biennale in 2021

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

KOCHI: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced a new Design Biennale slated to be held in Kochi in 2021.

He was speaking at the opening of the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), touted to be the subcontinent’s biggest art event featuring works by 94 Indian and international artists.

“After the next edition of the Biennale (KMB in 2020), there will be a Design Biennale in Kochi,” Vijayan said.

Based on the curatorial theme of ‘Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life’, the 108-day-long art extravaganza, curated by artist Anita Dube this year, seeks to explore newer access to art practices amid seminars, workshops, lectures, cinema and performances.

Vijayan said the government continued to support the Kochi Biennale despite the devastating floods that ravaged the state earlier this year, because art was an important aspect of an individual life. “The government has been spearheading the rebuilding of the state, but we have not gone back on the grant for the event. Art is necessary for man to be elevated from animal status.”

The chief minister added that efforts to find a permanent venue for the Biennale were gaining strength.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

According to Dube, who curated the Biennale after a year’s travel across the globe, the event aimed at blending “pleasure with pedagogy”. “I hope these works also evoke questions in your mind.”

Dube has divided the show into two parts. While one exhibits all the artist projects, the other, Pavilion, is a space she has created to allow anybody and everybody to be creative and “become a curator”.

Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the state and the Biennale had come to develop a symbiotic relationship, with the event drawing a significant number of tourists here.

“The Biennale boosts Kerala’s tourism as the government has been aggressively promoting the art event abroad,” he said.

The evening also saw a 90-minute long ‘Chenda Melam’ orchestra of 180 artistes, led by top drummer Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, and came to a close with a concert by Bangalore-based Indian folk-fusion band Vasu Dixit Collective.

The event will continue till March 29 and is being held across 10 heritage venues in the twin towns of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry, as well as in downtown Ernakulam. PTI

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