‘Biennale Should Include more Indigenous Art Practices’: Lalithakala Akademi Chairman

Lauding the inclusion of the epic mural painting created by participating artist P.K Sadanandan at the ongoing third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Chairman Sathyapal expressed hope that future curators of India’s only Biennale would consider presenting more such traditional Indian art practices.
The noted artist made the observation following a recent visit to Aspinwall House, the Biennale’s primary venue, where the wall aSathyapalrt titled Parayipetta Pantheerukulam is displayed.
“P.K. Sadandandan’s mural, based on a mythological story, is an apt example of the practice in Indian art to hand down traditional knowledge from generation to generation. This transfer of knowledge is seen in a number of regions across India and by including such indigenous forms of art the Biennale can play a role in showcasing the country’s traditional practices and culture to an international audience,” Sathyapal said.
The 15m x 3m mural, which features natural colours painted on a ply board, depicts the story of the 12 kulams (families) born to the Parayi, or woman of the ‘paraiah’ caste. It encompasses a number of lessons and mores, from the value of listening, to the importance of fate, the iniquity of the caste sys
tem and the role of family and society.
He pointed out that the Biennale could play an important role in overturning misplaced notions about indigenous art forms and bringing them into the mainstream, thereby increasing the visibility and awareness about the country’s art heritage and culture.
Sathyapal also commended the Biennale for showcasing a diverse range of art forms and styles. “The Biennale, which sees participation from an array of domestic and international artists, provides an important opportunity for artists, art students and the general art lover to learn about the diversity of artistic practices,” he said.

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