Students and faculty of the Boston-based Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the US recently visited the ongoing third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) to explore possibilities for crossovers between different art disciplines.
Ahead of a tour of Aspinwall House, the primary venue, KMB co-founder Bose Krishnamachari briefed the 17-member group on the Biennale and Sudarshan Shetty’s curatorial vision.
For Megan Nash, a student of illustration, the artworks on display are heavily conceptual.
“It has prompted me to think a lot about the art practice. These works itself have a power in impact. They are vastly different from what I practice. The variety of artworks at this Biennale has inspired me. I will attempt to incorporate different media into my works and move forward with a new perspective. The visit has enlightened the artist in me,” she said.
Jonathan Koppel, a sculpting student, said he was moved by the art being showcased here. “It seems that art has pervaded the city. Spaces that were not designed to be galleries have been transformed, especially these venues that were once warehouses. It is interesting to see art transforming the spaces,” Koppel said.
Art history student Andrew Grimanis also discerned a relationship between art and space. “The works leave a deep reflection after experiencing it and that is the toughest part in art practice. I have been keenly observing here how space reflects the artwork and that is what I will be concentrating more once I get back to Boston,” he added.
Prof Lois Hetland, a faculty member at the college, said he was most impressed by the many art education, outreach and community engagement initiatives undertaken by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF).
“In Boston, we carry a lot of outreach initiatives for different age groups. I was delighted to see that the KBF is also carrying out engagement programmes along similar lines and
in a more efficient way. The results of these programmes are evident in the huge public participation and turnouts at the Biennale,” Prof Hetland said.
Some of the visiting students also toured the Students’ Biennale, the second edition of the KBF’s flagship art education programmes, which is running parallel to the KMB and features the works of 465 art students from 55 art schools across India.
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