Winners of Inaugural Tata Trusts Students’ Biennale Awards Announced

With the second edition of the Students’ Biennale (SB) closing on Wednesday, the contributions of participating individuals and institutions who led from the front during the unique art education initiative’s run were recognised and celebrated.
The inaugural Tata Trusts Students’ Biennale Awards and their recipients were announced at the closing ceremony of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 in Durbar Hall last evening. The awards, instituted by Tata Trusts kbfand the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), honour aspiring artists, emerging curators and art collectives for excellence in their fields.
C.P. Krishnapriya, one of the 15 young curators who helmed SB 2016, was awarded the Tata Trusts Students’ Biennale International Award in the ‘Curator’ category. Krishnapriya will have the opportunity to experience a world-class international art exhibition for two weeks in 2017.
As will Sarath Sasi, of Sree Sankaracharya University in Kalady, and Shreya Shukla from the Faculty of Fine Arts at MSU-Baroda. The two student-artists were adjudged winners of the Tata Trusts Students’ Biennale International Award in the ‘Student’ category.
The Tata Trusts Students’ Biennale National awards for two student-artists and two student-artist collectives were also declared at the function. Anju Acharya, of the Department of Fine Arts, S.N. School, University of Hyderabad, and Sahil Naik from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU-Baroda, were conferred the awards, which allow them to undertake a two-week artist residency programme in India.
Student-artist collectives at Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy School of Art in Mumbai and Government College of Fine Arts, Kumbakonam and Government College of Art, Chennai also received Tata Trusts Students’ Biennale National awards.
“Exposure for young artists and curators is the best way to broaden the young talent that has emerged through the Students’ Biennale, and the Tata Trusts Awards for the Students’ Biennale facilitates this through international travel to see other contemporary art platforms and current practices internationally, as well as residencies in the country. The chosen artists and curator have shown, both individually and collectively, a serious engagement with the location and history of institution and current political thought, using material and concepts, in invigorating ways,” said Deepika Sorabjee, Head – Media, Arts and Culture at Tata Trusts.
Sorabjee was part of the eminent awards jury that included KBF President Bose Krishnamachari and KBF Secretary and Biennale Programmes Director Riyas Komu.
“The awards and the opportunities to experience an international exhibition or participate in an art residency are one of the finest forms of patronage one can offer to a young artist or curator. Tata Trusts and KBF have given that opportunity to these deserving winners to enable them to think ambitiously, enrich their minds, learn from experiencing and observing the best and further hone their practices and exhibition-making skills. The awards will give them a boost. We feel the awardees will make full use of this great opportunity,” Krishnamachari said.
Over its second edition, the Students’ Biennale – developed by the KBF in collaboration with the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) and the Foundation for Indian Art and Education (FIAE) and supported by Tata Trusts – reached out to 55 art colleges across the country and feature
d the artistic production of 470 BFA and MFA students across seven exhibition venues in Mattancherry.
“Besides exposing current practices and showcasing new talents among young Indian artists to a wide national and international audience, the Students’ Biennale works to fill the vacuum in the country’s art education system. This is a space that both government and art institutions struggle to fill. These awards are an opportunity to keep the SB’s promise by recognising the excellence of emerging artists in the field and celebrating frontrunners who have contributed to the programme over the past year,” said Komu, who announced the winners on Wednesday.

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