From senior diplomats to top police officers, well-known personalities made their visit to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale this weekend, adding to the crowd marking the Christmas vacation that is to further enliven the 108-day art festival.
Venu Rajamony, the Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, said the range in the ages of the artists was striking. “Young, middle-aged, old…. They are all there,” he said, mentioning his pleasure in “seeing this festival grow all these years”. As for the exhibits, ‘Canes of Wrath’, which talks about the contemporary political society riddled by antagonism, he said the work by B V Suresh was a “powerful statement”.
Excise Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh, after his two-hour round of the exhibits at the main Biennale venue of Aspinwall House, said he was impressed by the strong participation of artists from Africa, Lebanon, Cuba and the Caribbean countries along with a major presence of Indian artists. “I am amazed at the variety of installations this time. It’s an overwhelming experience,” said the officer, a regular visitor at the Biennale since its start in 2012. He particularly lauded the works of artists Sue Williamson and Shilpa Gupta, while also hailing the “intricacy” in the work of Bapi Das, an auto driver by profession.
Ex-IPS officer Kuldip Sharma was all praise for the service of the art mediators at the Biennale. Among other visitors on Saturday were Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa and S Hari Kishore, Executive Director of the Kerala government’s women-empowering Kudumbashree Mission.