They came to see the show in general and got particularly thrilled over a sketch: on their own classmate. Inversely, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale too gained added liveliness today, as students from a special school visited the main venue of South Asia’s biggest contemporary art festival.
Ranging between the ages of eight and 30 years, the guests from Cottolengo Special School of Fort Kochi were excited to note that one of the drawings at an installation featured their fellow student. “Well, it is on one of their own classmates,” pointed out Sister Terasa of the institution, leading the team at the main Aspinwall House venue. “They got so happy on viewing his sketch,” she added, referring to the art by young Vipin Dhanurdharan on the cuisines of cosmopolitan Kochi.
The group enjoyed every bit of their expedition that spanned a couple of hours across the installations, paintings and sculptures at the sea-facing venue that displays a chunk of the exhibits at the 108-day event. When they reached the front yard that has swings hanging from a trees with its branches spread out, fellow visitors joined the frolic by greeting each other and clicking pictures.
That further thrilled Sister Terasa, who says she wasn’t initially sure about the response of the members at the biennale. “We were a little nervous at the beginning, now we plan to bring them again,” said the teacher. “The art mediators were very sweet. They took good care of the kids, taking them to the works and explain in a simple way that anyone can understand and enjoy.”
The special visitors did paint on the glass-walls at the Song Dong installation, joyously joining the biennale spirit of interaction. Another favourite stopover was South African William Kentridge’s eight-paneled video installation on the first floor of a longish hall.
The kids also looked with immense curiosity the artworks of Sue Williamson and Cyrus Kabiru besides the Vyams Project. They also liked the video installation by Jun Nguyen Hatsushiba, where one had to walk in the water. “The kids loved and played in the installation,” said Sister Terasa.
Thanking the art mediators, the teacher said the biennale has been a memorable experience.