Khaki turned out to be the predominant colour for a while at the sprawling Aspinwall House hosting the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, as hundreds of boys and girls training as Student Police Cadet (SPC) visited the main venue of the art festival on Monday.
The 108-day Biennale is a “great learning platform” for young students to understand global as well as Indian art in its contemporary context, said a senior official who led one of the two educational institutions at Aspinwall that exhibits a chunk of the exhibits at the country’s only such festival that began on December 12.
Venketesh G, Additional Community Police Officer who also teaches English at TD High School in Mattancherry, noted that the students were able to understand the pain of the artist in many works they saw the Biennale. “They are really happy and excited with the knowledge the works imparted to them,” he said, leading 130 students. “The Biennale opens the door to a whole outside world for these kids. Culture is something that cannot be limited to any state or region. Art encompasses the whole world.”
Several SPC students said they were touched by the works of artists Priya Ravish Mehra, Santha K V and B V Suresh at the Biennale that is on till March 29 next year.
Bose Krishnamachari, president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation, briefed the students about the Biennale ahead of their round. “In my growing years, I never had a chance to view original works of famous artists. It was only when I visited faraway Delhi that I had the opportunity,” he recalled. “The aim of Kochi Biennale is to bring art closer to us common people.”
The other team of SPC students, from St Sebastian’s Higher Secondary School in Thoppumpady, too enjoyed the guided tour. T Vishnu, a class-9 student who was part of the contingent, said the art mediators gave them an insight on the artworks. “I am spellbound with every work I saw,” he said. “I really liked Song Dong’s installation Water Temple where we could go and paint using water.”
Vishnu’s schoolmate Aldrin Jacob was happy that several works showcased mankind’s cultural history as well as the present political state. Quite a few of the student visitors said they plan to come back to the Biennale with family and friends.