Kochi: Kochi Muziris Biennale (KMB) 2014 received an unexpected donation on Saturday, as students of the Tolins World School paid Rs 1 lakh they raised for the exhibition. “We are keen to provide a well-rounded education at this international school,” said the principal Fr Anto Xavier, who presented the cheque to KMB ’14 director Bose Krishnamachari, director of programmes Riyas Komu and research coordinator Bonny Thomas at a function at the main Aspinwall House venue of the ongoing event. “And seeing international quality art and playing a part in the making of a local event are important aspects of that.”
As many as 55 students from classes one to seven from the Malayattoor-based school arrived for a tour of the Aspinwall venue. After their visit, they interacted with the biennale directors, who praised the children’s and newly-started school’s initiative, and advised them to look at the contemporary art only through the eyes of childhood.
They were shown the animated biennale signature film, a Youtube hit, in which Shahabaz Aman talks about how children lose their artistic temperament as they get older. “Just look at and enjoy the art as children, and then you will understand what each work means,” Komu told the kids. Referencing the Whorled Explorations theme of the exhibition, he asked them, “Do you know the speed at which the earth moves? That is what the biennale teaches. It has science, history and artistry.”
Fr Anto said that seeing different sights awakens the artist in people. “This biennale offers the kind of experiences that touch and move us,” he said.
Bonny Thomas noted that the word ‘biennale’ seems to have been adopted into the Malayalam language. “Everyone is so enthused by it that a government school in Kollam wants to host an exhibition modelled on the biennale,” he said.
The Tolins students seemed to enjoy several works, but their favourites were typically the more dramatic ones: Anish Kapoor’s ‘Descension’, Susanta Mandal’s ‘Where have all the stories gone?’ and the one that never fails to thrill kids, Ryota Kuwakubo’s ‘Lost’.