1.2 lakh throng Biennale venues in one month

Actor Nadia Moidu at a Biennale venue

Kochi: Taking not just the confidence of the hands behind the Kochi-Muziris Biennale but also the hopes of art lovers across the state to new heights, around 1.2 lakh people visited the artistic extravaganza during its first 30 days.

The figure which looks huge in terms of the number of people turning up for artistic events usually covers people from all walks of life including artists of international stature and ordinary citizens from various parts of the state.

The organisers of the Biennale are upbeat to see the large turnout of visitors especially ordinary people. KMB director of programmes Riyas Komu told Onmanorama that Kochi has found its place in the global art map with the two editions of the Biennale. He said that the second edition of the Biennale is finding its roots much stronger than the earlier edition.

“It's interesting to see the large turn out of local people to the Biennale venues. They come here because they are so curious to know about art. Everybody learns something from the Biennale,” Komu said.

He said that a huge percentage of the viewers this time is women and children. “ It's great to see mothers taking out their children to the world of art,” he said.

The visitors from the world of art include National Museum director general Dr V Venu, Museum director and Curator David Elliott, Metropolitan Museum of Art chairman Sheena Wagstaff, director of Venice Biennale 2015 Okwui Enwezor and artist Balan Nambiar among others.

KMB'14 director Bose Krishnamachari said that it was incredible to listen to a great person like Okwui Enwezor calling the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the 21st Century Biennale.

A large number of art lovers from the film field thronged the Biennale venues on various days. They include, directors Adoor Gopalakrishnan, I V Sasi, Shaji N Karun, Renji Panicker, Aashiq Abu, Lal Jose and Jayaraj, actors Mammootty, Kalki Koechlin, Nadia Moidu, Padmapriya, Prakash Bare, Rima Kallingal and Aparna Gopinath.

Other famous personalities who were seen at the venues include, literary critic Homi K. Bhabha, Shashi Tharoor, Internationally acclaimed poet and academic, Rudhramoorthy Cheran, and dancer Mallika Sarabhhai.

Adoor Gopalakrishnan and writer-politician Shashi Tharoor had suggested more government support for the event.

The major events of the current edition of the Biennale include Artists' Cinema, a daily movie screening session, Student's Biennale which features works of over 100 art students, Children's Biennale which was inaugurated with the opening of Clint's show and Pepper House Residency Exhibition.

For the days ahead, the organisers have planned more screenings and seminars. The film screening which was initiated for the current edition is drawing many to Aspinwall House, the main venue.

The Biennale which features art works of 94 artists from 30 countries in nine venues will be on till March 29.