Destination-Kerala-BM-Anand

Kochi: An exhibition featuring a selection of evocative artworks by rebel artist Brij Mohan Anand (1928-1986) – whose oeuvre stands as a voice of protest against crass commercialisation and capitalism, cultural indoctrination, gender inequality and nuclear warfare – was inaugurated here the other day.

Titled ‘Dissent & Discourse: the Art and Politics of Brij Mohan Anand,’ the exhibition will be on show till March 29 next year as a collateral programme to the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) at Greenix Village Cultural Arts Centre in Fort Kochi.

Inaugurating the exhibition – which delves into notions of dissent and its importance in public discourse, creativity and progress, celebrated filmmaker and cinematographer S haji N Karun noted that it was the responsibility of the artist to address and decipher seminal moments in, and memories of, time.

“It is perhaps the works of such hitherto undiscovered artists as B M Anand that best capture the prevailing spirit of the times as seen from the perspective of the common people. The strong humanistic theme in his artworks is a reflection of their commitment to social change,” Karun said.

Neeraj Gulati and Kriti Anand, the artist’s daughter, who are the co-founders of the BM Anand Foundation, presented the official catalogue to Karun.

The selection of works features evocative, often apocalyptic, pieces in diverse mediums.

Curated by young researcher and writer Shruthi Issac, the exhibition is a sampling of the estimated 1,500 surviving works by B M Anand. His acts of dissent took the form of greeting cards, paintings and scratchboards that were sent to the governments of the day.

“B M Anand was a profoundly talented artist and a distinctive voice. His work provides us a very rare documentation on the period of India’s transition from colony to modern state and the trajectory of national consciousness as it was shaped over his lifetime,” said Aditi Anand, who is the Associate Director of the BM Anand Foundation.

“The Foundation hopes to utilise the powerful platform provided by the Kochi-Muziris Biennale to elevate an underappreciated and initiate an alternate discourse on India’s modernity,” she said.